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Will my older ducks & little ducks EVER get along???

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by LauraL3, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. LauraL3

    LauraL3 In the Brooder

    May 2, 2010
    Hudson NH
    So here's the situation. I had 5 ducks (2 drakes, 3 hens) and recently lost 2 of the females (boo hoo!) so we were down to 2 drakes & one adult hen. At the same time we hatched out three ducklings. When they were old enough to be put outside I was BUMMED to see that the drakes are SO PICKING on the 3 little guys! I've kept them separated & have tried several times to see if they'll get used to each other, but to no avail. I know that at least 2 of the ducklings are females. I, for the life of me, can't figure out why they keep picking on ONE female duckling in particular. It's frustrating. Will they ever get along eventually?
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010

  2. Its a pecking order of sorts, the babies are automatically at the bottom because they are younger and smaller - and drakes even when the rest of a flock is established - will fight/pick/and 'dominate' males and females alike, especially when their aren't enough breedable females to go around...How does the adult female react to the littler ones? If anything I say pen the female and the little ones together in a good sized cage for a few days if they get along...Then add the nicer drake - and eventually the last drake...This may help form a flock - the female with the little ones, then she'll take up for her new flockmates - the second male will probably conform with the female - but there will still be nit-picking and bullying probably at food time...and then when you add the last drake he hopefully will just fall in line with the other two adults....

    Its an idea to try.

    I added 3 runners - 5 weeks old at time to my 16 week old flock of 7 and they all get along well - mainly they ignore the little ones - they are part of the flock when they rest and on the move but at food time - they do chest bump and nip at the little ones, so I always treat them special [​IMG] and give them a bowl of food at my feet so the big fatties won't steal.....

    Good luck, but the fact there are 2 drakes is going to make your transition difficult, possibly impossible until the ducklings are 10+ weeks because the drakes are hormonal and probably are wondering why they can't do nothing with the little ones and are peeved they don't have but one adult girl to share, and will take their ire out on the littler ones. How is your female duck holding up to 2 drakes' attentions?
  3. kylee2katie

    kylee2katie Songster

    May 6, 2010
    Stuttgart, Arkansas
    I have four 13 week old duck - 3 female and 1 male that I got at a day old. they free range all day but have a pen with a house for night time. I was given 4 babies (now 4 weeks old) The first day was a nighmare - the big ducks charged them, tried to stomp them, and would grab and flip them...I built a "day pen" next to the big pen ( 4 metal stakes and hardware cloth) and let the babies stay out in it during the day. The big ducks sit at the side and stare at them....this past Saturday, I let them loose in the yard with the big ducks while I worked on the pens and now they are doing great. The babies follow every step the big ducks make, and I think the big ducks like being in charge! They still don't share the big pool very well but it is getting better every day.
    I think the key is patience! A little time together every day (supervised at first) and in a few weeks, all should be well! Good luck!

    Here is a picture of my day time set up for the big ducks - I added a smaller version to the right for the babies.
  4. LauraL3

    LauraL3 In the Brooder

    May 2, 2010
    Hudson NH
    Great ideas! I caged the drakes today to see how our adult female Khaki would behave with them & she was fine. The babies are so skiddish from being picked on I feel like it'll be forever before they're tame again. Where the boys are the problem, I'll definitely try putting the little ones and the female together & separate the drakes! Because Spring is past, the drakes have settled down & are leaving my hen alone pretty much. Thank you so much for your input! I was ready to put ads on Craigslist out of desperation. I'll definitely wait a few more weeks to see if it all sorts itself out...

    Adults: a Khaki campbell pair, and a white runner drake (we lost his mate)
    Babies: Khaki famale & 2 runners
  5. justmeandtheflock

    justmeandtheflock Overrun with ducklings :)

    May 27, 2009
    NW NJ
    Mine are making progress. Once the younger batch was almost the same size I started letting them out around the bigger ones who kept chasing them off. Once I was sure that the little ones knew to get away fast when the big one wnet for them I stuck them in the house together at night. It is a few days later now and things are going well. They are making slow progress towards becoming one flock. I still have 1 more that is living with the chicks that I will need to integrate but it needs to grow a bit more 1st.
  6. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

    Nov 20, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    My ducks are okay with each other now... It didn't happen until the little ones were about 4 months old... once everyone was big enough to figure out the pecking order

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