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Help! Found 7 ducklings on interstate

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

When driving home on the interstate this evening, my girlfriend and I noticed a line of ducklings between traffic and the road barrier. We were compelled to stop and rescue them.There was no mother in sight and they are too young to make it on their own. I'll call the animal shelter tomorrow to see if they're able to take them in, but it is such a small and overcrowded facility that I doubt they would take them or care for them if they did.

 

I currently have them in a pet carrier with shredded paper for bedding. For water, I cut a hole in the side of a covered container so they can put their heads in to drink. I finely chopped up some salad greens I had, but they didn't eat any. Tomorrow morning I'll pick up some feed and set up a temporary pen outside in a shaded area.

 

Please give me any suggestions.

 

I'll post some pictures tomorrow, but they look similar to and are about the size of attached picture. What kind of duck are they?

 

post #2 of 9
Contact a wildlife rehabilitation center in your area, ASAP. Many, like the ones near me, have specialized facilities to take them to.
post #3 of 9
They are mallards
LOVE MY DUCKIES
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LOVE MY DUCKIES
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post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately the nearest wildlife rehab is 4 hours from me, but I was able to find someone who is licensed to take them. However, she said she will raise them and release them once they're grown. From my understanding their likelihood of survival in the wild after being raised by humans is slim. A friend of mine who keeps two full grown mallards (illegally) said she would take all seven and let them live their lives out on her farm, but after mentioning that to the licensed woman whom I had contacted first was told it would be risky for her to take them.

post #5 of 9
Where do you live?
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by angierfind View Post

Where do you live?

Yes, this is important because it could be that these mallard ducklings are domestic, not wild. Here in Florida we have lots of domestic mallards for instance. Wild mallards winter here and then near spring time they fly back up north and that's where they breed as well, they don't breed down here. http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/managed/waterfowl/hybridization/

 

I would imagine this is true of other southern states, but I don't know for sure.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1111222334 View Post

Unfortunately the nearest wildlife rehab is 4 hours from me, but I was able to find someone who is licensed to take them. However, she said she will raise them and release them once they're grown. From my understanding their likelihood of survival in the wild after being raised by humans is slim. A friend of mine who keeps two full grown mallards (illegally) said she would take all seven and let them live their lives out on her farm, but after mentioning that to the licensed woman whom I had contacted first was told it would be risky for her to take them.
No no no! They cannot be released back into the wild after being raised in captivity. They will die almost instantly.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1111222334 View Post
 

When driving home on the interstate this evening, my girlfriend and I noticed a line of ducklings between traffic and the road barrier. We were compelled to stop and rescue them.There was no mother in sight and they are too young to make it on their own. I'll call the animal shelter tomorrow to see if they're able to take them in, but it is such a small and overcrowded facility that I doubt they would take them or care for them if they did.

 

I currently have them in a pet carrier with shredded paper for bedding. For water, I cut a hole in the side of a covered container so they can put their heads in to drink. I finely chopped up some salad greens I had, but they didn't eat any. Tomorrow morning I'll pick up some feed and set up a temporary pen outside in a shaded area.

 

Please give me any suggestions.

 

I'll post some pictures tomorrow, but they look similar to and are about the size of attached picture. What kind of duck are they?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1111222334 View Post
 

Unfortunately the nearest wildlife rehab is 4 hours from me, but I was able to find someone who is licensed to take them. However, she said she will raise them and release them once they're grown. From my understanding their likelihood of survival in the wild after being raised by humans is slim. A friend of mine who keeps two full grown mallards (illegally) said she would take all seven and let them live their lives out on her farm, but after mentioning that to the licensed woman whom I had contacted first was told it would be risky for her to take them.


I just went through this with a duckling we rescued on our property.  We took it to project Wildlife.  They care for it until it's old enough to fly and then release it close to where it was found.  They have a very high rate of success.  If the lady you spoke to was licensed to take them I assume she knows what she's doing.  I'd take them there or the rehabber.

 

It's illegal to keep wild mallards here too.  The hatcheries around here have to somehow mark their birds to show they aren't wild.  If your state is the same as ours it would be risky for your friend to take all those birds.

 

In the meantime, the little ones need a heat lamp to keep warm.  They can freeze to death very easily.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
I live on the border of North Dakota and Minnesota. I assume that they are a protected species in this area.

I doubt that my friend would get in trouble for raising the ducklings had I given them to her considering she lives in a secluded area far from city limits and doesn't breed or profit from them in any way. However, I chose to give them to the licensed professional in order to be sure my friend doesn't run into trouble in the future and in hopes that the ducks will be able to survive in the wild where they belong.
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