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Setting up area for housing and breeding Muscovy Ducks

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Author Topic: Setting up area for housing and breeding Muscovy Ducks  (Read 21413 times)
Duck Herder Extraordinaire
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« on: November 30, 2010, 03:28:27 pm »

As long as birds are separated they will always fight for awhile when put back together.  This is just the nature of the beast.  The only time I stress over combining birds is when there is a vast size / age difference where one might be seriously injured.  If blood feathers are being 'picked' from the wings, I separate.  If they're just pulling to show they're the boss that is fine.  If you see them eat the feather and then go for another - that's picking and is an all-together different scenario.  (Usually this occurs with juveniles and that is when the 'picker' gets dumped into a pen with older more mature birds to be put on the bottom of the pecking order.  The 'pickee' does not get punished and removed from the flock unless it continues to get picked by numerous birds - it then gets separated with a few others so it's never singled out - it's already on the bottom of the pack and removing it by itself will make sure it's always that way.)  Otherwise, you really just need to let nature take it's course and let them establish the flock dynamic.

As D_G stated, during breeding season there are going to be squabbles between drakes and if you have two drakes in a pen at that time I bet you're going to end up with at least one drake without a tail by the end of the season! lol  I have never had a bird seriously injured due to fighting, on my farm, in my situation.  That is not to say that I don't believe it can't happen ... just that with proper management it can be prevented.

During warm weather I would say if you introduce two reasonably equal flocks (size and/or maturity) together grab a hose or a 'stick' and stand by to watch the action.  If they really get aggressive break them up.  If you're spraying icicles out your hose it might not be as effective! lol  A broom will do, too!

(I have duck herding sticks around usually and can use them to pry birds apart or at least put my presence above their personal conflict in their minds.)    
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The information I have provided in this message is based on my own personal experiences, the experiences of others who have shared their experiences and knowledge with me, and a dash of opinion thrown in for extra flavor.  Your mileage may vary! Shocked)

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