as you know my ducks are still young not even at the egg laying age but boy do they practice alot at mating.
These past few days Treacle will not stop chasing Candy around the pen, he will grab her anywhere to try and bring her down, when he does manage to get her by the neck then hold her to the ground it is then Fudge that trys to mate with her, she really does object, sometimes she will stand still in the end then they just seem to give in and walk away,
Is this normal as i have read on here that its normaly the girls who instergate mating
she does seem to be getting very frightened of the boys, she will walk away if they come near and is often on her own,
this behaviour even goes on in the shed at night, the other night i did seperate them as i felt she needed a break but not sure if this is right or not
I know its all part of growing up and pecking order but sometimes its very hard to see
normal or bullying(33 posts)
as you know my ducks are still young not even at the egg laying age but boy do they practice alot at mating.mo x
Hi Mo, unfortunately it's the rivalry between the boys thats the problem here.
Fudge is top drake and he sees all the girls as his, but as Candy seems to be the easiest target, Treacle will try to mate with her, and thats when Fudge steps in as he won't have treacle stepping on his toes. This is exactly what happens in my garden which is why we have had to seperate the drakes. None of my adult females will let Gordon near them and run squawking if he tries. If George ever gets access to flipper he will mate with her against her will, and Gordon does the same with Lucy and tries with Matilda who wont stand for any of his nonsense. He doesnt try with Abbie who is top duck.
I really dont know what to suggest but a trial seperation, putting one of the other females with Treacle.
I had a feeling this would be your reply, its strange because fudge doesn't go near Candy normaly or Sugar, Sugar so far has had no attention from either boys
Fudge and toffee are defo a couple, but you know when they have mated and the drake runs around all chuffed with him self, well treacle runs round with him as if he just scored too
thankfully there is so far no signs of squabaling between the boys,
its just happened again and she is actually not letting either of the boys mate with her which is either good or very strange, roll on the end of summer lol xmo x
Sorry to hear of your coupling problems, it's so worrying when one duck seems to be mis-treated. We started off with 4 drakes and 1 duck, 3 of the drakes always picked on poor Jim, he was never included in anything, so we decided to sell those 3 drakes and buy 3 girls, so now Jim is top dog, but fortunately as there are 4 wives to choose from, everyone gets a break now and then.
Hope everything sorts itself out, and I think separating is a good idea.Rachel
I have the same problem with my large drake, he pesters my poor wee older call ducks.
I have to put him inside the pen sometimes and tell him to behave, he has the 2 bigger ducks but the wee ones are easier to overpower, I suppose old habits die hard, as they were they were there first along with him, like you I am counting down the days until he is cooled off again. I try to keep the small ones round the side of house, but he can sneak round. He has cut my wee ducks on the head and then sometimes Jill gets attacked by him too and also one of the other drakes joins in as well too. Although Biggles sees him off many times and chases him all around the yard.
I get cross with him. I tell him you will stay in the pen until you learn to behave like a proper gentleman should, but he has not heard me so far!! ha ha.
well things have calmed down alot this weekend, in as much as Treacle isnt chasing Candy as much as he was, but Candy is not allowing either boys to mate with her, she litterally stands her ground, stands tall and they give in and walk away, she has always been the quiet calm one, but is becoming a bit of a loner, she stays near to the others but dosnt join in much, she quite often stands just in the edge of the pond while they are all having fun, and walks away when one goes near
Yesterday she seemed to take on a strange stance when she did want to go in the pond, she seemed to fluff up all her feathers and tuck her head down as if either makeing herself look bigger or more like the size and shape of a drake, if that dosnt sound too silly, and boy did she go for it and really had fun in the water.
I am now more concerned at her behaviour than the boys, has anyone else seen this kind of behaviour before and is it common to seem unsociable to the group and do you think they will just eventually leave her alone if thats how she wants things or will she really become an outcast
ps Sara none of this behavior was in the book i brought lol
Mo xmo x
Hi Mo, i think tensions will ease of come september and The boys will quieten down. Candy is queen but Fudge is the Prince and has chosen Toffee. Once he matures and becomes king (lol) he may realise who is who, and the position they hold. So for the moment he is favouring his floosy as his hormones have the better of him
My George favours Lucy but Abbie is top duck and his respect lies with her. They are mature ducks. Whereas Gordon chases anything that moves and unfortunately he got out yesterday and George had to grab him by the tail before he would leave poor Mattie alone. That saw him off!
It was good that Candy plucked up the courage, fluffed herself up and said "I'm going in - get out of my way!"Sarah L
It is interesting to hear about and observe the beahaviour of the ducks.
