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Help please! Mother abandoned her baby.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Dorsetducks, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. Dorsetducks

    Dorsetducks Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2015
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    So I posted on here the other day looking for general advice on on how to take care of my broody duck. and her babies.

    All was going well and until this morning we had five ducklings from six eggs and last egg had pipped through however sometime later the mother decided to abandon the nest.

    I put the egg under the mother and she seemed to sit on it so I was hoping that she would keep it warm I kept checking and checking but I had to leave for a couple of hours when I came home to check the chick had hatched but it was cold and laying on its side and the mother was in on the other side of the pen with the other hatched babies.[​IMG]

    I brought it inside and warmed him up on the heat pad he already looks more lively than he was. I've just been out and purchased a brooder however I now really need some advice on how to care for him he looks very weak although he is cheeping and as I said he has warmed up but I'm worried for him any advice please

    I considered returning him to the mother but I really don't think she's going to look after him
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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  3. Dorsetducks

    Dorsetducks Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2015
    England.
    Thank you once again Amiga.

    The duckling seems to be doing well, he's drying out nicely and seems more lively and is cheeping when he sees me.

    I haven't offered food or water yet as I understand they have nutrition from the yolk to keep them going for a bit, is that correct?

    I hope he makes it through the night, (im in the UK) so off to bed now, he's in my room so i can check on him overnight. I just feel sorry for him he's alone but if he makes it, will I take him back to Mum or raise him myself? Will she likely reject him again or if I add him to the other 5 will she treat him like them?

    Also is her abandoning him a bad sign for her as a Mum? The remaining 5 are doing well but I'm worried she will have enough of them. Why did she abandon this egg and then the chick once it hatched? Seems so sad and Strange when she's done so well with the others!
     
  4. Dorsetducks

    Dorsetducks Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2015
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    Anyone? :(

    He's doing ok, eating and drinking and quite vocal. Still a bit wobbly.

    Don't know if I should try him with Mum again, my instinct says it's not a good idea.
     
  5. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    no i wouldnt recommend it i would hand raise him :) and maybe get 2 of his siblings to go with him just so he can learn social order and intergrate back into the flock easier.
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I am not a hatcher, but I think your instincts are right. buff goose guy also has a good idea that a buddy or two would help him learn he is a duck. Single ducklings seem to believe they are human. At the same time, @Miss Lydia raised Opie, and he is now living with the flock. But there was an adjustment period.
     
  7. Dorsetducks

    Dorsetducks Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2015
    England.
    Thank you for the replies.

    I did wonder whether I should give him a friend but thought maybe that was unfair on the one who is already part of the mum and baby group?

    Am now worried the little one already thinks I'm his mother, I got him out to encourage food and drink and he climbed on my lap and started falling asleep on me, didn't like it when I put him back, now I feel bad.

    This is definitely a steep learning curve, not sure I'm doing this right at all. :(
     
  8. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Personally, I would try to reintroduce the duckling now since it is stronger. Is it as active as it's siblings out with mom? If so, I think you should try it. I used to be an Avian Keeper and we did this often with orphaned or rejected ducklings. We'd just stick them in with another mom and ducklings, even if they weren't the same species (so long as they were about the same age and no more than a few days old). Never had any reject a duckling we introduced in this way: What you can do is take all the ducklings away from mom (it's just for a minute) and put them in a box with the one you have been raising. Then release them all back to her at the same time (we called this a "Shake and Bake"; without any actual shaking of course). Ducks can't count and she shouldn't notice the new one, so long as it follows it's instinct to follow it's siblings to mom. The longer you wait to reintroduce him/her, the less likely it is to work. I think it's definitely worth a shot before you decide to raise him yourself, which is alot of work and sometimes leaves you with an odd duck that will never fully fit in with other ducks. He'll be better off socially with his mom and siblings. If it doesn't work, then no big deal, just take him back inside with one or two buddies like others have said and hand-raise them together. This way you can also avoid ending up with a socially-inept duck. Trust me, I had to raise one duckling alone last year and she is the weirdest, oddest duck you will ever meet. It took me a full year to integrate her in with other ducks and she still isn't fully accepted, they just tolerate her presence. She loves me to death and still wants to sit on my lap and snuggle every day, which is cool for me but anyway. ;) (She is the duck in my avatar.)

    Good luck and let us know what happens!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2015
    3 people like this.
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I don't have ducks, but this has come up before with other critters here. It seems like her timing was just a little off - she hatched all she thought she was going to hatch and left the last egg because she had live chicks to worry about. Most of the time they'll sit tight for another day or so and any "late" eggs have the chance to hatch, but if she thought she was done with the sitting part she'll just leave.

    I think I'd try to put him back under her. If you can wait until dark and then slip him in with the others she might not even notice the extra in the morning. I may be way off base, but it's at least worth a shot. Good luck with the little one, no matter which way you end up going!
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Any updates did you try putting the little one back. Best ot distract mom with some kind of yummy treat and have lil one where she can't see it then while she is preoccupied slip the duckling in with the rest, diff worth a try.
     

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