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Why is my male Muscovy chasing his babies?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by hmcrainey, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. hmcrainey

    hmcrainey In the Brooder

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    Jul 5, 2013
    I recently got 2 females & 1 male Muscovy.

    They laid right away, so I had 2 clutches.

    Because of space issues, I let all of them go to new homes except a few.

    I now have five of the 6 week old girls & 1 Mom & Dad who are 1 1/2 yrs old. The girls stay penned up most of the time. Mom & Dad are free range.

    I do not want any more babies. I tried to catch Dad but have not been successful.

    Every afternoon, I let the babies out to forage some. I know Dad has nothing but SEX on the brain but I want to know exactly WHY he chases the babies? I don't think it is to mate because he did it when I had boys too.

    He is really aggressive towards them! He huffs & does the wing spread & the whole bit! He bites them & chases them either into the water (I live on a canal) or back into their pen.

    Is he trying to keep them away from the mother? Is it territorial? Is it sexual?

    I have run interference & chase him away but he is very determined & often will come back from behind a bush or tree in another part of the yard. He sneaks up & starts again.


    Is there anything I can do to stop this without re-homing him or does he need to go?


    HELP PLEASE!
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member 8 Years

    I've not seen this to the extreme your talking about but having 3 new ducklings hatched here 8 weeks ago I do know what your talking about, but not totally sure what it all means either even though I've had Muscovy's for 9 years. But even now if one of the drakes and it's usually the dominant one gets close enough he'll grab hold of one of the ducklings, he hasn't chased them down though just usually pops them with his bill or pulls feathers if he gets a chance. but so do the rest of the flock if the ducklings get too close. [​IMG] It sounds like he hasn't accepted these ducklings as part of the flock, when you keep them locked up can they all still see each other? Drakes are temperamental also some worse than others. How old are the babies now? Not sure other than locking him up for a while but you'd have to cover the pen and clip his wing, Muscovy's are escape artist good flyers and climbers. and not sure if that would even work. My Drake is very attached to these ducklings mama but while she was with them he was very respectful of her but would still grab feathers if he got the chance. If these ducks are under 5 months old I don't think it has to do with sex. actually the 2 ducks that hatched last summer here didn't draw drakes attention till this spring.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  3. hmcrainey

    hmcrainey In the Brooder

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    Jul 5, 2013
    They hatched on June 15, so tomorrow they will be 6 weeks old.
    He can see them through the wire pen during the day. I lock them in a shed at night.
    When their mother was with them, he was better.
    She decided not to go back in about 1 1/2 weeks ago & ever since then, he has gotten bad.

    Why does your flock pull feathers?

    I thought he might be trying to keep them away from the mother so she will mate again?
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member 8 Years

    Pulling feathers is just part of being a duck flock , adult ducks pick on younger ducks and when ducklings come around then they are way down on the totem pole and everyone gets to put them in their place. just part of duck dynamics. here we have what I call 3 clans, 3 drakes with each one having their own girls and they know who belongs to who, so most of the time they stay out of each others way. but when ducklings come into the pic it takes a while for them to be accepted into the flock, they are accepted but they still have to be put in their place. Just part of duck dynasty. When those feathers come out on the ends of their tails at about 3 weeks old I say God put them there for the rest of the flock to pull out because they usually only last a couple 3 weeks. So mama duck and drake aren't mating again? that could be part of it too but if she isn't hanging out with them I'm not sure that would matter. Is there a reason other than the drake that you don't let them free range? and glad to hear they are locked up secure at night.
     
  5. hmcrainey

    hmcrainey In the Brooder

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    Jul 5, 2013
    One reason is their mother took them swimming one time & some of them couldn't figure out how to get up the steps on the dock. I had to rescue them.

    I live in a neighborhood but also waterfront. Even if I fence my yard in, they can swim to someone else's yard.

    They aren't afraid of dogs because my Border Collie has been trained to leave them alone. The other dogs in the neighborhood would not be so nice.

    My plans are to eventually let them be free range, but I thought they should be a little older first.

    So, since there is not much else I can do, I guess I have to figure out how to catch Mom & Dad. They are bonded and I can send him to the same farm the others went to.
    He can pick on his other babies.

    On the subject of pecking order, will the girls develop a hierarchy too?
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member 8 Years

    It won't be the same, there maybe some squabbles but it never amounts to much. I understand completely about others dogs, we just spent a small fortune fencing in more of our property so mine could free range with protection. Hope it all works out and ya'll enjoy you babies you keep.
     

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