Introducing Ducks to One Another
We have had two adult ducks (a female Khaki Campbell and a male Indian Runner), and we decided to bring home a new critter. We chose a 5 week old female Indian Runner.
After asking the farmer if we should do anything special upon bringing home the new baby, she said no, but when we let the new girl out the male immediately chased her and tried to mount her. She was letting out the saddest little sounds, so we separated her from the two adults and put everyone to bed.
This morning I tried it again and the male showed the same awful behavior and she was just as terrified. Instead of punishing her, I left the two girls out and locked up the boy (Drakecula), but his mate (Mina) is distressed by the separation (she's not beating up the baby though).
Aside from separating them, does anyone have any other ideas? Do we need to just bring our baby back and maybe try an adult? It would be really sad because she is so darned cute!
Thank you all!!!!
At 5 weeks the bird is barely feathered & way too young to be integrated. Even as an adult, you can expect the Runner drake to mount her every chance he gets. Ideally, you should have 3-4 females to a drake to avoid injury or even death. Either return her or get a couple more & keep them separate but visible for another 6-8 weeks & then introduce them in a neutral area.
BTW...please, don't anthropomorphise their activity. They're poultry, not humans & the behavior was perfectly normal. The book suggested at the top of this page is available in most feed stores, TSC, etc. & is an excellent reference for anyone keeping waterfowl. The person who sold you the bird could benefit from it as well.
Correction to previous post
She's actually 5 months... not 5 weeks. I don't know what I was thinking.
Presumably that changes the responses here!
As with all birds it takes a little while for them to get used to each other when you introduce a new one. I would keep the new duck visible but penned up a few days to give them a chance to get used to each other and to give her a chance to get used to her new home...and when you finally do introduce them to each other the drake may still be a little aggressive for a couple of days.
Yes, that does change things . . He's still going to be after her every chance he gets & separation just makes it new every time . Runner drakes are nortorious for that. I'd get at least one more duck & let them work it out.
Originally Posted by hpunzel
Separation was the key. They are running around the yard happily now. Both of the older ducks are still occassionally aggressive, but nothing that appears dangerous anymore.
Thanks for your help
ps- Evy- we're certainly getting another girl or two, but this time we'll do a better job putting them together... and no more little ones... only adults who can defend themselves a bit better!