duck troubles

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duck troubles

This is a discussion on duck troubles within the Other Pets forums, part of the Life Beyond Horses category

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    07-22-2009, 10:23 AM
Green Broke
duck troubles

So we've had our six ducks since April and I'm experiencing some problems as they're maturing. I have four Rouens (mallards) and two Pekins. The Rouens feather patterns are indicating that three are male and one is a female. I'm pretty sure one of the Pekins is a male as he seems to have "claimed" the female Rouen. He gets quite aggressive with the other males. Whenever they get in the pool he will get in and get on top of them and hold their heads under the water. He seems to be the most aggressive in the water, but when they're out wandering around he'll even nip at them or go after them if he wants to eat in their spot. I can't tell what the other Pekin is, I'm assuming maybe female because he doesn't attack that one. Here's my first question: having such a high ratio of males to females am I going to have bigger problems as they mature? They're only about three and a half months old right now. I hate to have to get rid of any or separate them as they all just wander loose during the day and get locked up at night. I was hoping maybe someone with experience in this area could help me out.

Here's my next problem. The Rouens fly really well. I mean really well. I was under the impression domestic ducks couldn't fly. All four will take off and fly huge circles around our property way above the trees getting farther and farther out each day it seems. After about ten minutes they come in for a landing as the Pekins nervously await. Here's my next question: does anyone know if they'll fly away come fall? They've not landed anywhere off our property (yet), but like I said, they seem to get a little farther out each day.

Well, any input is appreciated!
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    07-22-2009, 10:37 AM
I'm just guessing here, I've only had chickens. Any time I have had roosters in my mix I remove them. I don't want fertilized eggs and they are very hard (physically) on my hens. They will fight with each other sometimes till death (thus fighting cocks). My chickens if left in the open can fly high enough to get over a 6' fence. Clipping the wings will keep them from flying
I know yours are pets so you don't want to butcher them. I would suggest clipping the wings if you want them to stick around. The only remedy for the males picking on each other is to get more females. I think the reason the others are flying off is they are looking for mates.

Here is a good photo of wing clipping
    07-22-2009, 11:51 AM
Green Broke
Ideally, your flock would be more females than males. Not only because of aggression issues, but to keep the females you do have from being over-harrassed by the males. If you do not want ducklings, you will need to either not have males in the flock, or make sure you prevent the females from setting a clutch by removing eggs that are laid.
Not all domestic ducks are flightless - the lighter bodied (such as rouens) are still flight capable, as you have seen. Wing clipping will help keep them more grounded.
    07-22-2009, 12:03 PM
Hi Jen. My three ducks are all male and for the past year they have all been aggressive with each other. The back of their necks are nearly void of feathers and there is some damage around their heads as well.

Not much can be done that I can think of. They get that way several times per day yet other times they are perfectly fine with each other.
    07-23-2009, 12:34 PM
Green Broke
Thanks, everyone! Maureen, that link was very helpful, thanks!

Well, maybe I'll see about trading the male Pekin for a female. I don't know, though, is having three males and three females still a bad idea? Should there only be one male to several females? As for the eggs, I was planning to use them for eating and in recipes. The problem I have, which I knew would happen, is that we're attached to all of them and if we had to resort to getting rid of all the males I hate to think of them ending up on someone's dinner table.
    07-25-2009, 01:14 AM
I've got 4 ducks. 2 pekings and 2 kharki campbells. Onlt one is a girl. Our guys are fine with her. They are a year old, and we got them when they were 1 month old. We never had any probs. Our boys are the best, although we got them at the same time, and got the female and another seperatly. One got taken by a fox(the male that was brought second).

The flying problem...
We clip our ducks wings. Not one.. they will fly in circles LOL. Six primary feathers down (the bigger ones if you don't happen to know). One of my sisters ducks 'Winter' all ways tryies to fly. Don't cut them to short neither to long. It helps if some one else is there to either hold the duck or cut the wings (with ordinary siccors)
    07-25-2009, 07:22 AM
We raised our three from ducklings also and for the first year there wasn't any of the aggression that we have now. It started pretty much after they turned a year old.
    07-27-2009, 06:56 AM
Well i'll keep that in mind .they are a year old this month! I can't believe its been that long. I'll keep an eye out though for an aggresion. Thanxs!
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