Will a drake kill a female during mating?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by SassyKat6181, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is my first season with ducks. The Mallards are about 14 weeks and the Campbells are 12 weeks. Today I witnessed for the first time the male trying to mate the female. Unfortunately it was the crested Campbell and he had her crest in his mouth and would not let go. She was clearly upset and vocal about it. Do drakes ever drown the female? They have a small kiddie pool, so it wasn't too deep. Thanks
     
  2. cat1994

    cat1994 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2010
    Southeast MO
    I have seen a female get really upset and become very vocal when a drake was breeding with her, but I have never had a drake kill a female. One of my females did have a bald spot on her head from the drake pulling out her feathers when holding her feathers in his mouth while breeding, I just gave him an extra female so he was busier and could not spend so much of his time with the bald female, so she soon recovered. Now if you do have too many drakes and not enough females the drakes can pile on top of a female all at once and drown the female, this has never happened to me, but a friend of mine that has muscovy ducks had this happen. First she just found a female in a kiddi pool dead and didn't really know what killed her, but she eventually saw most of the drakesÂ’ pile on one female all at once and she had to run and get the drakes off of her and of course get rid of most of the drakes.
     
  3. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

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    Quote:They can drown them(not likely, but it can happen) and you have to watch the Crested hens because the males can actually kill them during breeding due to head trauma because of the hole in the skull.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I have also heard of this happening. What's your drake to female ratio? I've been told one to three is minimum, with one to six being better.
     
  5. RavenStorm

    RavenStorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A friend told me about her Khaki Campbell drakes not having enough females. They would pull any chickens that got too close to the pond into the water and drown them while trying to mate with them. I've heard that duck drownings are much more rare, but they do happen. I'd be more concerned with blood loss from violent feather pulling though, or infection if the skin rips of the female's head.
     
  6. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yikes! Glad I asked. I had no idea that the crested had holes in their heads [​IMG] I didn't order crested, but Ideal sent them in my order. Two have very faint fluffs on the back of their head, but the one he had yesterday actually has two crests (back and side). I have 3 mallard drakes in with 11 females.....1 mallard, 3 pekins and 7 campbells. They are so pretty and well behaved, I hate to have to find new homes for them, but if this ratio won't work.....please let me know. My girls safety is more important, as I have them for pets and not for eating ot breeding.
     
  7. RavenStorm

    RavenStorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:When you have just one male, obviously you don't need as many females but it helps so that the drake doesn't focus on one or two and hurt them with their ... vigorous attention. With multiple males though, the number of females that would be fine with one boy has to be bumped up.

    Since all of your males are mallards (are they true mallards, or Rouens?), they should be fine with a ratio of 1 male to 3 females. It's odd that they are still hurting your girls. The males are about 14 weeks though, right? I've noticed that males are more clumsy and demanding when they first hit puberty. They don't know what to do and they go nuts with the new urges. Hopefully they'll mellow out as they age and get more practice, and the females get used to presenting and submitting. Remember that the girls don't really know what to do at first either.

    If there is a serious problem with the crested though, I suggest separating her some way that still lets the gang have visual contact, but that the males can't get to her. Let her heal, and let the boys practice on girls who aren't vulnerable to injury like the crested is. Maybe space is an issue? Are they free-range? What's the size of their area?
     
  8. Oghdoff

    Oghdoff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I read on one of the hatchery websites that there are different ratios for different breeds. I think it was Matzer.
     
  9. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Western Mass
    Quote:When you have just one male, obviously you don't need as many females but it helps so that the drake doesn't focus on one or two and hurt them with their ... vigorous attention. With multiple males though, the number of females that would be fine with one boy has to be bumped up.

    Since all of your males are mallards (are they true mallards, or Rouens?), they should be fine with a ratio of 1 male to 3 females. It's odd that they are still hurting your girls. The males are about 14 weeks though, right? I've noticed that males are more clumsy and demanding when they first hit puberty. They don't know what to do and they go nuts with the new urges. Hopefully they'll mellow out as they age and get more practice, and the females get used to presenting and submitting. Remember that the girls don't really know what to do at first either.

    If there is a serious problem with the crested though, I suggest separating her some way that still lets the gang have visual contact, but that the males can't get to her. Let her heal, and let the boys practice on girls who aren't vulnerable to injury like the crested is. Maybe space is an issue? Are they free-range? What's the size of their area?

    Yes, they are true Mallards. This was the first time I actually saw this happen, not sure if it was "his first" [​IMG] The female went in for a swim and he jumped right in on top of her. She tried to get away, but he had her by the crest. It was probably only about 30 seconds, but this is all new to me. They are about 14 weeks. It is only the largest drake that I have seen this behavior in, the other two actually do the head bob thing to him.

    I fenced (2x3 galvanized wire) in one of our outdoor rings that attaches directly to their coop/stall. The run measures 100' x 50' and is covered with flight netting about 15' high. They share this space with 24 chickens (they have their own coop/stall). Thanks
     
  10. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    If the duck makes a lot of noise, that does not mean she is upset. That is a normal part of duck mating.

    If you have too many drakes and too few ducks, it is vaguely possible for one of your females to get drowned, but it is rare. It's important to not keep more drakes than your flock is suited for.
     

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