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Duck Behaviour


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We have recently purchased two young ducks from a local market and they have integrated well with our small flock of chickens.  All seemed well when we introduced the ducks to the chickens, however there is a problem with the two ducks. One of the ducks was missing a few rear tail feathers and we noticed that the other duck kept attacking the area on the other duck to the extent where he/she was drawing blood and eating the flesh.

We segregated them to allow the bloody and nasty wound to heal, the last couple of days we have reintroduced them for a short period of time but after a while the apparently brutal natured duck starts pecking and attacking the same area so we have had to segregate them again.

This is not what we want going forward as we want them to be companions , we weren't aware of this aggressive streak in ducks, is this common? is it due to the poor conditions they were probably kept in, prior to coming to us? Will the offending duck grow out of it? What should we do? If anyone has experienced similar problems I would love to hear from you.





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Thanks for the replys, the ducks are the common variety type that you see in all the markets, maybe the duck does think he/she is a chicken, who knows? the ducks behaviour is the same whether the ducks are on their own or with the chickens...........

Maybe I need to buy an older duck to keep the younger in check. You would have thought that they would have realised how lucky they are compared to so many? Ah well!!!!!!!!!



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  • 5 months later...
Hello S & S

I know this is a long time after you posted your request for

information, I have not long been a member and thought i would clarify

why your ducks were behaving the way they were.

ANY poultry, albeit ducks chickenss etc will always peck at a RED

region, it is the colour rather than being mean or crule that evokes

the pecking. This behaviour is often seen in baterry hens, hence the

owners of the sheds de-beak to try to elliviate the problem.

There are several main thoughts on why birds peck at those less

fortunate, one train of thought was that, as the baldy bird has no

feathers to protect the area it would quickly bcome infested with fly

strike so the companion animals are doing the injured bird a favour. I

am not completely happy with this train of thought.

As bald birds are generally lousy other birds are pecking at the lice

and just catch the skin, since the area becomes red the pecking

increases. Once the area is pink (having removed the lice) the birds no

longer peck the area. Seen this in action.

The other  one I have experience for myself, is, it is the colour

that stimulates other birds to peck. I had a duck that was mauled and

plucked by a dog, after several days of intensive care the duck rallied

and made the decision to leave ICU and join her companions. Obviously

she was very sore and very Red, the other ducks started pecking at her

red areas, making them bleed. So i sprayed all her red bits with

antiseptic blue spray, when ever the red started to show through, i

would repeat the process. None of the other birds pecked the areas. She

healed fine and became known as Mrs Blue. She produce 21 ducklings in

one brood last year so well worth the effort.

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