baby ducks - have some questions--HELP!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by hereachick, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. hereachick

    hereachick In the Brooder

    we have 4 baby ducks who are about 2-3 days old they have been living on one side of the chicken coop with their mother.My question is when I went out to check on them this morning they were all out in the pen running around with the chickens and the mother duck was swimming in the pool.Their side of the coop had been closed in with chicken wire to keep the chickens away from them and was still closed up.I had left a window open in case the mother wanted to get out to get food,water or to swim.Is it possible that she carried all 4 babies out thru that window into the pen? Also now that their out there so doesn't seem to be paying much attention to them is this normal? She also has 4 unhatched eggs left in her nest that she doesn't seem to set on much does this mean she's don't setting and will be happy with the 4 babies ? Should I remove the unhatched eggs now? Should I do anything for the 4 little ducklings or will they be ok on their own? When we had the others as babies we kept them in a brooder and put them outside when they wer 6 wks never had any that were born outside before.
  2. Chatychick

    Chatychick Songster

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    Baby ducks do well with their mother and can even swim after a few days but if they are raised without a momma duck they cant swim till they get their feather and not down. The momma gives them her oils so they float. They need chick started or wild game starter feed for the protien in their diets. She probably wont even mess with the other eggs that are still in the nest as they can tell if they are going to hatch or not. I would remove them as she is only worring about the 1's that have already hatched. They need a good food and water, a nice dry sleeping area and they should do well as she knows what to do. Good luck
  3. hereachick

    hereachick In the Brooder

    Thanks,Wow,I sure am learning alot.To think she (momma duck) knows just what to do even down to the oil on their feathers.I have noticed the babies try to swim in the water we have a chicken water with just alittle space and they jump in it and try to swim in it and any mud puddles around.Their too small to get into the pool yet.
    I woke up yesterday morning to find all the ducks (babies and all) out in the pen they had all been locked up for night with only a unscreened window open.Do you suppose she carried all the babies outside? she was swimming in the pool with them watching from underneath it when I first saw them.
    during the heavy rainstorm yesterday one of the babies somehow got under the fencing of the pen and was wandering around outside good thing I went out to check on them.Momma duck and the 3 others were running around the inside of the pen quacking furiously until they were reunited and she ushered them into to coop where they got locked in for night.This morning everyone is fine following Momma all around.God that's cute! She waited and quacked until everyone was lined up to her satisfaction then out of the coop they went ,you could see her eyeballing them all.I love watching that! How amazing!
    My other female is setting on eggs too so far no babies she is outside tho and it isn't as warm as in the coop.Not sure how long she's been setting for.How will we know if they'll hatch or not.I'd like her to have her little ones too,Thanks again
  4. LV426

    LV426 Chillin

    Jul 16, 2008
    Baby ducks can squeeze through small holes so you may want to check and make sure they can't get through anywhere. The other thing is that mama duck's first instincts is to lead her babies to water so if she has a swimming area you need to make a ramp so the babies can climb up into the water and make a ramp so they can climb back out of the water. Otherwise they will end up getting separated the way they have been.

    Don't leave openings where mom can go out but the babies can't follow or you will end up with orphaned ducks, mom will stop taking care of them after awhile and the babies and mom both get stressed out if they get separated and can't get to each other. Keep them all together with no separation points. If you have to give them a smaller swimming pool for now, such as a sweater box filled with water or just a really large bowl that is fine. I used the plastic water catchers off the bottom of flower pots for my ducks just to make sure they wouldn't drown or get stuck in the large duck's pool.

    If she's no longer sitting on the eggs then go ahead and remove them. If you want to see if they are still alive sometimes you can hear the baby duck moving around, holding the egg to your ear you will hear a rice crispy sound. Alternately you can candle the egg and see if you can see the duck bill poking into the air sac at the end and possibly see some movement there. If the egg is clear or all dark with no sign of a bill then the egg is probably a dud and needs to be tossed out.

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