Help! Mom keeps abandoning her ducklings.

Smilingceci

Hatching
May 30, 2017
2
0
2
Hi, I'm really hoping someone here can help me with some much needed info. I live in Miami, Fl and have a situation with Muscovy baby ducklings that are in danger. Of course no Wildlife rescue group will help me since they are not protected here. So Mama duck and her 12 ducklings (approx. 5-6 weeks old) have been visiting my front yard for the past 5-6 weeks. I've fed them regularly and they've always hung out at or very near my home. But suddenly, about 3 days ago, only the ducklings showed up. Mama was nowhere to be seen all day. The next day, same thing. I became worried for their safety and decided to catch and trap all 12 of them (what a mission that was!). Even after all the noise they made, no Mama appeared. So I had to assume something really bad happened to her and she was gone for good. I've been keeping them in a crate, safe and with plenty of food and water but they refuse to eat. Then today (3rd day of her gone missing), Mama suddenly appeared! I was so happy!! She was wagging her tail and they all ran up to her and they all walked away together. But several hours later, I saw the babies all by themselves, again, all huddled up in my front yard. No mom to be seen.
I am so saddened by this! I now have to assume that she is abandoning them on purpose! Or maybe they are refusing to follow her? Either way, I'm so worried for their well-being... they are unprotected and not eating. I know it's especially dangerous overnight.
Please tell me... do you have an idea of what could be going on and if there's anything I can do to help? I don't know how long mom will be gone for this time and if she's even coming back! Is it best that I trap them again? Or leave them out for mom to come back for them again?? I know they wont make it without protection! Thank you so much in advance for any info that you can provide.
 

Smilingceci

Hatching
May 30, 2017
2
0
2
They are reaching the age that Momma Duck weans them...Dont interfere ....Momma Ducks knows what she is doing....

:frow
Hi. Thank you for your response but from everything I've read, I highly doubt that is the case. They are still tiny, about 5 weeks old. They aren't eating when she's not around. That cannot be natural. A theory I came up with today is that maybe who I thought was "mama" showing up yesterday, wasn't really their mom? Most adult ducks look so similar to me! Even though she wagged her tail at them and they approached her and walked away with her, her behavior was different than what I remember. Instead of letting them eat while she watched (mom's normal behavior), she seemed to want all the food to herself without a concern for them to eat. She also walked away without being watchful that they were following her. I haven't seen her since. But the ducklings are still huddled in my yard. So maybe their mom really did pass away and "her" coming back was just wishful thinking? Then again, I don't know if it's normal for a "stranger" to come up to ducklings that aren't hers and be kinda friendly with them??
 

chickens really

Crazy Mother of Goats
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 8, 2015
62,661
109,098
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The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
Look, she is cutting the Apron strings and soon will not return...If you interfere they will not survive...Ducklings rest lots and I can say they are eating...Momma taught them how to forage ...Do not put human emotions on Ducks..It does not work that way...:th

Your call....:frow
 

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