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Rapist Ducks

 
Alison Thomas
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We have rapists here - a hoard of 3 male ducks ganging up on 2 females. We have another 4 females 'in the pipeline' but these new girls on the block are just 8 weeks old. How old do they have to be before we can let them out of their enclosure?

The story went like this....
I had taken on board the advice of "one male good, more males bad" so initially we had one male and two female Indian Runners but the fox got a female. So we got 9 eggs and incubated them but only one hatched - a male - and he's become a family favourite. But he was lonely and the only other ducklings we could find at the time (last October) were Muscovies so we got two for company for him. They turned out to be a female and another male - sigh. So we incubated some more Indian Runners that hatched on Easter Sunday. I think that two were definitely female and one we're still not sure about. They squeezed through the enclosure fence last week unbeknowst to us and sadly one attracted the amorous attentions of the male gang and was killed. So we penned the other two in more securely and bought another 3 Pekin ducklings, all females. They are now 8 weeks old and I feel they need more space than they have but I can't risk their lives again with the marauding males.

Do the males just go round and gang-bang every female en masse meaning that no matter how many females you have you can only have one male?
 
Burra Maluca
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My muscovy drakes seem to gang-bang anything. Ducks, geese, your feet if you stand still long enough...

I'd definitely try to have a ratio of at least three females per male.
 
Saybian Morgan
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I'm sad to let you know but in free range birds a ration of 1 male to 12 females is kosher for fully fertile egg's, it goes down with confinement.
We had 1 to 7 and it was not stop stress on the females who were sitting on egg's and couldn't get a drink of water without having to be flattened into the dirt by a drake. When they hatched out and the ducklings grew up it was all out hell as the top drake can't be everywhere at once to push off the other males, so as soon as he was done with his ladies someone would show up and try to shoulder tag a female while the main drake was busy strutting. All six surplus males went into the freezer and we only kept 1 extra to the main drake in case of a predator loss. We keep all females and just eat the males and soon enough a coyote hoped the double fence swam through the pond and or main drake died defending the flock. His son has now taken over as our only male and he's at 10 females and still looking for more. 8 weeks is too young if you have adult drakes around they have no loving stroke and will warp bones and crush organs.
 
Alison Thomas
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Oddly our Muscovy drake has calmed down a bit - ever since my Goosey Girls had a go at him. It's the two Runner drakes that are the menace at the moment. They will not leave the poor Muscovy female alone. The children spend all day marshalling them off her - then the Runner female tells them off when they go back over to her. Oddly, no-one seems to be interested in mating with her at the moment though she was 'getting it in the neck' (now I know where that expression came from!) a few weeks ago then went broody for about a fortnight.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Burra Maluca
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Dale Hodgins wrote:I see anthropomorphism is alive and well. These are horny ducks, they aren't rapists.


Tell that to the goose - she had reason to be fearful!

 
Lloyd George
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Drake soup. We had a rooster here at one point...who was a little overly aggressive...he got a quick ride in hte pressure cooker...then we were back down to one rooster, who had this unfortunate habit of crowing at like three ayem...he also got an e-ticket ride...I just do not do roosters for the moment.
 
Katya Barnheart
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Location: SE Missouri, Zone 7a
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Yep, you gotta butcher/give away the extra males. Too many male birds is never a good thing
Ive got 6 females to 1 male ratio, and even with that the females get pretty tired of getting, as you say, "ground into the dirt".
And my male is a Khaki Campbell, and the most polite male duck I've ever seen. WAY more polite than any other breed of duck I've ever had. He leaves my muscovy and the geese alone. And most times he even asks (or duck equivalent) the girl ducks instead of chasing them down like the Magpie male did.
So I say butcher 'em all except for the one you like best. If he gets killed, there are always more male ducks to be had.
My duck's eggs had a 95% hatch rate this year, so no need to worry that you need more males to make the eggs fertile... one can do that!!
 
