Why Do Ducks Stand On Each Other? (Biological Reasons)
You might have noticed a strange behavior in ducks, when in groups it’s not so uncommon to see them stand on each other.
Why do ducks stand on each other? It’s to assert dominance and establish the pecking order. It happens more often in groups of female ducks, but it happens between drakes too.
In a group of females when one is about to lay eggs, the other ducks will start to stand on each other. The duck that is standing on top of others will lay her egg first and then continue to stand on the others until she lays all her eggs.
When the duck that was standing on others has laid all her eggs, she will be allowed to stand in peace, but the others will still have to keep standing until they have laid their eggs as well.
It’s also a way of protecting their eggs from being eaten by other ducks or even predators.
So, the next time you see a group of ducks standing on each other, don’t be alarmed. They are actually just doing what comes naturally to them.
How Does Duck Pecking Order Work?
Ducks are generally very social animals. They love to form flocks and they also engage in social activities like swimming, feeding, and roosting together. Ducks are also very territorial and they will fight to protect their territories.
When it comes to mating and laying eggs, ducks also have their own pecking order.
Pecking order is a hierarchy of power or status among individuals in a group. Ducks have a social hierarchy just like humans do. The highest ranking duck is the one that is dominant in the group. The ones that are lower in rank will be submissive towards the higher ranking ones and will be allowed access to food only after the higher-ranking ducks have had their share.
The dominance or higher-ranking duck doesn’t necessarily get all the food for himself; he shares it with his fellow ducks as well if he doesn’t need it all at once. The lower ranking ones will wait for him to finish so that they can eat what’s left.
In addition to food, the ones at the top of the chain will also get the best spot in the nest and he will be allowed to mate with the females first. The rest will have to wait for a chance to mate with a female.
Ducks have their own ways of showing and maintaining social order. They have different body postures that they use when they are trying to figure out who is higher or lower in rank than they are and if they should be submissive or dominant towards another duck.
Also, they use different sounds like quacking, honking, hissing, growling, and snapping their bills as warning signs against other ducks who try to challenge them or trespass on their territories.
Danger Of The Pecking Order
If you want your ducks to live happily together without fighting each other, then you need to understand how pecking order works so that you can avoid problems like injury or death among your ducks. You need to make sure that your ducks are not fighting for rank and that they are not bullying each other.
For example, if you have a duck who is always the first to be fed, then he will be very aggressive towards his fellow ducks and will bully them out of getting the food first. This can lead to injuries like broken bones or broken eggs.
If your ducks are constantly fighting over food then they will also get injured because of all the chasing and pecking which happens during feeding time.
If you want your ducks to live together without problems, then you need to make sure that no one is bullying or threatening anyone else.
Like in all species of animals, dominant individuals do not like it when their social order is challenged by others and they may try to exhibit their dominance by being aggressive towards those who challenge them.
You also need to make sure that your ducks are not having aggressive disputes with each other over territory or mates so that no one gets injured during these disputes.
See Also: Why Do Ducks Pant?
It is perfectly normal to see ducks standing on each other, they are doing it because they are trying to determine who is the leader and who is the follower.
This is done in order to establish the social hierarchy of their group. Ducks have a very strong instinctive need to establish this hierarchy, and so they will do whatever they can to determine it.
If you allow your ducks to live in peace and harmony with each other, then they will be able to establish their social order without any problems.