Baby Ducks - to take from the mother or not to take....that is the question.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by crazyducklady23, May 31, 2016.

  1. crazyducklady23

    crazyducklady23 Out Of The Brooder

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    I currently have two mama ducks on one nest that has about 5-6 eggs under it. The one duck is a Muscovy and the other is a Blue Swed. They are very protective over their nest together and will gang up on any chicken, duck, dog or person that comes near it. Just last night I got chased around the chicken coop by them from being too nosy due to seeing a little baby pop its head out from under the Blue Swed. All dried off and being taken care of the two mamas. Now I normally take the babies right away from the mom and put them in a secure enclosure in our garage due to having previous rat/mice coming in and killing the previously babies. Now I will see a rat/mouse every once and a while and have stuff in place to help eliminate that problem but I am wondering since the mamas are so aggressive with protecting should I leave them as is and place some type of shelter around them so nothing can get in and that way they have their own food and water as well? They still have the rest of the eggs to go so making the mom is out of the question. I had a chicken last year that was totally crazy over her babies and they ended up growing up and fine even with the rat/mice break ins.

    Looking for the best interest in the babies but would really like to leave it with the mom...not sure what to do.
     
  2. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have crows that will kill our ducklings if we don't move them to a safe pen with the mama duck. We sell our ducklings, keeping only a few, so most of our ducklings are raised inside until they are sold. I love letting the mama hens raise the ducklings but it is better to take the defenseless babies away than to have predators get them. If you can put them in a safe pen it could work but it sounds like you have had losses already.
     
  3. crazyducklady23

    crazyducklady23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes I have lost a couple before due to rats. The mother on the nest was not very protective of the babies during that time and would let them run around and not seem to be into the "motherly instinct" to do anything with them. So that's when I started picking them up and putting them in an enclosure in the garage. The two I have now are kind of crazy when it comes to the newest little ones though. I got bit last night by the one when I put water in the box and watched the other one attack a duck and a chicken just because they walked by their box with their nest it in. The babies don't leave their box and I have a board set up to help to keep them from falling out as well. They are on the bottom nesting box so the fall would be an inch without the board but just helps to keep them tight and cozy I thought.
     
  4. mzmolly65

    mzmolly65 Out Of The Brooder

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    If you have ducks this protective I would just leave the ducklings with them. JMHO

    ETA: the ducks might take some of the babies out foraging before they are all hatched. Then she will go back and set a bit longer for the last eggs to hatch. Or she may abandon any eggs that are too slow to hatch because she needs to get her babies out foraging. I would still leave them, mother nature knows best.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
  5. smonkeySK

    smonkeySK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's easier and usually better to leave them with the mother.

    That said even a protective duck can lose track of its ducklings - if there are predators around and you don't want to lose any young then you have 2 options.
    Put them all somewhere secure or take the young and raise them.

    We raised 2 inside this year and the ones we left outside were taken by rats within the first couple of days..

    It only takes a moment to lose one
     
  6. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We discovered a hatchling swimming in our duck pond at 2am this morning and more than 7 hours later we still have not found the nest where it came from. My daughter checked all the hens sitting on nests and there do not seem to be more hatchlings or egg shells anywhere. We will continue searching but for now we had to bring the duckling inside for its own safety.

    Our pond is a 100 gallon horse trough with a ramp and deck for the ducks to get in and out but this baby was stuck and could not get out with the water level below the top edge. We don't know if a hen took the baby into the water and left it behind or if it wandered away from the nest and ended up in the water. It was swimming around peeping in the dark (there is a porch light that provides some light) so that is how we discovered it. Fortunately it sounds like a boy and I have 2 girls left from a hatch this past weekend so it might be better to keep the duckling with them to sell as a breeding trio once I can vent sex and confirm my voice sexing skills are accurate, although I have had good accuracy voice sexing hatchlings so far.
     
  7. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We found the hidden nest with two dead ducklings barely out of the shell with eggshells for three ducklings so that must be where this little guy came from. It is odd that the hen would sit on just 3 eggs but I guess she can try again. She must have left the duckling in the water but my daughter walked all over with him peeping his head off and no hen was responding to him so I guess she was too inexoerienced to know what to do. She should do better next time.
     

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