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A rescued new little friend! (What is it?) *PIC HEAVY*

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by mlheran, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. mlheran

    mlheran Chillin' With My Peeps

    So I've had my six Magpie ducks for a few months and am just totally in love with them! (don't tell my chickens [​IMG] ) Their coloring is kind of quirky, and I call them my grazing "cow" ducks. They have a ton of personality and are simply a joy to share time and space with.

    Well I'm a member of a duck rescue Yahoo group and recently there was a post about two Magpies needing homes. I found out today that they already found a home, but after I went to the feed store I wasn't too disappointed...

    There in the poultry room -alone in a galvanized tub (cozy and cared for, but still alone)- was this tiny little duck staring up at me with the most pitiful and desperate expression (no, really!). I couldn't bear to leave the poor thing there, so I asked about it. Apparently a family had WANTED A DUCK recently and solicited all the local feed stores to get them one. One came through for them, but despite wanting a duck really badly they had neglected to look into whether they could actually keep one. It turns out that for whatever reason they couldn't have a duck, so after a day they took it to the feed store (a different, better one). So the little duck had been there, alone, for over a week!

    The staff thought the duck was female, but no-one was sure -not even me! They also said s/he had been in perfect health the whole time s/he had been with them, so I decided to get a small pen to keep her in for a while before letting her loose with the big ducks. I set it up near where the other ducks would be able to see her and got her settled in with food and water before going to see what my Magpies were up to. They got up from their nap and proceeded to make their boisterous way to the pool, but on the way something came running up to them!

    The little duck somehow managed to squeeze through the pen wire (the only door is on top and it was shut) and came running right up to meet her new friends! She must really have wanted to get out! [​IMG] It was bittersweet and hilarious at the same time. She was like, "HAI GUYS, let's be friends!" and they were all startled and, "OMG WHAT IS THAT?!"

    So my plans of a gradual introduction were thrown to the wind. [​IMG]

    Naturally, the two drakes don't like her much at all right now and run her off if she gets too close. One of the ducks does as well, but not as aggressively. Two of the ducks don't seem to care one way or the other, and one duck seems to have taken a liking to her. She was showing the little one around a little anyway.

    SO! After that rambling spiel I have a few questions for you knowledgable duck people. [​IMG]

    First, is it a "she?"
    There are a few "tufts" on some feathers that are growing out, so I'm assuming s/he's young still.

    Second, what breed is s/he?
    Is s/he a Call, or are Mallards (or whatever s/he is) quite small when they are young?

    And lastly, is there anything I should watch out for or be aware of?
    The drakes aren't being rough with her (no actual pinching or feather pulling), but I'm keeping an eye on them.

    Any thoughts are appreciated, thank you!

    Size comparison with the nearly five-month-old Magpies...
    [​IMG]

    While the others nap, the friendly duck shows her the best dabbling places... (please excuse my lack of garden this year!)
    [​IMG]

    A very pretty little duck, whatever s/he is...
    [​IMG]


    This is completely unrelated but, here's my first drake feather spotting! I'm so pleased that it's white! [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    She looks like a female domestic mallard, but you should be able to tell by her voice. She has her speculum feathers so she is pretty much full grown. Does she quack LOUD or just quack in 2 syllable words? (wahk-WAHK wahk-WAHK)
    If it is a male, you will see a color change, usually starting on the breast and working out.

    If it is a male, you will see something like this
    [​IMG]

    Then like this

    [​IMG]

    Then finally this
    [​IMG]

    Then later he will molt and look like he does now, until next spring.

    If it is a female, she will look like she does always.
     
  3. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    That's a hen Mallard.
     
  4. mlheran

    mlheran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you SO MUCH for those pics -I've been looking for male molting pattern pics all day! *saves thread*

    As for the quack, well, s/he only quacked when s/he was running up to the others -and they were quacking in surprise, I was surprised and worried, and in all the confusion... I'm not sure. I think it was a QUACK, not a wahk-WAHK. But s/he's been trying to make herself inconspicuous since her arrival, so I think I'll have to wait and see.

    Thanks again! [​IMG]
     
  5. mlheran

    mlheran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks, mac! [​IMG]

    Do either of you think she's a Call? Or is she a "standard" (if there is such a thing with ducks)?
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2007
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:I'd never heard the term "call duck" before and had to look it up. I've plucked plenty of wild mallards before and when I saw your photos I thought you had some giant black and white ducks, so maybe she is a Call duck. I don't know.
     
  7. mlheran

    mlheran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:[​IMG] They ARE huge in comparison! The Magpies' bodies are about the size of a normal football, whereas the new duck is about as big around as my running shoe. She seems really tiny to me, but I've never been around Mallards (of any size) before.
     
  8. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Well, they are not a large duck, but they are not the size of a pigeon either. I've looked and looked for a photo that would give some size perspective and this is the only one I could come up with. If you don't like dead things don't look...

    http://home.cogeco.ca/~waterfowler/tigs1.2.jpg
     
  9. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    She won't get much bigger. Mallards, even domestics are small.
     
  10. mlheran

    mlheran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks again, mac & terrie -good to know! [​IMG]
     

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