Baby Duckling Left Behind

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by texasjenn, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. texasjenn

    texasjenn In the Brooder

    Sep 18, 2011
    Our muscovy momma's hatched their clutch about 8 days ago and the ducklings are doing wonderful! Momma is super attentive to them and they have been thriving....until I went outside this morning....

    The momma and the ducklings all took off into the pond and i kept hearing a tiny cheep cheep noise on the bank around their nesting spot. I finally located a baby duck that had been left behind when the crew took to the water. By this time the other ducklings were clear on the other side and so I took the baby and waited for the mom to get near the bank. When she did I put the duckling in the water, it cheeped and slowly swam over to momma. Well then they all took off swimming again and despite the baby's best efforts it was left behind again. I repeated this about 4 times and each time it tried to follow, could not keep up, and just ended up chirping by itself in the water.

    So now I have the duckling with me and not super sure what to do next. I know that ducks are better when paired and not sure if I should keep attempting to get it back with the flock considering it keeps getting left behind or try to raise it myself then introduce it back when it is bigger....

    Advice? Thoughts? [​IMG]
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    What a little pumpkin!

    Brace yourself for some extra effort and possibly some sadness, as we don't know how this will turn out.

    If the baby cannot keep up, and you want to give it a shot at growing up, then you will need to intervene to help it. The problem may be so serious that it will not be around a very long time, or it may just have a little developmental problem like my Elfie did, and then be fine once it reaches maturity.

    So. You might consider brooding the wee one with two of its siblings, together, yourself. Some extra work, but may be the best chance it has. Later, you can try reintroducing the three to the flock . . . that will also be extra work.

    Leaving it to momma duck, she has a brood to keep up with and won't risk their wellbeing for the one.
  3. texasjenn

    texasjenn In the Brooder

    Sep 18, 2011
    Amiga - Thanks for the reply! Will it do ok it kept alone or do I need to get another sibling for it? Due to these little guys being semi wild they aren't too keen on my catching them so I am thinking it may be hard to try and grab a sibling (baby ducklings are quick little suckers)...

    I went to the feed store and got a feeder, some chick/duck starter, and a water bowl for it....its not super interested in eating or drinking right now but it is sorta active and cheeping....
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Alone is not a good thing for a duck of any age, it seems to me.

    So a couple of buddies (my feeling is that three are not so much more to care for than two, and if one perishes, you still have two and don't need to reintroduce a second duck) would be a good idea.

    Also, next time out, perhaps you can get some gro gel or other vitamin/electrolyte/probiotic mix and give that to the duckling a couple of times a week and see how it goes.

    If the wee one isn't eating, that is a sign things aren't right, but see if you can dip its bill in a cup of lukewarm water to get it started. I did this with my runner day-olds. And add a tablespoon of starter to a quarter cup of water and see if that gets some interest. Wet food needs to be removed after several hours to prevent mold, as you probably already know, but I find ducks may eat more damp food than dry. Depends on their mood, I think.

  5. Blondiega1

    Blondiega1 Songster

    Nov 5, 2010
    Dallas, Ga.
    What he said. ^^
  6. keyt1969

    keyt1969 Songster

    I agree with Amiga, raising it yourself is the best way to make sure it survives. 3 is always better in my experience!
  7. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Songster

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    Poor thing. Make sure you have a heat lamp for it, too. A sibling or two would also be nice, or some other kind of large breed duckling, to keep it company.
  8. animalz11

    animalz11 Chirping

    Jul 20, 2012
    QLD Australia
    Try throwing some cucumber in the yard to entice mum to come, them if you have a bird net or something that wont harm the ducklings, even a towel, throw that over 1 or 2. I heard of a story where a women bought just 1 duckling, and this duck didn't see itself as being a duck, and whenever another duck came near it, it would waddle back to it's human mum, but when another human came near it's mum, it would attack the other person and draw blood to protect it's mum.

    So if you can raise this little one in a group of 3 it will not only survive, but is will have a good chance of getting back with it's mum. But, by catching some more ducklings, the mum will hate you for a long time though. :/

    When I first got my 2 ducklings from the markets, I didn't know anything about ducks (which wasn't the brightest thing when I bought the ducklings). The lady told me they were muscovies, I didn't know what that was, I thought they would turn out the be the pretty ducks I see in my yard (wood ducks). So when I got home, I googled them and I was shocked to say the least, they were so ugly when they grow up. But after doing some more research and becoming very attached to these little ones, I decided to spend every spare minute I had with them. Unfortunately, the male died, dog attack, but the other female is so trusting of me, I can pick her up, and have actually dropped her once (oops) and she still comes up to me and is still the bravest duck I own, the pictures I saw of muscovies on the internet I saw as being ugly because they wern't my duck, and never will be, but mow Daffy has her lovely red comb around her eyes, I think it completes her.

    So if you put in a lot of time, you will have the best, most friendliest and trusting duck you'll have ever owned. And my ducklings didn't see me as being mum as they still ran away from me, in fact even now, I can play with the back of my other ducks neck and she'll be submissive like what they do to be dominant (I don't hurt her, I would NEVER do that!) but if I do it to Daffy, the one I raised, she wont be submissive she'll just look at my hands and see if I have food. So even if this little duckling doesn't see you as being mum (and it doesn't have to) you will still have a trusting duck that will love humans, and, if eventually, you can re-introduce this one to your flock, it can teach the other ducks to love you too!

    Wow, I've been rambeling a bit too much to say the least. but I'm so excited for you. It is so amazing to raise little helpless ducklings and watch them grow up.
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Hows the baby doing?

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