The Back Story: So when I started out my duck enterprise it was with 3 little Khaki Campbell ducks I hatched in my incubator. You can read all about them in this post. Not long after I purchased a flock of 14 adult and juvenile Welsh Harlequins along with 11 assorted tiny ducklings and 2 goslings. Duck Dodgers was the leader of the pack of the adult Welsh Harlequin when they came to my farm. The others were happy to follow him to and fro around the property and he was easily able to keep the mostly juvenile drakes in check.
Well, some sort of predator (hawk or owl most likely) moved in who wasn’t partial to free-range chickens in the least was pleased to see I’d finally set up a free-range duck buffet. So she invited her raptor friends who especially enjoyed rare Khaki Campbell and Welsh Harlequin duck. Needless to say, I lost all the Campbell’s and most of the Harlequin in the ensuing months. Terribly sad and disappointing. I think I’ve got a good management plan figured out now but poor Duck Dodgers and his WH gal Blush have had to blend in with a separate well established flock since it’s just the two of them left from their old one.
Unfortunately for Duck Dodgers, that established flock includes two large American geese who are, without a doubt, at the top of the pecking order and are unlikely to ever be knocked from their lofty perch (not at almost 30 lbs and over 3 ft tall). But that little WH drake had to peck and push his way through 11 other ducks to regain some semblance of his previous position.
He was able to out-push the 3 runner ducks one at a time, the 2 Khaki Campbell’s gave him a run for his money but he eventually won that shootin’ match. He ran up against 2 rotund brick walls when he next had to challenge the Black Cayuga hens (Darkwing Duck #1 & #2). That little pecking match lasted a long time. He would challenge one of those big girls and she was always ready to put her head down and push him back with all her weight. One day I was watching the latest bout between one Darkwing Duck and Duck Dodgers. It was a vigorous shoving match and just when I thought old Dodgers was gonna win... one of the geese came over to break it up.
I wasn’t sure he’d ever out-shove those Cayuga, but watching him today it seems that he’s positioned himself just below the geese. Ducks are pretty subtle most of the time in their pecking order so I can’t say for certain, but I haven’t seen him spar with any of the other ducks in a while though I have seen him pinch a few to tell them to get out of his way… and they do.
It appears that meek little Blush isn’t interested in climbing the duck ladder so she’s happy to find another water dish when a flockmate is being rude. I did notice the other day that the Runner drake got a little pinch from her when he got too close. Guess she's not completely at the bottom ;~)