4 day old


May 27, 2021
Austin, Texas
Droppped off pullets at my friend’s house and said yes to taking in a lone duckling that had just hatched. She’s drinking if I dip her beak in water but not really eating yet. Does that sound normal? Pooping tiny little, very occasional poops.

One eye is a bit swollen. No pus or anything.

She’s snuggled by me most of her waking hours.


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At four days old she should be eating and drinking. What are you feeding her? Are you mixing her food with water? Make it into a mixture like runny grits or mud. Then dip her bill in and see if that helps.

As for the eye, has she been with chicks? Chicks like to poke at ducklings shiny eyes. Usually they are fine in a day or two.

I assume you know ducklings are best kept with other ducklings. Why only one? Are you planning on keeping her with you all the time, like now? If not, you might try to find her a friend. She is a cutie!
Flockraiser. My others didn’t need it wet but I’ll try that.

Solo for now, we’ll see how it goes. Thinking she’s a house duck maybe… truthfully I did not want to brood again right now but this one was too hard to say no to!
Wet food doing the trick, thank you. I think that’s what I’ve been using on her eye, which looks better this afternoon.

I know I should do a friend but… right now she could join our hens eventually or be a house duck? I just delivered the last roosters from our first hatch and I’m so not up for brooding another group or dealing with boys. But my friend’s surprise lone hatch was hard to say no to.

I’d love to get an older same sex friend though when we know what she is. We can give lots of attention through summer.


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This little mite may get quite depressed on its own: ducks eat poorly and lie around, head hidden in a corner or by a feeding bowl, doing nothing when they are depressed. You say it is snuggled up by you mostly -- it needs to be with you -- able to touch you and being handled/cuddled for 8 or more hours a day if it is to be happy. I had a rescued duckling that I did just that with last summer while I tried to find age appropriate ducky friends. Mine was 5 or 6 weeks and following me round [he wasn't imprinted on me but was closely bonded] before I thought to contact a local wildlife rehabber rather than other duck keepers seeking ducky friends. My muscovy, initally got 2 ducky friends from the rehabber -- a muscovy and a pekin -- and settled down well with them, but was put out when it came to moving out to the duck coop from my house!! He still sneaks inside when he gets a chance and if I have him inside to talk to my family on Skype, when I put him down, he doesn't toddle off back outside like the other ducks do, he heads as if for the door but then makes an abrupt right had turn and goes and tries to hide in my bedroom!!

I really think that your duck does need ducky friends and will be happier leading a ducky lifestyle outside rather than being a house duck. If he is a house duck he is your close buddy for life -- and that could be for 12-15 years if you feed and treat him well. You have to take your house duck everywhere as ducks are social beings and need company. He will be very distressed left alone while you are at work or out for the day. You will have to take your duck on vacation with you. Having ducks is a commitment, but having a single house duck pet is a huge commitment. You won't be able to change your mind when he is 1 year old and decide he should be outside with ducks -- by then it will be too late. Did I mention that mine is still put out that he has to live in the duck coop? And he has been with his ducky friends since he was 6 weeks old!
Wondering what would work, because we don’t know the sex. A friend might get to be together or might not- I know one male and one female won’t work long term. If duckling is a he, he can’t live with my hens… this my idea to see what they are in 6 weeks then add another?
Wondering what would work, because we don’t know the sex. A friend might get to be together or might not- I know one male and one female won’t work long term. If duckling is a he, he can’t live with my hens… this my idea to see what they are in 6 weeks then add another?
You might wait, but the longer you wait the more difficult it becomes. If you add another duck now without knowing the sex, yours will be okay to live together until they are at least 16 weeks old and maybe longer even if one is male and one is female. You will have lots of time to acquire two more females to improve the sex balance. If you have 2 males, they can live together -- albeit not with your chickens -- happily ever after; and similarly 2 females can live together, possibly with your chickens, happily ever after.
Some chicks and ducklings get on. Your duckling will be a lot bigger than a chick that hatched the same day, and will grow faster and so extra care is needed. You might try the duckling and chick together under close supervision, initially, and see how they get on.

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