Help! Rescued A Duckling First Time Taking Care Of A Duck!!


8 Years
May 27, 2011
Theres a duck that lives around my neighborhood (Hollywood,FL) with 7 ducklings, but today she showed up in my backyard with 10, 3 were clearly not hers. They seemed to be the same type of duck species (Muscovy) but were a lot smaller than her own ducklings. She kept pecking at them obviously in an aggressive manner. I saw her leave for a while and when she came back 2 of the smaller ones were gone and now the last one was following her still. I don't know what she did with the other 2 but she was definitely trying to get him to stop following her. After the small baby duck ran in the other direction I snatched him up and now have him in a decent sized cardboard box. I have NEVER cared for a duck let alone a baby one., so I need your help. What can I feed him? I keep reading that they eat some kind of food called "Start & Grow" un-medicated, but I don't think I can find that in the local Pet Stores i.e. Petsupermarket, Petco, etc. I put a towel on the bottom of the box and put another towel for him to snuggle in. My mom got mashed up, soggy, crackers, mixed them with milk and some kind of oatmeal for babies and served it to him. He's eaten it on his own so I guess thats good. Why does he/she keep chirping? Is it cold? Does it need a heating lamp? How do I put water in its cage without it getting it getting its belly wet (I heard you weren't supposed to do that)? He seems to be maybe a week old if anything because he has his brown and yellow fuzzy feathers in. Please help ASAP, I need it.
Yes if it is only a week old it needs a heat source. You can take a plastic container with a lid and cut a whole big enough for it to dip it's beak in for water. Find a feed store tomorrow and get some duck food if they have it or game bird starter- unmedicated. Add oats (reg non flavored oats are fine) and if you have brewers yest add a little of that. You can also get poultry vitamins to add to the water and skip the brewers yeast. You can also give it some small chopped up pieces of grass or greens of some sort. They drink a lot and make a huge mess. The poop ALOT!
A heat lamp would be good, depending on how warm it is where you are. They like company. I would get another duckling, or even a chick for company. They eat lots of things, but duck starter is best. If you can't get that right away, scrambled or hard boiled eggs are very nutritious and they like them a lot. Mine love sweet corn as well, but there are important proteins and other nutrients that they need i n the specialized feed. More stores probably carry it than you'd think.

Good luck! Poor baby.
Wow good for you! I've fed wild baby ducks (that were brought to me) oatmeal over night. If you have a small saucer that you can turn a cup upside down into then you have a waterer. Ducks need a ton of water, and it's very imprortant for them to be able to wash their beaks off so it should have a little depth to it. It may also be cold. If you can put a lamp over him that will help. He's probably crying because he's lonely and scared. I put a soft stuffed animal in for them to snuggle with. Just expect it to get very dirty and need to be cleaned daily. Good luck!
Well it's peeping cause it doesn't have any company from other ducks and it was taken away from its "mother." but if the mama was going to get rid of it any way then he will be fine. Do you have any stores or feed stores around you that sells poultry, they would have some duck feed there. Do you have any small bowls that don't have very big tops, that would work if you don't have a chick waterer. you could probably find a heat lamp at your local Petsmart/co, you could find one by the reptiles. Get either bulb for it, red or white both will work. for now just keep a heater going where it is. they can eat flock raiser or game bird feed, yes un-medicated. they will have fuzz for about 2 or 3 weeks until they grow their feathers, when they do grow their feathers they will not need a heat lamp anymore. Ducks grow very fast so don't be surprised. look on craigslist in your area to see if anyone will have duck supplies or feed. You are doing great so far, it will be very messy so you can stick with the paper towls if you don't have any thing else. It will need to stay in your house or garage until it starts growing feathers. don't try and release it into the wild it will not survrive on its own that young and will not know any "life lessons." I really hope this helps and good luck.
Thank you all so much! I'll try to find feed for him as soon as I can. I keep him next to me (in the box) while I'm on the computer and pet him whenever he chirps. I don't know if I should keep him or release him into a reserve when he's older? But thanks for the info anyways. here's a pic of him

Oh how cute! I'm not sure if it's a muscovy, though, but it is definitely a domestic breed. Perhaps the other two made it back to their real mother, somewhere. Are there any other duck owners nearby? If so, perhaps he's from one of their ducks.

Anyway, I wouldn't release him back because he's not a wild breed. So, if you can keep him, that would be great and it might be nice to get him another duckling as a companion. If you can't keep him, perhaps find someone else who can.
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See.........this is where all that duck and chicken math starts!

Good Luck to the baby!
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