Best way to place ducklings in a nest so the adult will rear them?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by pokey24, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. pokey24

    pokey24 New Egg

    Jul 13, 2011

    My female mandarin duck abandoned her nest a couple of weeks ago, so I removed the eggs which had growing chicks in and incubated them, leaving the infertile eggs in the nest. The next day she started sitting again, and has been doing so on and off ever since. She tends to sit every day, comes off for half and hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening, however every 3 or 4 days she remains off for up to two-three hours in the evening, so is by no means sitting well. The three eggs being incubated have now begun to hatch, one is fully hatched and the other two have externally pipped. The fully hatched one is still in the incubator drying off. My question is, is there any way to reintroduce the duckling to the mother once they have hatched? She is quite a nervous bird so I would have to wait for her to come off her nest, put the ducklings in and then wait for her to go back on. My worry is that she will not go back on for a long time, so how long is it ok to leave a duckling outside for before it will get too cold? Her nest is in a tree mounted nest box (as mandarins prefer), so would the chicks try to climb out before mum gets there or would they stay put? If necessary I can hand rear them, however it would be easiest for me if they went back with mum. Is she likely to attack them if she gets back to her nest to find three fluffy ducklings?

    Thanks for your help!
  2. orpingtonbabies

    orpingtonbabies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 17, 2011
    If she's on her nest tonight you can sneak them underneath her... and hopefully she will stay in the nest once she has her babies... but, if she leaves the ducklings i would assume that she will do the same thing she did with the eggs and leave the babies and I'd take them back.
    good luck!

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