Some of my larger ducks will take on a drake stance and sometimes mimic the drakes mating habits as they exert their authority over the smaller ducks. I assume this is establishing or asserting their pecking order over each other. Little Princess is one of the smallest of my khaki ducks and she was also poorly earlier in the year. she gets alot of attention from Sir Francis and I don't think she likes it. She will keep her distnce from the group and everyday doesn't venture as far as the others. Sometimes she is left in the veg garden by herself or with one or two of the other small ducks. She seems to enjoy the peace and quiet and she knows that I will feed her extra bits of lettuce and so she is getting tamer.
With Maria's ducklings there are three khaki campbells so I am hoping that they will eventaully mix with mine if I decide to keep them and they are the right gender! I am getting very attached to Maria's ducklings, especially as most of them were already named!
Hope the dynamics of your group get sorted. It is certainly interesting observing. I hope to write some books about keeping ducks. I am half way through writing about incubating duck eggs using an inncubator but am by no means an expert can only speak from my experiences!
As you say the book you got doesn't mention the behaviour, they rarely do. I think a brilliant book for new duck keepers or duck enthusiasts would be a compilation of experiences of duck keepers and what they have encountered whilst keeping their ducks. Maybe with everyone's permission I could compile I book with all out experiences. Each chapter could be a different duck keepers experiences. I could take some of the info from the forums and then send everyone their chapter for additions to be made. We could sell the book on my website as an ebook and look at publishing/self publishing it and sharing the money between the contributors. Let me know what you think!
Sara @ farmingfriends
thanks Sarah and Sara, as i said roll on the end of summer. im glad you both understood my description of Candys stance if you havn't seen it, it would sound strange, lets hope by next spring they really do sort themselves out, i don't think Treacle is a bad duck just imature as they all are,
Sara your book sounds a good one, I have learnt so much from people on here than is ever written in books, I have said to my Pete, if I ever plan to get other animals ie goats in the future, I will find a forum about goats and find out what really goes on before getting any
Mo xmo x
Hi Mo, I used to want to have goats too, especially as my son had to have goats milk as a kid (lol) but having spent some time with a couple, they are very smelly and voracious with shrubs and washing. Fine i'm sure if you have lots of land and stables etc oh and you like goats milk and cheese etc. (i hate it)
Sara, the book sounds like an excellent idea.
Love the book idea Sara, I'm sure you could find enough material from this forum for a few volumes!!
It is amazing how ducks develope different personalities. Larry our little Khaki X duck is very much her own girl, she does what she wants, goes where she wants and it sometimes drives Jim mad as he like all his girls to keep together, so he spends alot of his time running across the garden rounding them up and trying to keep them together. Daphne (white campbell) is always first to get to the pellets, sometimes even helping herself from my pellet bucket before I've had a chance to put any in their feeder. Shirley loves being in the water by herself (always wanting some 'me' time while she preens) and Phoebe is generally the one hanging behind and isn't the first anywhere, definitely a follower not a leader. Jim is just gorgeous, proud, always the first to notice me coming, and very glad to have 4 girls all to himself of which he is very protective, especially Larry!Rachel
Hi Mo, Stay clear of goats, they are a nuisance. We have one roaming our fields at the moment that has escaped from its owner 4 times over the last few months. Once the sheep go on the forest the goat will be gone too!!! They are very hard to keep in as they will climb over any fence unless well electrified.
haha didnt need to find that forum then girls, what do you know about miniture donkeys then ? of course this is all dreaming for now lol xmo x
ok so now for the past week Sugar is the target for Fudges attention, I don't know why but neither of these girls want to mate, hopefully its just their age but the situation is getting really sad, they are sometimes spending all their time trying to get away from the boys, hiding behind shrubs and under the bench
A couple of times latley i have put Candy and Sugar on their own with a paddeling pool just to make sure they can have a good splash around as they were chased out of the pond everytime they went in it. every morning is the same the minute they get in the pen the chasing begins, so this morning I have put the 2 girls on their own straight away and to see them splash around in the pool is wonderful what a nice calm start to the day compared to recent mornings,everyone seems happier, I will put them back together shortly so as not to make them strangers, I really hope that im not making things worse by seperating them but feel its for their welfare
Two of my duck, Little Princess being one of them are always being chased by sir Francis as they are the smallest. Little Princess sometimes stays closer to the farm to keep away from the attention, so this sounds like normal behaviour. I am hoping that some of Maria's khaki's are female and can be friends with my lot!
Sara @ farmingfriends
Really interesting topic posts here - and I can tell that you are all passionate about your ducks, so you might not like what I'm going to say...
