Fostering baby duckling - need advice

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by kepler-b19, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. kepler-b19

    kepler-b19 In the Brooder

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    Hello! I just happened to find myself fostering a very young wild duckling this evening an wanted some advice.
    From what I was told from the people that found him, he was wandering in the backyard without any mother or siblings. I have no idea how long he was wandering.
    My dad picked him up from the people because he knew the local reserve would just euthanize the animal, since he would most likely die in the wild.
    About an hour ago he was dropped off with me, and since then, I've attempted to syringe (not tube) feed per instruction of a good friend whose also a poultry enthusiast. At first, it was a little bit of sugar water. During this, my dad was getting poultry feed for the little guy. My friend discouraged sugar water and instead recommended apple cider vinegar-water mix, and I've provided both that, and some crushed up feed and a little bit of egg yolk for food. He was really lethargic and wouldn't take anything so I set him down in a box.
    Right now he's set up in a tall cardboard box and heat lamp. There's a fox tail tip for nestling under, and the feed and water as mentioned before.
    He was really lethargic when he first arrived but as I'm typing, he's peeping up a storm and preening, and very active. He's also trying to walk, but he's still very young so its mostly stumbling. He responds when I "chirp" at him too - so for right now, I think the outlook is really good.
    However, I've never raised a duck before, and I would like to get as much advice as I can get from anyone. If anymore information is needed, or if you need pictures, I'm happy to supply.
     
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  2. ShadyGlade

    ShadyGlade Songster

    All other considerations aside you need to be aware that if you raise a single duckling you are likely to end up with a human imprinted duck. She/he will never be suitable to return to the wild. Be careful not to feed waterfowl any medicated feed. The waterer must be large/deep enough for your duckling to be able to dunk and rinse his entire bill off (they can have feed dryer in their nostrils that will interfere with breathing).
     
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  3. kepler-b19

    kepler-b19 In the Brooder

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    @ShadyGlade thank you! yeah, I've reminded myself I'm probably in this for the long run, aha. I will switch out for a deeper waterer next time I'm out shopping too.
     
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  4. Trimurtisan

    Trimurtisan Quackadelic

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    Hi there @kepler-b19 and welcome to BYC. First off, good on your and you pops for taking on this responsibility.

    I'm relatively new to keeping ducks as well, so I don't have a whole lot of suggestions. However, are you just using regular cooking apple cider vinegar (ACV)? I'm not sure how much it matters, but I was told not to use cooking or kitchen grade ACV but to go to a feed store and get ACV with "mother" (I'm assuming it's mother culture). Here is a picture of what I found. You can see the "with mother" statement on the lower left of the label. The big chicken on it was a good giveaway too. ;)
    20190612_061358.jpg

    Now a picture won't help me (maybe someone else) suggest anything, but there is never a bad time to show off the lil fella/miss. Picture! Pictures! Pictures! I bet the fluff ball is SO cute. :p

    Only real suggestion I would have is to get another duck so they can bond.
    I had a friend who raised a single duck and their son was imprinted on. They ended up hanging to give the duck to a rescue because it was so attached to the little boy, it would try to attack the parents for going near the boy.

    Anywho, keep us updated if you don't mind. Your amongst fellow animal lovers, and the community here will help a ton along your journey.
     
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  5. katiebrock

    katiebrock Songster

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    Good for you! I would probably have a unlimited number of rescue animals if my husband would allow!
     
  6. Trimurtisan

    Trimurtisan Quackadelic

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    Also, just in case you didn't know. Do not use vinegar in a galvanized metal feeder. Vinegar as a very low ph, and is very acidic and it will cause a reaction with the metal. I'm pretty sure it causes the zinc to contaminate the water, leading the poisoning of the birds. You should be fine just using a plastic feeder, glass, pretty much anything else.
     

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  7. katiebrock

    katiebrock Songster

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    I am glad you posted this, because I have been putting it in a galvanized pan. I will change to something different!
     
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  8. Trimurtisan

    Trimurtisan Quackadelic

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    YAY! My first piece of usable advice! :D lol
    I'm glad I could help. :)
     
  9. Vyne

    Vyne Chirping

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    Firstly thank you for going to the effort of rescuing the little guy, ducks are amazing and I have been addicted since I hatched my 6 last year.
    As for raising a duck, they are comical, loving and very messy.
    Just two quick points for you.
    1. Nician is important so add brewers yeast to food or he may develop a nician deficiency which causes a raft of issues with mobility as their legs become splayed and weak.
    2. Ducking without mum have no waterproofing, they can get chilled or waterlogged and drown(even at 4-5weeks old in some cases). No matter how much you try your little duck will still find a way to get themselves wet in their water. A great way to have water deep enough to clean their nares (nostrils) but they cant swim in is to get a container that is just under the ducklings chest height and cut a hole in the lid just big enough that the duckling can fit their head comfortably in to dunk. This keeps the puddling to a minimum but let's the duckling snort out the dried food.

    One of my girls decided winter ducklings were a thing and hatched out 8 a week ago. They are now in a brooder so I am just passing on the things I have done and do currently to make things a little easier.
    Any other questions I'm happy to help where I can as I have done a tonne of reading/research about ducks and ducklings.
     
  10. kepler-b19

    kepler-b19 In the Brooder

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    Thank you all so much for your replies! Look like a grocery run is in motion.
    I had a few pictures taken last night.
    received_456083271824470.jpeg received_703190326805752.jpeg
    He may look tired but I think my hand was just very warm for him. He kept me up from his peeps but I'm really happy he turned out. He's still so young that I think he still has his egg tooth, too.
     

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