Saturday, April 2, 2011

an update

We have had overcome a couple of flock issues.

Missy, our female Pekin, who used to be number one in the pecking order, was getting over breed and abused by the boys, in particular Beau.  Her feathers were being broken and plucked out more than just the normal breeding behavior.  She was too afraid to get in the pool because of this, and in the process got "wet feather".  MamaDuck brought her inside last week and gave her a special warm bath and some extra love.  MamaDuck also did a "duck charge" (wings out, head forward, run forward toward the offender) saying no loudly and firmly, when Missy was being abused.   MamaDuck only needed to do this a few times and the flock seems to be getting back into balance.  Also her feathers are getting better too, since she has been given extra time to get clean away from the flock and outside of the muddy aviary.  
Missy getting her warm special bath and loving it!
This issue reinforces how important it is for the human duck parents/guardians to stay a loving protective and yet firm and in control part of the flock.  We have worked very hard to keep MamaDuck #1 and GrMaDuck #2 in the flock.  Because of this relationship we believe that the power issue could have gotten way out of hand.  Please note that we didn't intervene in the pecking order under us too much.  We know this is something that they need to work out.  Missy still remains at the bottom of the pecking order now, but she the relationships are better and she seems less depressed and more a happy part of the flock.

The other issue we have is that Keelyn got "sticky eye" again, and once again scratched her eye until bloody, which quickly got infected.  So we were back to washing out her eye and putting the eye ointment in it again.  Keelyn's eye is not 100% back to health yet, but is looking good.  GrMaDuck suspects this may be a reoccuring issue for her. 
GrMaDuck took them on a field trip out of the pen today. 
Below are a few pictures.

yummy yummy greens

ducks in a row

Here are a couple of phone quality videos clips
of our duckies field trip.

The first one is trying to catch them walking in a row.



Shanti Perez said...

I did a lot of research last year to find out a suitable male to female ratio and what I found was a suggestion of 1 drake to every 3 females. This helps cut down on the females being over-bred.

Megan said...

We have also seen that research, however it was also suggested that if your flock is smaller (around 5) then having an even ratio is alright. We know we're on the border of that ratio, but we are thankful that the boys have mostly worked things out by now. Mostly, we know that it is just their first mating season and they are naturally very competitive and aggressive during that time. They all seem to now be calming down a bit and picking "partners". Though, they are still ducks so being "partnered up" doesn't necessarily mean they are exclusive. :P