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Wild Wood Duckling - Help!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

After a string of bizarre events leaving various baby animals at our doorstep, today we came home to find a wild duckling sitting smack dab in the middle of our driveway. He lead us on a brief chase before giving in and letting us carry him to safety where he promptly fell asleep in my hands.

 

He appears to be only a day old and is very eager to return outside. We've taken a couple of expeditions out to the pond and the woods to find his mother but only caught a meager glimpse of her before she disappeared into the thicker woods where we can't easily go. I have a brooder tank set up with a warm light, food and water but he's not too keen on even giving it a try. He just jumps, jumps some more, cries, goes to sleep, wakes up, and starts jumping again.

 

I would leave him near the woods where his mother was spotted but with no sight or sound of her it would most likely be a death sentence. Even our own Muscovies have wandered off out there, never to return. Only clumps of feathers remain. The area isn't particularly close to my house, so he'd be entirely at the mercy of nature without me being able to keep an eye on him.

 

Is there anything I can do to calm him down or maybe get him to eat?

post #2 of 4
I wonder if you can use the duckling's strong cries to help it get reunited with it's mother since she is still out there and the duckling would do better back with its mother. If you can confine the duckling enough to keep it safe and let it cry where the hen will will hear it, they might be able to find each other again. When I take ducklings from our hens they call for their babies and the ducklings call for their mother for days. It is so hard to break up a family but we do it because we sell most of our ducklings so they can start new flocks. A wild duck would be better left in the wild, though. You do not want it to get weak and die in captivity when it still has a chance to be reunited with its mother.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

It's been a few days and we've tried everything in the book to find the mother. I think she may be long gone, but hopefully she didn't get eaten. The good news is that the little one is starting to adjust nicely, he's been eating and drinking with the encouragement of another orphan who recently showed up at our door, a gosling! I've been concerned about the size difference between them, but the little duck absolutely insists on staying at the goose's side. We take them out to forage and then they come inside to nap on the bed with me and my girlfriend.

 

We're still looking out for his missing family, but I'm glad to see he has so much energy and a new companion.

post #4 of 4
Having a companion does help settle a baby bird taken from its family. They will probably do fine in spite of the size difference because they will be so bonded with each other. It will be nice if your little wild duck can return to the wild again once it is mature.
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