Amit Enventres
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I'm not raising ducks, but I can tell you some general rules I learned about cows that seem to apply through all animals.

1. Selective breeding. Find your nicest male and breed him - kill any aggressive or overly aggressive male. When you raise young males, find the nicest and use him as your next male. Keep doing this long enough, and you'll have bred a less aggressive variety.

2. Don't breed the sons to the daughters. Not good for genetics. If you save a son, find him some new ladies.

Hope that helps!
 
d.a. vatalaro
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Ordered two males with our initial duckling order, thinking one of them probably wouldn't survive. Both did. I've now two drakes to nine females, and it's two drakes too many IMHO. We're going to butcher one and see if the other calms down a bit. Our farm motto: "Mean Poultry Get Eaten". (okay, ducks are waterfowl, but you get the point).
 
Eric Ellison
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Location: San Juan Island, Wa.
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Poultry. Small domesticated animals.
Ducks, chickens, quail, turkeys, geese, dove, pigeon to name a few and even rabbit.


Eric
 
Nick Kitchener
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More than you probably want to know about ducks:
 
Valerie Acquard
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Location: North Woods MN
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Dale Hodgins wrote:These are horny ducks, they aren't rapists. I don't think that word should be kicked around loosley or for comical effect.


While I agree that rape should not be kicked around loosley, and I did strangely find this funny. I think that in this case rape is the right word. I say this because rape means non consent or the use of force. And I'm sure that poor little duck would not consent to being killed in such a fashion. No living thing would. So it is the right term. I'm trying to channel Stefan Molyneux here.
 
Tessa Lampe
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I must have the nicest drake in the world; he always "asks" before mating, doing the mating dance with his girl, and if she's not into it or walks away, he just leaves it at that. I'm new to ducks so I figured that was normal, guess not! Side-note here... is it normal for the drake to refuse to eat any of the good stuff and let the ladies have it? He's never even tried to eat a slug I've offered, but just stands there and lets the girls at it while he watches out for predators (me). Based on the above advice on breeding, he's a keeper I think!
 
Valerie Acquard
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Tessa Lampe wrote:is it normal for the drake to refuse to eat any of the good stuff and let the ladies have it? He's never even tried to eat a slug I've offered, but just stands there and lets the girls at it while he watches out for predators (me). Based on the above advice on breeding, he's a keeper I think!


KEEPER!!! Yes, that is perfect behavior for a gentleman drake! At least I read it is. My ducks are still young so I've yet to see all of this behavior, however the "lead" drake in my group of 5 keeps his eye on me when I toss them scraps and such.
 
Jay Green
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Valerie Acquard wrote:
Dale Hodgins wrote:These are horny ducks, they aren't rapists. I don't think that word should be kicked around loosley or for comical effect.


While I agree that rape should not be kicked around loosley, and I did strangely find this funny. I think that in this case rape is the right word. I say this because rape means non consent or the use of force. And I'm sure that poor little duck would not consent to being killed in such a fashion. No living thing would. So it is the right term. I'm trying to channel Stefan Molyneux here.


I would have to disagree with this. The ducks were mating and it's an instinct, not an act of violence. It's natural instinct and it's up to the flock owner to prevent such events from taking place. Not many matings in the wild are by consent of the female...many of them run and run and must be subdued before mating can proceed. That's just the way it goes and shouldn't be made into something dirty or bad by the observing humans..I think anthropomorphizing the situation can cause a lot of mistakes in animal husbandry from inexperienced humans.

Rape is a crime of violence, not a natural instinct, and has no place being referenced in the case of animal matings.
 
Landon Sunrich
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I don't buy the 'its an instinct so it can't be rape' argument. This is the excuse so often used by human males in many parts of the world/subsets of society.

Rape = violent action (using force) in addition to instinct (wanting to screw). Drakes are nasty little bastards - they will totally f*ck to death you're female ducks. It happens very often. I have always felt that drakes are best eaten.

