Bullying drake

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rick
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Re: Bullying drake

Post by rick » Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:09 am

I think Melvin needs a harmonica so he can play the blues until mating season is over. He's not giving you much in the way of options! I don't know ducks but re-homing Maude doesn't seem like a solution - he would just move his passions on to the next in line? I think geese have a closer monogamous bond but my impression of ducks is a bit more 'free love', medallion and all!
Girls come first - maybe let him out briefly and often?
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Marigold
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Re: Bullying drake

Post by Marigold » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:26 am

dorsetduckowner is our duck expert on here, she has vast experience, and I'm sure she is right when she says
"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."

Letting him out for short periods is only going to make things worse for him, by re-igniting his hormones at the sight of the girls, and certainly would be most unfair on Maude as she would inevitably be attacked every time. It was kind of you to take him in, but your only options, it seems to me, are either to keep him penned until the autumn and then face the same problem next year, or to rehome him, or to cull him. On here we often have people with comparable problems with stroppy cockerels, and usually it's a relief when the offending bird is off the premises, one way or another. As a poultry keeper, you just have to work within the limits of what's possible for you and best for the rest of the flock, and there's no need to feel guilty about culling a bird if he's attacking one of your females. Take him to the vet if you can't do the deed yourself, and he will just go peacefully to sleep on the table.
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Shell1553
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Re: Bullying drake

Post by Shell1553 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:21 am

I’ll be feeling guilty if I have to rehome him, cull him or keep him penned till autumm so I’ll not be winning either way. He’s a lovely looking duck too, he’s beautiful.

Today’s task is to sort a new pen out for him. The pen he’s in now has the pond in which my girls don’t have access to while he’s in there so I need to sort that out. I might have to start looking into animal sanctuary’s to see if anyone can take him in. It looks like he’s been taking his frustrations out of the teddy last night though. Poor teddy lol
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rick
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Re: Bullying drake

Post by rick » Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:49 pm

I'm no expert at all Marigold! Just interested and thinking out loud (an unfortunate trait.)
But it does sound like dorsetduckowner's regular solution is to keep them penned apart till the autumn and so that's not an unduly mean thing to do (despite some frustration on his part and the practical issue of arranging it.)
I wonder - do they need to be out of sight of each other? - would that actually make any difference to his drive? It would be good if they could see each other through the wire maybe as company? I'm asking because I don't know.
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Re: Bullying drake

Post by Margaid » Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:46 pm

Don't think being out of sight of the ducks would work Rick:-
dorsetduckowner wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:21 pm
if he cant see them he will call for them and probably get distressed. Its worth remembering that his testicles (internal) are currently about 500 percent larger than they are during non breeding season, that means he is producing a whole lotta testosterone which has to be directed somewhere!!!
It's a bit like breaking a broody hen - let them out too soon and they just go straight back to the nest box. I had an Exchequer Leghorn that went broody and looked like she was in danger of hurting herself against the separating wire. It took an enormous effort of will on my part to keep her there long enough.

Also my cockerel became aggressive to me, so much that I never went near him without a stick in my hand and had to be very careful not to get between him and his girls until the breeding season was over.

Recently I've been coping with an aggressive cat but a homeopathic remedy seems to have sorted him out - but I don't know what can be done about high levels of testosterone other than separate, re-home or cull. :(
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Shell1553
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Re: Bullying drake

Post by Shell1553 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:27 pm

Well I’ve had to let him out of the enclosure today to clean out the coops so I boxed in my girls with loads of stuff out the shed, so he could roam round the garden whilst I cleaned. One of my dogs was on the garden and Melvin attacked him! He’s a German pointer so quite a big dog! He’s quite lucky to still be alive! So frustrating...

Can ducks be castrated!? Lol
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dorsetduckowner
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Re: Bullying drake

Post by dorsetduckowner » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:35 pm

Hi Shell :)
you are not alone, this is happening all over with duck people. We just get used to it and have our separate pens ready for the season. This time of year I get calls about domestic ducks being dumped on rivers and public ponds, guess what, they are all drakes. I have 7 on my local river, huge hulking great big drakes. Their owner no longer has the problem, but the poor lady mallards on the river dont stand a chance and sooner or later the drakes will get duffed up by the fox.
You are doing the absolute kindest thing for him by keeping him separate, he will settle down and you will find your boys and girls will settle down either side of the fence from each other. I am looking out at mine now and one of my boys is happily snuggled next to the girls with a fence diving them. If he gets on the same side as them there will be rape/violence.
In regard to castration.... no you cant, their testicles are internal and very close to a major artery so the surgery is extremely risky, and the testicles can grow back. You can get the hormone suppressant implant (Suprelorin), it works if you get it administered before the breeding season (before the testes have grown) but sometimes it doesnt work at all, and it costs between £90 and £200 a go and only lasts a few months.
Rescue centres will have the exact same problems as you and as such will have to keep him on his own in a small lonely area.

If at all possible, just keep them separate and make it part of your duck routine. He MAY settle down when he's over 4 years old. The 2s and 3s are the worst.

You sound like a fab duck Mum :)
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Shell1553
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Re: Bullying drake

Post by Shell1553 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:07 pm

He’s not even 1 yet 😭 he’s 1 in May. So I’ve got 3 more year of this then? Lol

I just can’t believe how much it’s all changed so fast from them all living nicely together to this. I certainly wasn’t expecting this.

Do you think after breeding season he’ll accept Maude back into the group?

I could have killed all the girls today to be honest, I’ve got a rockery that I’ve just had to buy a taller fence for because the girls thought it was a good idea to eat all my daffodils, the size of it I thought would help keep my tulips safe... nope! The girls trampled the fence down and ate them! Ducks! Who’d have them! 😂😂
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Re: Bullying drake

Post by dorsetduckowner » Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:42 am

Ahh welcome to ducks :) Forget flowers/grass/anything clean/any kind of life. They are 100% worth it though, the joy they will bring you and they will always appreciate goodies :)
They do seem to change overnight when those hormones kick in!
I used to get stressed about seperation pens during breeding season, now its just part of the routine. It removes stress for you and the ducks and you still get to enjoy them :)
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Marigold
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Re: Bullying drake

Post by Marigold » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:06 am

Yes, I imagine it's like shutting a broody hen out of the nest box and penning her somewhere with lots of light and much less comfortable. Hard to do the first time, but easy once you've observed the benefits when she returns to normal.
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