All but 1of my mallards have left, what to do with a lone duck?


7 Years
Nov 11, 2012
Central MN
In July I bought 6 ducklings from the local farm supply company. My kids and I have enjoyed raising these fun and beautiful creatures. We enclosed an area in our back yard with fencing and built them a fairly large pen that has a screen front and a separate area that has a heat lamp. We added a small pond for water play as well. As the ducks got older we opened the fence so they could come and go during the day as they wished, always putting them in at night to keep safe from predators as my back yard backs up to a preserve with many different animals. I have always wondered when our ducks would be old enough to let them be free at night as well but haven't found a lot of info on the matter. Over the last month 2 have flown away and now, just today, I came home from shopping and the last 3 males were gone leaving 1 lone female, sitting by the walk out patio door. I got her in the pen for the night but feel very bad that she is now left alone! I live in MN and the whether is getting cold, snow is coming soon! Does anyone have any advice for what I should do about this? Is she in danger being the only duck left? Should I still let her out during the day, hoping she will too fly south or find another flock to join? Will she be ok out side under a heat lamp for winter if she stays?? A lot of questions but this is our first year raising ducks and I honestly thought they would have stayed together!
Hi DuckMamaMN--

Unfortunately, your lone duck's days are numbered unless she's put in an enclosed, predator-proof housing. At no time is it safe for ducks to be left outside "free."

Your duck has either imprinted on humans or is too tamed to humans to be released in the wild. Ducks that have been raised by humans get killed in the wild right away. (I wouldn't be surprised if the ducks you thought that flew away were actually taken by a predator.)
I would clip one of her wings (you clip off the flight feathers) so she doesn't try to leave.

Ducks need the company of other ducks. If I were you, I would search on Craigslist for another female duck or post that you have a tame female duck that needs a loving home.

Ducks are a lot more hardy than you think. I also live in Minnesota. My ducks often stay outside when it's so cold and windy, rather than going inside their duck coop which has heat lamps.

My husband and I truly love our ducks and 2 Sebastopol geese. We keep a couple of ducks (we rotate which ones) and the geese inside the house when it gets dark outside. They are pets, not farm animals. They sleep in baby cribs by our bed. (You can diaper ducks and geese.)

Please feel free to ask me any questions about keeping ducks. While I may not have the answer, I know a lot of people that probably do know the answer.

My duck run. Their coop goes inside the shed. The coop is surrounded by welded wire fencing with chicken wire. Wire cloth has been dug a foot down and angled out (90 degrees) to help deter predators from digging under.


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