Bullying drake

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Shell1553
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Bullying drake

Post by Shell1553 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:14 pm

Hi everyone!

I currently have 4 ducks and a drake. I’ve had the ducks over a year and 4 month ago adopted a drake to save him.

Everything was going smoothly and everyone was getting on well until now...

lately my drake has taken a huge dislike to one of the girls, it’s got so bad that now he won’t let her eat or drink and if she goes anywhere near it she gets attacked. If she tries to go near the other girls she gets attacked. So all day every day she just wanders round the garden all alone. She’s missing quite a few feathers now around her body.

Before anyone suggests it he’s not trying to mate with her, he mates with the other girls but not her just constantly attacks her in a vicious way.

The only time she gets to get close with the other girls now is if I put the drake in the enclosure alone.

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated
Honk
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Re: Bullying drake

Post by Honk » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:21 pm

I had a drake doing similar with another drake to the extent that the victim was just hiding away afraid from the rest of the herd. I partitioned the bully in a pen away from everyone until the victim reintegrated (a couple of days) after which the bully was let out and although he waggled his bum and had a few pecks the status quo seemed to be restored.

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Shell1553
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Re: Bullying drake

Post by Shell1553 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:45 pm

Thanks for replying. Did you keep them apart at night too?
Honk
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Re: Bullying drake

Post by Honk » Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:37 pm

Shell1553 wrote:Thanks for replying. Did you keep them apart at night too?
Yes, I think you have to or they'll be straight on her again. Mine are free range in about 2 acres, they don't go to bed at night (electric fencing) so I kept the bullies (there were two of them) penned in quite a small area and they paced backwards and forwards 24x7 watching the rest of the flock doing their thing. Actually, I didn't let them out in the end, they "broke" free by themselves (they can fly, poorly) after two days but it turned out that was enough. I caught them jumping on the victim a couple of times after that but they were half hearted about it. I've got 16 and they're split about half and half male/female but apart from that one incident they seem to be quite a happy bunch. My main concern was that once the bullied drake was separated he just went and hid out of the way from everyone and never moved from there. I needed him to stay integrated and for the rest of the gang not to start to treat him as an outsider. It's possibly different to your situation as he was a young drake but the symptoms were similar: the other drake would grab him by the neck, stand on him (not mating) and he would just lie flat on the ground until they got off and let him run away. Whenever he tried to get close they'd be straight over for a repeat performance. I got my advice about the separation from the Internet and it worked for me, fingers crossed.

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Shell1553
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Re: Bullying drake

Post by Shell1553 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:52 pm

Wow 16! My neighbours would kill me lol
Yesterday was a bad day for my girl, it got that bad that I put the drake in the enclosure. There’s a pond in there too and he was happy as Larry. No pacing up and down or anything. Soon as he was out of the way though all my girls grouped back together like they were months ago. My bullied girl hasn’t laid an egg for around 2 weeks I’m putting that down to stress.
I’ll be separating soon as I’m home from work, just glad that I’ve already got a spare coop for him.
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dorsetduckowner
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Re: Bullying drake

Post by dorsetduckowner » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:09 pm

Hi! Bless you for rescuing him, thats a great thing you have done. In my many years of duck keeping I have seen this over and over and its awful to watch. Over the years I have tried literally everything, including chemical hormone suppressants for both the drake and female in question. It is always just the one girl and its heartbreaking. You are doing the absolute right thing, the only way you can stop this is to keep him separate for the breeding season which can go on for 6 months. I have 8 separate pens/houses during the breeding season... then come October they are all happy mixing again. It happens with wild mallards too, so don't think its anything you are doing wrong, or anything wrong with your boy. Good luck and you will get through the season!
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Shell1553
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Re: Bullying drake

Post by Shell1553 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:53 pm

Thank you 😊 it’s just so heartbreaking to see. I’ve had the 4 girls since they were a day old and always been inseparable until a few weeks ago. He’s in his pen now splashing around in the pond. The girls aren’t even fussed that he’s not with them whilst my bullied girl is running around the garden looking as happy as ever which is lovely to see. Hoping her feathers grow back soon. Feeling ever so guilty for him being in ‘duck prison’ though
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dorsetduckowner
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Re: Bullying drake

Post by dorsetduckowner » Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:25 am

Duck prison is a fact of life if you have boys ;)
Margaid
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Re: Bullying drake

Post by Margaid » Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:58 am

Better than the alternative!
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Shell1553
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Re: Bullying drake

Post by Shell1553 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:35 pm

Well he’s been in duck prison all day, I went in earlier to give him some veggies and he went for me! Clearly he’s not impressed with me 🙁 he can still see the girls, do you think that’s why? I don’t want to cut him off all together
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