Help found a stray duckling! Pic added

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Quail_Cottage, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. Quail_Cottage

    Quail_Cottage In the Brooder

    Feb 6, 2010
    SF Peninsula
    Today I found a stray duckling running along the side of the road. we are in a suburban area but there is lots of natural wildlife and i've seen adult ducks walking along the street before, there are creeks running through folk back yards etc. but no sign of mom or dad and the little guy was close to getting run over. I couldn't leave him there so have brought him home. I have quail (we hatched them from eggs) in my back yard so have brooder boxes etc. and we have a 1200 gallon pond, so he could make this place home of he likes it, if not we can release him back to the creek when he's old enough.

    Is there a good source of general info on raising a duckling somewhere? I didn't see anything obvious in the sticky at the top of the page. I'm guessing he's only a week old, still a fuzzball, no sign of feathers coming in, when do ducklings start to get theirs?
    I've put him in a plastic storage tub with shavings and the chick waterer/feeder I used for the quail.
    Does he need a heat lamp too?
    What do I feed him? Regular chick starter? I've put some of the quail food in for now but that's 28% protein which is probably overkill as quail seem to need high protein compared to most other birds.

    I'll post a pic so you guys can help me out with age/ breed etc. once I get it off my camera and uploaded. [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  2. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    You are pretty much set I would say. You will need to get around 16% protein or the duckling will develop angel wings. You also need to supplement with niacin or brewers yeast. An additive for drinking water with vitamins/electrolytes usually does take care of it. No swimming to start with, unless it is supervised in warm water. I usually go for the 5 minute rule or watch them. They stop cleaning and swimming when they had enough. They just sit, so you know it is time to get them out and back under the brooder. You can let it freely use the pond once 4 weeks old. Make sure it can get in and out by itself. I usually use just a light bulb for warmth. Start off with 100 watts from 2 feet above and go down depending on the ducks behavior. You will go down pretty fast, unlike with quails who really need it for some time. Please read the story of Ducky a wild mallard we raised and that went back to nature by itself. You don't really have to dump it back into the wild, it will go all by itself when the time is right. Please so not interact to much with it, because you want it to be shy of humans. You should call the wild life officials and see if they want to take it in. It's the law. My experience that they do not care to much for wild mallards, but they will make sure that you do not keep it. You may need to file for a license, which is usually free of charge. With me they said if it stays more then for 4 month then I will need to have a permanent license, which does cost a little bit. Wasn't much. They usually leave before that time comes anyway so no worry.
    Good luck,
  3. RedfogsFlock

    RedfogsFlock Songster

    Jan 17, 2010
    Wittmann, AZ
    I would say a few days old, and looks like a baby mallard to me! [​IMG] I do believe it's illegal to have mallards tho! [​IMG]
  4. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Angel wing isn't caused by protein. There is a lot of debate about the cause, but my research shows it to be high carbohydrate intake and genetic susceptibility.

    I feed my baby ducks game bird feed. The same stuff I give my quail. They do need some extra niacin, but a little brewer's yeast sprinkled on the food works fine.

    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    Quote:Right on both counts. You should contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator to come & get the duck. The fine for having one is pretty stiff.
  6. crj

    crj Songster

    Dec 17, 2009
    Rocky Point, NC
    I'd say chick starter/grower. That's what I'm using for my ducks. I suggest a light to keep the little fella warm. Watch the pine shavings....... my runners would eat them. I just use towels now. Easier to clean up and they can't eat them. Plenty of water so he can shake his bill in it. Otherwise that's about it. Not much different then baby chicks. They just like water a whole lot more!

    Keep us posted about this little duck. Are you sure they are illegal? I thought I've seen people raise them. Is there a mallard breed that is different?
  7. fancbrd4me02

    fancbrd4me02 Songster

    I had mallards a long time ago....I got them from a feed store (hatchery). They were not Ruens. They were illegal?[​IMG]

    I looked it up...aparrently wild caught mallards are for sure illegal to keep. Not sure as yet about captive bred......Hummm. You better take him to a rehabber.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  8. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

    Dec 19, 2009
    Southwest TN
    I have a mallard hen. I got it from TSC. NOT a Rouen either. I think it is only illegal if it was a wild bird. Feed stores do sell them. My neighbor has some as well.
  9. crj

    crj Songster

    Dec 17, 2009
    Rocky Point, NC
    Ok, how would one know it was wild or bought from a hatchery??? Is there something different about them? I'm really curious now.
  10. tigerrrrrrrlilly

    tigerrrrrrrlilly Songster

    Mar 27, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I have domestic mallards from ideal hatchery, and wild mallards around. They don't look much different aside from mine having cleaner coloring. I also raised a wild one (which is why I bought more for company) I am sure if you "said" you bought it, they wouldn't question it. My wild mallard did leave home at about 4 months old and also one of my domestic drakes. They just decided to leave with the wild mallards flying over.

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