Duck adoption!?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by 13thmaiden, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. 13thmaiden

    13thmaiden Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 15, 2016
    Okay, I've got a weird one for you guys:

    As you know we have wild ducks in our neighborhood pond, finally things settled but we only had 2 hens drop babies, one pekin who lost her only baby (yes she only had one duckling) and then a mallard hen who watched out 5 and lost one.

    Now Mama mallard has had her ducklings about 2 weeks I'd say (first time I saw them was about May 21) and lost one baby about a week later after we first saw them.

    Now since then she only had her 4 pure mallard ducklings. So imagine my surprise when yesterday I come around to see that she suddenly had a pure yellow pekin duckling in her brood!

    I'm not the most versed on duck behavior, but I do know most hens only take care of those she hatched. But this is a pure pekin duckling, not a mix in any way from what I can see.

    So what happened? Did she adopt this duckling from a pekin that didn't bother with it? Did she get cuckooed by a pekin hen? Do ducks even pull cuckoo-ing? Anyone have any ideas here?
  2. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2013
    Ducks will adopt ducklings that are not theirs and hens will sometimes lay an egg in another hen's nest so either scenario is a possibility.

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