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duckling chasing adult ducks

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

  1. karinaspiraling

    karinaspiraling Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2011
    Hi All,
    One of our ducks hatched a duckling, and she is still sitting on the rest of the clutch. In the meantime, the duckling chooses not to stay with her most of the time, but goes out into the coop with the rest of the flock. When the duckling approaches, the other adults run away quacking! Each duck has a different approach: Millie seems the most annoyed, just running away and quacking furiously, while Greta-although not interested in the duckling being near her, does hesitate from leaving the coop with the others and goes back to the coop's edge if the duckling emerges from the house. Blake (the drake), seems the stern parent, charging a bit and has nipped at her, although clearly doesn't try to hurt her, as when she falls he stops and lets her get up again and run off. Elvira will lead the chase back to Mama, leading the duckling back into the house, arguing with Mama a minute, and then leaves, often with duckling in hot pursuit. We've even seen all the ducks run back to the house and stay there as if waiting for the duckling to settle in with Mama before trying to go off on their own again.

    It's quite comical, really, to watch this little duckling chase around her aunts and Daddy, but we're wondering if this is normal? And, why is it happening?

    These are runner ducks, if that helps...

    Thanks for your assistance and wisdom!

    Karin
     
  2. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Well, it's not exactly normal, but not exactly abnormal either. It is normal for "aunts and daddy" to have no idea the ducklings are related, and to view them as intruders. But usually, it plays out the other way around--they chase (and sometimes injure or kill) the duckling. It sounds like you have one super-assertive duckling and some pussy-cat ducks, and they've managed to turn the table.

    Do be careful, though. If they get ticked enough, or bold enough, they can and may kill the duckling. [​IMG] If there is a way to keep the baby separate until she's put some size on her, that would be best.

    Good luck!
     
  3. karinaspiraling

    karinaspiraling Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2011
    Hi Curious Cat,

    Thanks for your response. We received similar advice from the woman from whom we bought the ducks, who is also our county Ag Extension agent. Gilda is doing well, and seems to be easing off her aunties and papa. She spends more time with Mama, and although still tries to sidle up with the big girls, lets off more easily and spends a bit of time on her own. Yesterday she returned herself to Mama!

    A second ducking was born, but lived less than a day. We saw him in the house within hours of hatching, and he was out of the nest. Although it looked like a brutal beginning with his head bobbling all around and his inability to really walk, we thought this must be normal and that after his feathers dried he and Mama and would get him back in the nest. In the morning, he was much the same. His feathers were still matted, although we'd thought that the bees pestering him in the evening were cleaning him up and that he'd fluff out. He was still out of the nest, and still unable to hold up his head. We took him out of the house, and tried to hand-feed him water and then honey water. He took a few sips, rallied for a split second of couple of times, but lay in the box we prepared for him without moving. He also had a small wound on one foot. He died midday, and we wonder if we should have removed him the evening before, or if we were right in thinking his initial behavior was normal.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Karin
     
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's really hard to say. It is normal for little ones to be uncoordinated and wet and floppy at first. But (and please take with a grain of salt, because I have always hatched in incubators and have zero experience with mama birds doing the job for me) my understanding is that they will usually stay under the mama until they are stronger and ready to venture out, so it seems odd to me that it was out and about while still floppy. My guess is that there was something congenitally wrong with it OR the mama just wasn't doing a very good job with it. Most likely, bringing it in the house may have prolonged its life but if it was malformed or weak, it might never have recovered anyway. It's so hard to know what the "best" course of action might have been, but you did the best you could. Sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
     
  5. karinaspiraling

    karinaspiraling Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2011
    That's kinda what I was thinking. Thanks, Curious Cat.

    I just read on your thingy that you're in NC...I'm in Snow Camp!! Neighbors!!

    [​IMG]
     
  6. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    Hiya neighbor! [​IMG]
     

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