Help with Baby Mallard?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by RestlessCrow, May 16, 2010.

  1. RestlessCrow

    RestlessCrow Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 26, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hi guys.... a friend of mine unfortunately witnessed a Mama Duck go splat, and one lone baby was left sitting on the double Yellow line.... The kindhearted soul stopped and scooped up the littl'un.... and brought him to my house.

    I set up an impromtu brooder box in a Rubbermaid tote, and he made it through the night just fine, although he isn't as active as he was yesterday. The little fluffball (From what I read he's two weeks old or so....) is snuggled up under the light with a stuffed toy. I have a waterer in there and some chick starter.

    Everything I've read says that ducklings are fine and they will eat just fine all on their own, but I'm a little concerned because I haven't seen him eat at all. I've gotten him to drink a little by sticking his nose in the water, and I followed the advice of someone else that said to get a paint tray and put some water in it and let him get his feet and beak wet. He drank a little when he was in there, but only after dozing off and getting his beak in the water. Then he drank. (Yes, I dried him off well afterwards) I'm concerned because he seems "overly sleepy". I know he had a real rough day yesterday, but I'm concerned that he's not eating and thus keeping his energy up.

    Please folks, I'd like some answers here and I'd like them quick!!! Everything I've read says don't force feed ducklings, and they'll eat all on their own, but I'm concerned that he was bonded with Mama and because she's not around that he's just giving up. (If that makes sense.)

    My concerns:

    Lack of energy
    Only drinks when I wake him up and put his beak in water
    Bonded with Mama and not allowing me to help....
    Have not witnessed him eating.

    Overall he seems healthy. There were no injuries to him, and he was quite active when he arrived here. He would run around in the cat carrier he arrived in, and then nap for a bit, then run around again. (Perhaps he was cold?) Now that he's in the brooder, he seems only interested in sleeping. (Gave me a heart attack last night because he fell asleep but with his head off to the side on the stuffed toy. I thought I lost him but once I disturbed him he picked his head right up and looked at me as if to say "WHAT do you want!!!???)

    Please! All advice is appreciated!!!!!! and ASAP!!!!
     
  2. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
    make sure the starter is not medicated
     
  3. RestlessCrow

    RestlessCrow Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 26, 2009
    New Jersey
    Definitely not medicated. Just haven't seen him eat and that is the main cause of my concerns.
     
  4. classroomducks

    classroomducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Fort Worth, Tx
    ive heard people say put sugar or honey in his water to perk him up. some electrolytes might help too. I would also try some fruits or veggies...if hes been raised in the wild, he may not like the food or even recognize it as food. You could also try some pin head crickets and see if he would prefer those. Good luck with your little guy.
     
  5. PlumTuckered

    PlumTuckered Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2007
    Arkansas
    I second adding the sugar. I also suggest adding a mirror to the brooder, he could be lonely/broken hearted. I would also practice calling duck duck and tapping the food dish to get his curiosity up, it might get him eating.

    A snake got one of my 2 month old mallard drakes and the one left was so broken hearted he wouldn't eat or drink, just cry..I ran to the feed store and bought 3 mallard girls that were 11 days old and he has been surrogate Mamma to them from the get go. He has a fit if one of those babies walks out of his sight. He's a precious little guy indeed :)
    Here he is swimming with his little girls:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Michelle
     
  6. CorralitosSunflower

    CorralitosSunflower Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 24, 2009
    Corralitos
    Is there anyway you can get the duckling a buddy? Ducks are very social and if he is used to being with other ducks that may be why he is giving up. Also, My ducklings loved crumbled up hardboiled egg yolk- the color really got their attention and they loved the taste. Your baby is probably used to eating food that is DRASTICALLY different from chick-starter crumble and he/she may have no idea what it is or not care for it. You could also look around outside for bugs, small slugs and give some chopped up greens which may be more recognizable. I hope he pulls through, rough start for a little one [​IMG]
     
  7. RestlessCrow

    RestlessCrow Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 26, 2009
    New Jersey
    Thank you SO much guys.... I very much appreciate all of the input.... It's been a rough day for all! Fortunately for both of us I was off of work today. I'll definitely try everything that EVERYONE told me... (Although I have a SERIOUS aversion to slugs...) I'm gonna run downstairs and cut a piece of mirror to stick in there with him to keep him company, and everything else with the food and such. The honey water seems to be helping. Thanks again guys, and if anyone has any more advice I'll be checking back!
     
  8. CorralitosSunflower

    CorralitosSunflower Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 24, 2009
    Corralitos
    If you can't handle collecting slugs you could always get some mealworms for the little guy. It will be to expensive to keep up as his regular diet but it may help ease the transition to chick starter. Get the live mealworms and put them on top of the chick starter so he will start to associate eating what he is used too with the taste of chick starter [​IMG]
     
  9. RestlessCrow

    RestlessCrow Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 26, 2009
    New Jersey
    Mirror is cut and takes up the whole end of one side of the brooder. Egg is on the stove hardboiling right now. That's about all I can do at quarter after 9 PM.... Keep ya all posted. Thanks again!
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  10. pirtykitty

    pirtykitty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 8, 2008
    Waco, Texas
    Meal worms, sow bugs ( rolly polys, pill bugs), tiny snails, flys, . oh worms.. also try tapping your finger in the food bowl, and maybe floating a little of it in water.. Email me your email privately and I can send you some duck starter...
    oh also try cutting up romaine lettuce or dandelion greens chopped up tiny and floating in water too. might have to dip babys bill in it a few times..
     

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