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Ducklings Adopted Us

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by baccalynnwv, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. baccalynnwv

    baccalynnwv Just Hatched

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    Jun 21, 2016
    West Virginia
    Hi all,

    My family and I live out in the country here in WV. My kids went swimming in the river, were there about 2 hours. When I finially went to check on them the kids were walking back and asked me if I could hear the baby ducks. I looked over the bank into the river and these 3 baby ducks were frantically swimming along us in the river trying to keep up with us. When we stopped walking, they climbed the steep bank to get to us. (I have video).

    The kids said the ducklings swam with them the whole time, no mommy around. I didn't think mamma ducks left their babies, so we brought them home. I know the hawks would get them soon if we didn't.

    So, I've done the basic research on careing for them. They have already grown in 4 days. After they came home and I got them some food it was like they came to life! They are so much fun.

    My daughter is a great mamma duck so far. They are camping it in her room.

    My questions are :
    1. Can you tell what they are? I usually see malards on my river and ponds. They look like baby mallards from what I can tell.
    2. Can you tell which are boys and girls?
    3. What is the likleyhood of us raising them and they winter with us and live with us happily ever after? If they want to migrate, I plan on letting them.
    4. Is it normal baby duck behavior to come up to people when their mamma is gone? Did we do the right thing bringing them home? [​IMG]
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    :welcome! Your intentions were good in rescuing them, but you may need to hand them over to a wildlife rehabber. If they are mallards (I suspect they may be, although the color on two of them makes that iffy), if you raise them and then let them fly away they will have no idea how to survive in the wild and will be easy prey for predators or will starve to death because they will not know how to find food. They may survive, but the chances are slim. A rehabber will be able to raise them in such a way that release to the wild is possible. If they're not mallards and are in fact a domestic breed this will become apparent as they age, but they may not be since you found them in the wild. If they were domestic you could legally keep them. How big are they? Perhaps they are escaped rouens or muscovies, both of which would be fine to keep. If they are muscovies you will need to clip their wings or keep them in a covered pen.

    If they are mallards, it's illegal for you to have them since they are a wild breed, and if caught you could face fines or even potentially jail time.

    If they are a wild breed until you get them to a rehabber, (or domestics that you can keep) you will need to feed them a duck starter feed that you can purchase at a feed store. If you can't find one for ducks, one for chicks will be okay. Make sure they have heat and can move away from it if they get too hot. Make sure they have water at all times because they can choke on their food if they do not. You will also want to give them grit if you have been feeding them something other than a starter feed up until now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Are there domestic ducks in that area? I am not certain they are purebred mallards. The two ducklings to the right in the picture appear to be dilute in color rather than the dark mallard color of the duckling to the left.
     
  4. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    Yeah, that made me wonder if they could be be escaped domestics too. Maybe rouens or muscovies or some sort of cross?
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  5. baccalynnwv

    baccalynnwv Just Hatched

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    Jun 21, 2016
    West Virginia
    Thank you for your reply.

    They fit in the palm of my hand when we first got them, tiny. They still easily fit in my hand but are quickly getting bigger.

    I thought they might be from ducks that were set out since they seemed to not be scared of us. After it was apparent that they were going to follow us home, we honestly just bent over and picked them up. They were walking between our feet and sitting on our feet. Between my neighbors dog and the hawks around, they might not have made it to my driveway.

    About a week before the ducklings found us, my husband and I were walking along the river. I walked down to the river while my husband stood up on the bank. Once I reached the river a HUGE flock of ducks and babies jumped in the river and swam down stream. I'm talking a giant section packed with birds about 15'x15'. I'm not sure I have ever seen that many ducks in one place before. Typically we just see 2 or 3 wild ducks at a time on the river and on our ponds. There were so many that they made a huge splash in the river and my husband started asking me, "What happened? Are you OK." LOL..Maybe the babies got separated from that group?

    Jail time.... ack! I'll see if I can get into contact with a rehab center.


    No ducks that I know of. The neighbors about half a mile up the river have chickens, but no ducks. We live in the middle of no where. I really think maybe someone got tired of all their ducks and set them out on our secluded road/river. :(
     
  6. baccalynnwv

    baccalynnwv Just Hatched

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    Jun 21, 2016
    West Virginia
    Here are a few more pics over the weekend. Does this help identify them? If love to keep them, but I don't want to get into trouble of they are a wild breed.
    How old would you say they are?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    It's the chocolate colored ones that are interesting, because mallards don't usually have that color (wild ones, anyway). It's possible they are cross breeds or the offspring of escaped domestic mallards.

    Honestly with their coloring like that you're probably fine if you want to keep them. But you will need to build them either a covered pen or keep their wings clipped because when they get older if they fly off they won't find their way back and will probably starve or get eaten.

    They're very cute :)
     
  8. baccalynnwv

    baccalynnwv Just Hatched

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    Jun 21, 2016
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    Well, I hope you all are right, that they are a hybrid/domesticated duck. We are going to keep them I guess. Unfortunately I just don't have time to look and organize now. We got flooded really bad last Thursday and now I'm having to deal with clean up and all - in between my job. My car got flooded too.

    Last week I did I look online and it says there are no wildlife rehabbers in our state of WV??. I once took an American Kestrel with a broken wing to a raptor rehabilitator a couple years ago, but I couldn't find any place that took ducks - I don't understand the difference in rehab???

    The ducks are fine, and we are fine, from the flood. I'm hoping they turn out to be a hybrid domestic of some sort. I will clip their wings so they stay safe and we will build them a home with us. Its been 2 weeks now. They were friendly to begin with, but now they are not scared of people at all. They were the bright spot in all of this flooding though. So much fun to watch play in their little tub of water and out in the yard when we let them (supervised).
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    Bless you for taking them in and I am so very grateful y'all are okay.

    Would you mind letting us know . . . from the middle of the mess right now . . . what kind of help can those of us far away offer that would really help regular people affected by the floods the most? You don't have to respond, I just was wondering.
     
  10. baccalynnwv

    baccalynnwv Just Hatched

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    Jun 21, 2016
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    Hi. Thank you so much for the question. Really, what people are asking for right now are monetary donations to either local churches or well established charity centers. It has been absolutely amazing the amount of supplies such as cleaning, clothes, diapers, bottled water etc, that have been sent in from everywhere. What is in short supply is actual money to help people get set up in hotels or rent houses/apartments for the first weeks/month until they can get on their feet again. The towns of Birch River, Richwood, Camden on Gualey, Rainelle, and Webster Springs I know were particularly hit hard.
     

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