Winter Housing and sex ratio of Cayuga ducks


In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 23, 2008
Ontario Canada
Well ive done alot of reading and am left with a delema

my managment plan for our cayuga flock (3 drakes, 3 hens) is to keep them in pairs during the breeding season, let the hens nest once there siting remove the drakes to a bachelar pad for the summer and leave the hens to rais the little ones till they get tierd of them and than move them to a bachelorett pad for the moult. Come winter (in our part of Ontario about the end of October, begining of November) I plan to move the breeders into there winter pen. Now here is my delema:

Most books and info resources recomend at least a ratio of 1 drake to 2 hens, i guessing this is based on a year round housing sitiation which includes the breeding season. Basicaly what im wondering is if anyone has any experience keeping ducks in a ratio of 1:1 during the winter period and could share there experience with fighting forced mating ect.

I just want some other more experienced oppinions before I go ahead and build a combined winter run.

and I do realize that some individuals are just naturaly more agressive so problems can always happen.


In the winter, drakes minds are more on keeping warm than mating. However, domestic drakes are more likely than wild ones to keep the action going all year long to a certain degree.

You can separate them with a low wire fence in the pen. Low enough for you to step over and high enough to keep them apart. Of course to save you the hassle, you can just monitor the situation and only separate if there is a problem.
I was kind of thinking the same thing that generaly I "should" be ok but there might be issues.

As for using the low fence, how do you find the drakes behave? I keep reading that in the absence of hens drake mallard derived ducks generaly get along fairly well (which makes sense since they spend a great deal of the summer together in bachelor groups in the wild). Do you find that they pace the side of the pen closest to the hens or doe's everyone generaly remain fairly calm.

I know we seperated our cayuga drake this year when the babies were ready to hatch and kept his pen beside the hens pen and he continualy paced all summr (there in tractors so he dident ware the ground down but..). We just recently moved the two babies (both drakes) out of the pen with there mother (about a month and a half ago) and put the drake back in with her. The Older birds have calmed right down and are quite relaxed but if the young drakes can see the other two the constantly pace the side of the pen closes to there parents.

Basicaly im just wondering if they can see or hear each other will there be excess stress involved for both parties. (I also had a brain wave to keep two seperate barn's one with hens and one with drakes and though I will have low numbers of birds I would keep my cayugas with Kaki campbells of the respective sex: hens with hens and drakes with drakes, but use the low fence to seperate the breeds. I figure this might work nicely to reduce tension)

if anyone has any other info to contribute to the subject I would be glad to hear it!

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