caring for a baby Mallard

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by marla13, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. marla13

    marla13 New Egg

    Aug 14, 2013
    I am part of a local community that rescues and rehomes animals (dogs mainly but we have also taken in turtles and snakes) and someone brought us a baby Mallard duck today. They said it was found at the doorstep of their apartment, but I really have no other information than that. He looks like he's under a week old. I have absolutely no experience with birds of any kind and I'm not sure what to do with the duck. I have him in a 25 gallon aquarium lined with towels and a heat lamp (safe distance from the duckling) with a small shallow cup of water. The temperature is 93 degrees ( I put a thermometer/hygrometer next to where he is laying). I have no food to offer it except for shredded baby greens and ground oatmeal which is the only thing I had that multiple online sources said are okay for baby ducks to eat. I'm going to Tractor Supply Co. tomorrow to get it food, but my main concern is what to do with the duck. We have many dogs outside and when he gets big he will need to go outside and it won't be safe. Is it legal or beneficial to the duck to release it into the wild when it is ready? Someone told me we could release it and it would instinctually migrate, not sure if this is true. We are handling it as little as possible, but I don't know if it is practical to care for it and feed it and then expect it to be able to fly away and be okay on it's own when it is older. Any advice is greatly appreciated! :)
  2. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    Is there a wildlife rescue near you? That's the best place to take it because they will make sure he grows up with the skills to be in the wild. Otherwise, I would see if anyone in your area has other ducks or ducklings because it sounds like your place won't be safe for him when he grows up. He may or may not migrate and if he is raised alone, he will not know how to be a duck or forage. He will probably hang around your place, at least for a little while.
  3. marla13

    marla13 New Egg

    Aug 14, 2013
    Lol, turns out it's not even a mallard, it's a black bellied whistling duck. A zoo about an hour away will take care of it, so I'll be taking it over on Saturday. Thanks!
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    That's great news.
  5. fowl farm

    fowl farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2012
    I'd never heard of those. How pretty!! Glad you found a place to take him.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013

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