Add a duckling.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Sylviaanne, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 17, 2012
    Ozark, MO
    My Fawn Indian Runner has hatched her eggs, she hatched 4 and the way we had things set up one of the babies was behind the nest and we had to pull it out to reach the baby. When I looked into the nest there was a broken egg and the other egg was missing shell on the bottom side where it laid. I took the one with the broken shell in the house and candled it and saw a baby moving inside. It seemed to be weak so I thought it might be having trouble getting out of the shell since so much of it was missing. I started pulling the membrane away and it started to bleed so I wrapped it in wet, warm paper towels and put it under a lamp. I kept checking it and it just seemed to be getting weaker and weaker. I waited a day and pulled some more of the membrane away, until it started to bleed and put it back in wet, warm paper towels, under the lamp. It finally came out of the shell yesterday but I am wondering if I should try to put it under it's mama with the others.

    It does seem weak, it seems to not have as good a balance or control of it's feet or something. It has done better as the day passed but I am afraid that it might not be able to keep up with it's siblings. Opinions?


    Now, Mama duck has taken the other 4 babies out of the coop but she goes off and leaves them. Um, maybe I should say she walks faster than they do and they get left behind. I don't see how she can protect them at all if she doesn't stay with them.

    1. Do you think she is a good mother? I don't know a lot about ducks so I don't know if her behavior is normal.

    2. Should I take the babies and keep them away from the other ducks/chickens until they are old enough to take care of themselves.

    3. I have some duck eggs in an incubator, after they hatch, how old do they need to be in order for me to find them new homes?
     
  2. Eluria

    Eluria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am new to the duck world, so I can't help with the first two questions, but as for #3, the ducklings that I ordered are going to be shipped at a day old, and I will receive them at 2 or 3 days old. So, my guess is that you can find them homes right after they hatch--they are not like puppies or kittens where the mother is providing food and they must be with her to be properly socialized etc.

    Good luck with your littlest one, I hope he/she makes it.
     
  3. Aronia

    Aronia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope they make it!
     
  4. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    A good mother makes sure that she stays with her offspring and leads her ducklings around. Some ducks lack the proper instinct and keep running around as if they didn't have ducklings. I had such a bad mother myself, the duckling stopped following her as soon as it didn't need her warmth any more ( at the age of three weeks) and sought contact with two older drakelets that were just feathering in.
    How is the mother duck behaving towards her offspring? Does she have an eye on them, is she protective and does she let them snuggle up to her? As long as the run is secure and the ducklings can't get lost from a lack of leadership, they will be okay.

    Other ducks can be troublesome. Some are very peaceful towards ducklings and ignore them, others chase them around and some even try to kill them. I don't know how chickens would behave, a friend of mine used to raise ducks with chickens and never complained about anything. I would try to put them together but observe the situation and be prepared for seperation.

    I would not introduce the weak duckling to its family, the mother won't recognize it and treat it as a stranger. I would put it together with another duckling and raise them seperately.
     
  5. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 17, 2012
    Ozark, MO
    Mama duck is doing better. It is her first brood so she is inexperienced. None of the other ducks have gone broody either so she is kind of on her own. She is keeping them closer to her now and before I read this just now, it was too late not to add the 5th baby. The mama duck can get the babies in the coop at night but she got back on the nest where the others hatched when they went in the coop last night. The babies were in the nest next door, that I had prepared for her to use. The nest they were hatched in has high sides, it's a milk crate and the one I prepared for her has 3 high sides. I went to put the babies in the milk crate and mama ran so I went ahead and put them in. My husband came in the house and got the last baby and put it in with the other babies and they crowded around it. My husband waited to see if they were going to try to harm it but they just crowded around. He went back later and mama was sitting on all of them. When we let them out today, we will probably have to lift that one baby out and then watch to make sure if it can keep up with the others.

    The other ducks seem to just watch them like they are keeping an eye on them in a general way. They offer no harm or help to them but at this time, nothing is threatening to them. The chickens act like they are aliens and the only time the chickens and ducks get together is to eat or drink. They don't fight over the food at all but the chickens will chase away the younger chickens and the ducks will chase away the older ducklings. Everyone to their own kind, I guess. LOL
     
  6. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Overrun With Chickens

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    Mama duck is doing well with the babies now. The babies seem to accept the whole duck flock as their family and don't always stay with mama but if she hollers they go running to her. She doesn't seem very loving of them but she is protective. My husband saw her go after a hen that pecked at one of the babies. She also seems to accept that the whole duck flock is an extended family that will help watch her babies. She doesn't seem to be overly worried about them. She will go off with 3 babies and leave one in the pool. I don't know if it is the same baby all the time or not. When she goes into the coop at night, they trail right in behind her and snuggle under her.

    We did put the duckling that hatched in the house with her and the other babies and it blended right in. Problem is that it kind of bonded with my husband while it was in the house and one night while we were trying to get them in the coop, it got under my husband's feet. He didn't think he stepped on it but it wasn't acting right so we brought it back in the house to watch it. It seemed fine when we went to bed, we put it back in with the babies it was with while it was here in the house but the next morning it had died. I think, even though it was acting fine, it must have had some internal injuries.
     
  7. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am sorry to hear that, but don't blame yourself ( or your husband) on this, I guess this happened totally unexpected and it can be difficult to keep an eye on ducklings. I hope you are not too sad about this loss.

    Glad that your mother duck is acting like a good mother now and that the flock accepts the offspring without much fuss. It might become interesting again when the ducks grow older, adult drakes might make first attempts at mating with the females and some become hostile towards young drakes when they can finally indetify them as potential rivals.
     
  8. Sylviaanne

    Sylviaanne Overrun With Chickens

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    Ozark, MO
    No, I don't blame him. It was just an accident. It was more people oriented than the others and wasn't afraid of our feet. It didn't know that big feet can be dangerous.

    I have 4 older ducklings, I don't have my book in front of me but they are about 4-5 months old. I have not seen the drake attack any of them as though it were another male so I am cautiously assuming that all the black ones are female. I saw him trying to breed to the grey so, it's a safe bet that one is a girl but the others look so much alike that I can't tell which one he is on while he is doing his business.

    I plan on keeping an eye on the younger babies. If it looks like he is going to try to harm one, depending on the color of the youngster, the drake might have to have a new home.
     

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