Chickens and wild mallards

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by wleighton, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. wleighton

    wleighton Just Hatched

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    Does anyone have experience with chickens and wild mallards cohabitation? It seems that three mallards (3 females, 1 drake) have grown fond of our chickens. Our hens free range during the day, and have started co-mingled with the ducks. The ducks will even eat out of their feeder! I put out a kiddie pool for them and gave them treats (I couldn't help but try to befriend them!). Aside the cost of feeding 4 more birds which doesn't bother me, what things should I be weary of? I did notice that our leader chicken pecked the beak of one female mallard in warning without backlash so maybe they've established an order between them?

    Here's a pic!
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    Every once in a while I have a few mallards visit my back yard. I never had my chickens there at same time. I would like them to stay, but they just stay short and then fly back to the creek 1/4 mile away. A very long time ago when I was a teenager, I rescued a mallard duck. My mom fed it and duck stayed in the back yard. For the night duck was placed into garage for safety. After about 2 months, duck recovered to 100%. Then one day a flock of ducks was flying overhead. She joined them and was never back. I guess it is a HAPPY ENDING. [​IMG]
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Those don't quite look like mallards....but I don't know ducks that well.
    Wonder if they are domestic fowl 'escaped' from a nearby farm/house?
    I would not want strange and/or wild birds amongst my flock, they can bring in pests and disease.
     
  4. wleighton

    wleighton Just Hatched

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    That's a great story! Unfortunately my ever paranoid-kill joy, Aunt posted a warning about H5N2. We live in VT where as far as I know has not had an outbreak, and besides the recent bout of fowlpox, our 5 birds are relatively healthy. Thoughts?
     
  5. wleighton

    wleighton Just Hatched

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    Definitely mallards - here's another pic.
    [​IMG]

    I guess there isn't much I can do. The mallards are up against the run visiting the chickens if they're not free ranging. My guess is that they can transmit disease and pests through fencing too
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Not sure avian influenza is a real threat in this situation, but it's possible....there are other pests/diseases tho that could be passed thru the fence.
    I'd keep your birds confined with their feed, stop feeding the ducks, and start chasing the ducks away at every opportunity.
    Might take tenacious persistence to get them to leave and stay away as you've been feeding them.
    ....or they may be migrating and not stay long anyway.
     
  7. wleighton

    wleighton Just Hatched

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    Thanks for your help!

    I called Fish and Wildlife and it seems that wild ducks molt their flight feathers in the fall and it could take nearly a month before they start flying again. I think they've been hanging around for two weeks now, so hopefully they'll be on their way out. It's difficult for me to shoo them away as I'm not home all day, and they only waddle away. I can't help but feel bad for them. I imagine it's incredibly draining to molt and walk around all day in search of food and water instead of flying.

    I put out a community post to see if anyone is missing pet ducks - these guys are so friendly, they make me think that they might be domestic escape artists!

    Besides diatomaceous earth, apple cider vinegar in their water, what else can I do to protect my hens from disease and worms? Probably just a wait an see game?
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
  8. Ducks4us

    Ducks4us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Those actually look more like khaki campbell ducks rather than mallards. That may explain them being tame.
     
  9. chickencraz

    chickencraz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    x2. Someone may have dumped them and they found you. A lot of people buy ducks without realizing their needs and after they grow out of their adorable duckling stage they rid of them.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Feeding DE is not going to do anything to prevent illness, might help prevent external parasites but it's not good for anyone to breathe
    .........ACV won't do much either.

    The best defense is good health built with a good balanced ration with sufficient protein and plain clean water....
    ......don't let the ducks eat/drink out of the chickens feeder/waterer.
     

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