Alright now that we're past that (an internet debate on what constitutes rape - that could turn ugly) I have a follow up question/comment regarding 'keepers' in the male water fowl community.

I'm pretty sure I have two female and one male Goose. I'm just going with my gut and observations here. The two 'females' have blockier heads and stockier bodies - while the 'male' is a little more streamline. T. Rex the 'alpha female' is the most talkative and social, but Punk Rock the 'male' always bathes first chasing everyone else out if necessary. Otherwise though he is one of the quietest, sweetest geese I've ever met. A gentleman he. If he is a man that is.

I don't know. Anyone got any good goose sexing tips? I know this is a duck thread - but seems like an ongoing discussion of waterfowl mating was a good one to jump in on.
 
C.R. Morehead
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Landon Sunrich wrote:I don't buy the 'its an instinct so it can't be rape' argument. This is the excuse so often used by human males in many parts of the world/subsets of society.

Rape = violent action (using force) in addition to instinct (wanting to screw). Drakes are nasty little bastards - they will totally f*ck to death you're female ducks. It happens very often. I have always felt that drakes are best eaten.

Alright now that we're past that (an internet debate on what constitutes rape - that could turn ugly) I have a follow up question/comment regarding 'keepers' in the male water fowl community.

I'm pretty sure I have two female and one male Goose. I'm just going with my gut and observations here. The two 'females' have blockier heads and stockier bodies - while the 'male' is a little more streamline. T. Rex the 'alpha female' is the most talkative and social, but Punk Rock the 'male' always bathes first chasing everyone else out if necessary. Otherwise though he is one of the quietest, sweetest geese I've ever met. A gentleman he. If he is a man that is.

I don't know. Anyone got any good goose sexing tips? I know this is a duck thread - but seems like an ongoing discussion of waterfowl mating was a good one to jump in on.


I am brand new here...first comment ever. I like how you look at things. They are nasty little bastards, ducks that is. I sex geese by doing the unfavorable...vent sexing. I know you can supposedly study them and see that usually the males are first in the water because ganders jump on and do the nasty in the water, so naturally, yeah they'll be first in the water and the females usually stand by debating about going in because, well...they know what's going to happen to them when they get in. But vent sexing gives you straight away confirmation. My boys say the gander ding-dong looks like a sea snail btw.
 
Matu Collins
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I have seen some terrible mating aggression in flocks of wild mallards with a high ratio of males to females.

I think the practical discussion of what to do with one's own flock of ducks belongs in this forum. The topic of anthropomorphism and the nature of rape/rape in nature is an interesting one to me, but one that belongs in the cider press forums.
 
C.R. Morehead
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Matu Collins wrote:I have seen some terrible mating aggression in flocks of wild mallards with a high ratio of males to females.

I think the practical discussion of what to do with one's own flock of ducks belongs in this forum. The topic of anthropomorphism and the nature of rape/rape in nature is an interesting one to me, but one that belongs in the cider press forums.


I believe the topic was started with someone being concerned about duck rape and aggression...not what one does with one's flock as you put it. And rather than labeling it anthropomorphism, it's more like just average farmers, like myself, putting things in layman's terms and not trying their best at being pretentious. But yes, our ducks will stalk their target and rape them. They have both raped and killed chickens and ducks. This is not your average aggressive mating. As far as cider press forums, I do not think they have anything to do with our discussion of duck rape. I also do not find the nature of rape interesting. Disgusting and outrageous...yes...interesting? No.
 
Matu Collins
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I mean that the topic of the discussion is the original poster's ducks and what to do about, as they put it, duck rapists. What to do about too many make ducks in a flock, what the best male/female ratios are.

The broader question of whether rape is purely a human event or if animals can be said to rape is the cider press topic.
 
Dennis Lanigan
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If you don't want to go down the long road of selection, you may want to start over with a new breed. In my experience Ancona ducks don't aggressively mate with each other. The females actively signal the males with what I think is a duck version of consent.
 
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