OK, Angi, this one is for you, (or anyone else with any comments to make, hee, hee). Any answers that forthcome from this thread may be beneficial one day to anyone who keeps Muscovy ducks and turkeys. (Ann, yes, I know too that you are going to remind me to become a member of Backyard Chickens, I am a bad girl, I know I should, but I am very hung up on my Beemaster forum, hee, hee).
I am sure by now that Whoppo is almost becoming a household name. For those who donâ€™t know who Whoppo is, I will elaborate a little here. Whoppo is my 5-1/2 month old Muscovy drake, who has recently come into his prime and knows that he owns his 5 ducks, but he thinks he owns he entire chicken and duck yards -- and can push me around. I have had several â€œtalksâ€ with this dude, but he still thinks that he commands the yards.
I must go back a little bit further again and explain who Abigail and Madeline are (and Richard too). They are my turkey hens and Richard is the tom. Beautiful creatures they are.
Abigail has taken on the job of being my protector, Angi told me that sometimes the turkeys will take their human owner into their flock, and I am indeed aâ€™thinkinâ€™ that I have bee assimilated and have become part of her flock (soon there should be tons of little parts of the flock hanginâ€™ round, there is 19 eggs in their nest right now) (I am snoopy, hee, hee). (Please donâ€™t tell me that snoopinâ€™ would wreck their plans of one day becoming broody).
Abigail does a pretty good job of protecting me from Whoppo. When he comes around me too much hissing and hiss away, she surrounds him over and over, making a sound like kind of a purr that really sends him on hi-tail out of there. And then both hens are making him go on the run. Oh brother, I guess womenâ€™s strength in numbers, hee, hee.
Now, where was I? I had a huge question to ask but I had to set the scene firstly.
Right, so tonight after supper I was outside still working on a huge dirt pile that my Son-in-Lawâ€™s Brother had brought over (actually several dirt piles). I have been working for two solid days, firstly with my oldest Grandson and the trailer we pull behind the quad. We would shovel the dirt into the trailer and then take it out back to dump it in some rather large divets. Eventually that part of the mechanical work was done, the rest must be done with shovel and wheelbarrow. That be my part alone. So I shovel and I push that ding dang blue wheelbarrow, eeks!!!
I heard the sound the Abigail makes when she is surrounding and intimidating Whoppo. I was listening while I worked and this sound seemed to go on too long (it probably was only about a minute or two). I went quickly over to the east chickenyard and I saw Whoppo chasing Abigail into the henhouse. I hurried faster. By the time I got there Whoppo was back outside, she was still inside. Donâ€™t know what really went on in the few seconds before I had a visual. I watched and I waited. Abigail came outside and then proceeded to attempt to intimidate Whoppo again. She was getting very very aggressive and I was getting pretty concerned. Turkeyâ€™s have a very pointed and rather sharp looking beak. Whoppo began to go away as fast as he could with Abigail hot on his trail, and I mean really after him, and then Madeline took up the chase too. Whoppo ran and ran and wound up in the covered sawdust paddock with Abigail right in there with him. I went to see what was going on, and I was actually quite fearful for the safety of Whoppo. She had him close to a corner and was starting to peck at his head. Eeeksâ€¦â€¦.I intervened. Donâ€™t know if I should have, but I was very worried. She left the sawdust paddock and he left too. Next Whoppo chased her into the chicken house. Something went on in there and she came out with him still hot on her tail. He grabbed some of her down feathers and had a mouthful. I got Whoppo to buzz off and Abigail and Madeline just carried on with their merry business.
I think that both turkey hens were a little upset with this whole episode because neither of them went happily into their roosts. I had to coax them to go in.
That is the story. I got a very distinct impression that turkeys and ducks got along quite well in the chickenyard. This event lends me to believe that this may have been some misinformation.
Is it normal for turkeys and ducks to fight? Whoppo is a very very large duck and I think if this continues, there could be some damage to either species of birds.
The next question is: is this ongoing extremely aggressive behaviour very typical of the Muscovy drakes? Whoppo is extremely possessive and aggressive towards his territory. The reason why I say this is because we had another Muscovy drake (which was just as big as this Whoppo dude), and he was not even close to being aggressive at all. Not in the slightest, and he was a great sire for a good couple of years, until he got killed by that nighttime creature, along with 9 others of his like.
If this behaviour that Whoppo is displaying is unusually aggressive, I have no issue with putting him in the oven (saving some yummy Muscovy duck for JP of course). I have other leads where I can obtain another drake. One that may perhaps not be this aggressive. He is certainly quite intimidating and I am getting rather tired of having to have these little â€œtalksâ€ with him, almost on a daily basis. I know one day, sooner or later I am gonna get that nasty bite on the calf (thank goodness I wear my gumboots almost all the time these days), but summer and shorts are not that far away.
So Angi, these questions are mostly for you. I know that you raise Muscovys and probably have had dealings with nasty old hissing drakes before. I have used the measures that you described to me to put in him in place, but honestly, I donâ€™t really think he is listening. Beautiful day in this beautiful life. Cindi