Yet another hen/drake question...

TwistedTayy

Songster
Apr 30, 2021
475
818
161
Douglasville, GA
So I have a flock of 4 jumbo pekin (2 hens/2 drakes) and a flock of 15 Welsh Harlequins. The 2 pekin drakes and one of the hens will be meat birds shortly and the main flock will consist of WH (with the remaining pekin joining them because she has a really funny personality and she turned out to be a white layer). Its hard to tell the genders of the WH as they are only 6 weeks old but there are about 5 or 6 of them that are DEFINITELY female. which is great but that also means that I have 9-10 drakes lol. My question is at which point do I really have to be careful about them being together and mating? I know it'll be a while before there are any eggs but maybe the boys start younger? Ill have to post some pictures when I get home to see what ya'll think on the ratio, there's too many to count quacks and know where they came from.
 

KaleIAm

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 13, 2015
3,537
10,406
731
Carnation, Wa
So I have a flock of 4 jumbo pekin (2 hens/2 drakes) and a flock of 15 Welsh Harlequins. The 2 pekin drakes and one of the hens will be meat birds shortly and the main flock will consist of WH (with the remaining pekin joining them because she has a really funny personality and she turned out to be a white layer). Its hard to tell the genders of the WH as they are only 6 weeks old but there are about 5 or 6 of them that are DEFINITELY female. which is great but that also means that I have 9-10 drakes lol. My question is at which point do I really have to be careful about them being together and mating? I know it'll be a while before there are any eggs but maybe the boys start younger? Ill have to post some pictures when I get home to see what ya'll think on the ratio, there's too many to count quacks and know where they came from.
My boy WH ducklings started harassing the girl ducklings well before there were any eggs. I believe it was about 3 months old, but this was about 6 years ago. The boys were just barely getting darker head/neck feathers at that point. It came on pretty suddenly. One day they were all babies and the next anytime they had swimming water they were chasing the girls. They didn't do any mating, just chased them.

This was in the spring, I've heard that in the fall and winter it takes longer for boys to become hormonal.
 

ibarbidahl

Songster
9 Years
Aug 22, 2012
403
260
206
Odessa, FL
If you mean over-mating that normally takes longer than the initial chasing/pecking order stuff. You'll want to pay close attention to their first 2 molts though. Catching them before all those pin feathers develop or after their adult feathers are in is easiest for processing. Post a picture so we can guess sexes! :)
 

TwistedTayy

Songster
Apr 30, 2021
475
818
161
Douglasville, GA
I guess I got distracted yesterday taking photos because I only got one of this flock. They're still very skittish around me so they dont like me getting very close. The Pekins were like that until they figured out that I was the one that refilled the pools and food bowls but it took a while. Either way, I'm not worried but it makes pictures difficult.

IMG_1847 2.JPG


I'll try to take some more later but notice thats not even all 15. I do have to count them a few times in the morning and in the evening. They're much more active than the Pekins too lol. I think the drake on the far left is the one I will be keeping. He seems to be the leader and definitely has the most beautiful coloring.
 

KaleIAm

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 13, 2015
3,537
10,406
731
Carnation, Wa
They are beautiful.

I see many drakes, too. I wish I wrote down how old my ducklings were when things happened. That's about what my boy ducklings looked like when they started harassing the girl ducklings. The girls ran away from them and couldn't get access to swimming water anymore. They were very sweet to each other when not near water.
 

TwistedTayy

Songster
Apr 30, 2021
475
818
161
Douglasville, GA
They are beautiful.

I see many drakes, too. I wish I wrote down how old my ducklings were when things happened. That's about what my boy ducklings looked like when they started harassing the girl ducklings. The girls ran away from them and couldn't get access to swimming water anymore. They were very sweet to each other when not near water.
Hmm, I have 3 kiddie pools which is fine for the 3 flocks but do you think I should provide a couple more to solve that? The geese seem to want any pool that is being enjoyed lol so they do that to everyone else but I could always add more. Im more concerned about mating behavior because my goal flock number can't really afford to lose any females with what Ive got.
 

KaleIAm

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 13, 2015
3,537
10,406
731
Carnation, Wa
Hmm, I have 3 kiddie pools which is fine for the 3 flocks but do you think I should provide a couple more to solve that? The geese seem to want any pool that is being enjoyed lol so they do that to everyone else but I could always add more. Im more concerned about mating behavior because my goal flock number can't really afford to lose any females with what Ive got.
My solution was to remove the swimming water for a few days, since that was the only place the harassment occurred. I rehomed my little drakes pretty quickly.

Maybe you could put a divider in your run to keep your girls safe?
 

TwistedTayy

Songster
Apr 30, 2021
475
818
161
Douglasville, GA
My solution was to remove the swimming water for a few days, since that was the only place the harassment occurred. I rehomed my little drakes pretty quickly.

Maybe you could put a divider in your run to keep your girls safe?
They free range on about 2000 sq ft, which I can increase, during the day. And their run (which they've been sleeping in is 10x10 but I could finish setting up the coop and try to separate them in that at night.
 

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