The drakes are acting like drakes - they have, I think, the strongest sex drive of any animal I've ever come across, and my years of keeping ducks suggests that the fair limit is one drake to six ducks unless you have acres and acres of free range, and even then.... I know I have to be ruthless in dealing with drakes - using them for meat, selling them on, and having a drake only pen for the surplus chaps, which they seem to be more than happy about. Making sure the drake isn't of a breed larger than the ducks is also a kindness - an Aylesbury drake with call ducks is putting the female's lives at risk and they will be run ragged. I know it's really hard to part with pets and not always easy to get enough females, but for the person who isn't bothered about eggs, a gang of drakes (don't be tempted to chuck in one duck for luck!) works really well. Females love a drake in their group, but 2 or 3 of them can really make their life hell :(
hi Mopsa, I know the drakes are acting as drakes, my concern at the moment is that 2 of the 3 girls seem uninterested in the attention of the boys, all of them are under 20 weeks old, if needs be next spring i will seperate them and have two groups but for now im doing my best to keep all of them happy as is my responsability, this mornings short seperation has worked as they are all now calm together eating and acting as young ducks should be, im sure the chasing of the girls will happen again but at least they enjoyed their swim on their own for a while
I maybe a softie pet owner but live in hope of having a happy contented group of ducks
I'm sure you'll have your contented group m40mo! Even at that age too many drakes spoil the broth (if you see what I mean). The drakes may feel rampant well into the autumn as they are just coming into their prime, and that does make the females unhappy. I think drakes must be at the top of the evolutionary tree, having such a strong instinct to reproduce...it's just a case of human intervention to balance out the numbers. Good luck.
Just when I thought tensions were easing with MY drakes, They have started at each other again through the wire netting. Sometimes George will even run up the length of the garden just to shout and gesture at Gordon. Gordon had him by the neck feathers through the netting yesterday, so perhaps they won't ever be able to go back together again in winter like I had hoped and if allowed to mix, Both males will go for the other females without consideration or the courtesy they show their partners.
At least they are all tolerant of the ducklings :)
As you have the time and the desire, I think its great that you give the girls plenty of chillax time on their own. Perhaps Toffee could be included in the gathering so they still remain within the group hierarchy, or does she upset the apple cart?
It is fair to say a group of males on their own is no trouble at all, but of course most people want ducks for their eggs.
thanks Sarah, as you say i have the time and desire to try and make this work, toffee did by accident get seperated from the boys and all hell broke lose as they have been together since birth, everyone is content with the seperation but do go back together normally when candy and sugar seem to want to so they do want to be with the others
sorry your having problems too xmo x
Oh boy, your troubles with drakes, I just had to poke my nose in! My dear Baggage, now happy with his four girls, has in years past had a go at anything and anyone who came near his girl or his territory. At one time his beak was shredded daily because he insisted on fighting with a disabled gull I had in the garden. Poor Gulleigh was timid and would run away shrieking with Baggage gripping his tail feathers and dragging along behind. Once successfully cornered by Baggy Gulleigh would of course lash out. Baggage apparently loved it. When Gulleigh had gone he turned his attention to my dd's pet disabled crow. Who wasn't a bit interested in fighting but Baggage would do his best to stir her into action. When that failed he'd parade up and down biting his own chest feathers in frustration. And before Baggy there was Mister and his constant war with a pigeon... Drakes...! Ruth
I'm just glad that we swapped ours. We started with 4 drakes and 1 duck, not a good mix, although it was only one of the drakes that had a hard time, not the duck. Anyway, we swapped 3 of the drakes for 3 ducks and Jim, the drake that was tormented is now in charge and very happy with his girls. I think you're doing the right thing Mo by giving Candy and Sugar some time out.Rachel
Mo, No, No No to goats, we let someone put them in our fields and they destroyed everything in sight , trees shrubs you name it and they are escapers to say the least .Hope your duckies stop there naughty goings on
Mama xGoose Girl
just to bring you up to date if you are not on face book, things are really setteling down at the moment and i dont think its all down to it finally being September
the big change has come from Candy herself, since starting laying eggs 2 weeks ago she is a different duck, she dosn't hide anymore and wanders around with the others most of the time,
she does, but only if she wants to, mate with Fudge, also she has developed quite a voice and does use it to put the boys in their place, she also lets me know when she is hungry lol,
the seperations ended days ago and she is more and more going in the pond with them, and when it comes to feeding them treats she is right there in the group makeing sure she gets her fair share, infact probably more than her fare share, especially if its tomato, thats their favourite at the moment
toffee and sugar are mateing with both drakes and treacle is at the moment excepting his second place, the boys arn't showing much sign of moulting but do seem a little calmer,
and the other big news all ducks now sleep together
i'm not daft i know things could really kick of in the spring but for now i am just really enjoying watching 5 ducks getting on very well together
that sounds like a wonderful improvement. Who knows, perhaps they will be ok with the present arrangement in spring too :)Sarah L
Great news Mo, Peace at last and hope it continues for your happy family. Best wishes to you and the lovely duckys. MamaGoose Girl
thanks Sarah and Mama, next spring is along way off, im just enjoying the moment as they saymo x
glad things are working out xxxlisa x
What a wonderful idea, out of all the books I have, nothing helps as much as asking you guys on here, and now I feel with my experiences I can help (only a little bit!!) But I think that is a brilliant idea!
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