introducing 3, 2 week old ducklings to mother ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by animalz11, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. animalz11

    animalz11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all,
    I have a friend who did no research before getting ducks and is not giving them to me.
    I have 2 ducks with 2 ducklings, I was wondering if they would accept the new ducklings, there are 3 and they are 2 weeks old, so are my ducklings, so I was thinking of gathering all the ducklings together and putting them all in the wooden hutch, hopeing the mother ducks would take them all.
    Would this work?
    How could I help make it work?
     
  2. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't think that this would work. Mother ducks usually just take care of what they hatched ( or, if you have tricked them on hatching day, what they believe they hatched ) and do not take care of other ducklings. They actually can be very hostile. I observed this once with wild mallards - two families met on a stream, and suddenly one duck chased after the offspring of the other.
    The best that could happen would be that the adults simply ignore the new ducklings.
    By now, the mother ducks know their offspring and can spot those which do not belong to them, espeacially when there are only two ducklings so far.
    You can try whether the ducklings accept the new ones and allow them to cuddle, but if you try that, stay with them to interfer if necessary.
     
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is doubtful that it would work. Possible but unlikely. You could put the ducklings in a cage or wire crate and allow the ducks to see them and look at their reactions. Ducks will sometimes kill strange ducklings though.
    You can try but you would need to be prepared to brood them yourself. Someone on here (can't remember who) got some older ducklings and one of her muscovy adopted them, she didn't have ducklings at the time. I wouldn't count on it though.
    If you try you need to be there to stop any aggression. I also wouldn't leave them together unattended until the ducklings are 6-8 weeks old.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  4. animalz11

    animalz11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was thinking if I put all the ducklings in a cage then when the ducklings got ot know each other I let them all out and see what happens, hopefully the origional ducklings will run to the mums and the others will follow..
    How quickly does it take for a mum duck to kill one of the little ones?
     
  5. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    They grab them by the neck and shake them till they're dead. That should not kill the ducklings instantly but you would have to be quick to save them though.

    The ducklings might bond (although not so fast that keeping them in a cage for a short time would do the job I suppose), but when the other ducklings would try to approach the mothers, they would keep them at distance. It is also likely that the other ducklings are afraid of the adult ducks and do not even try to get accepted by them.
    Maybe you should just keep them separated till they are about four weeks old. Then they are fast enough to run away from the adults.
     
  6. animalz11

    animalz11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, what if I caught all ducklings so the mum ducks came to get them and then release all of them?
     
  7. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't think that you can successfully trick the mothers to accept the new ducklings. They will sort the strangers out and not adopt them. They might accept them as new flock members though. Actually, ducklings which are used to grow up without a mother do not depend on one when they are provided with warmth.
     
  8. animalz11

    animalz11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I tried, I brought them home and left them in the milk carton I think it is they were in, the they were hissing at the ducks which then they hissed back and tried on a few occasion to put their heads through the holes and grab at their neck... I would protect the ducklings but, yeah, it didn't work.

    I am now brooding the ducklings in a spa I bought online which is lined with newspaper, so now they have plenty of space and it's nice and warm for them and they seemed over the moon when I chopped up some lettuce, cucumber, carrot, cheese and chicken (which I don't normally give to them but these ducklings looked like they needed it), beans and tomato and put it in for them, they acted strange at first as though they didn't know what the food was, as the lady who I go them off I suspect never gave them anything like that, but after they discovered how nice it was they all got stuck in.

    I'm glad I took them in, the lady who was caring for them (well, more like neglecting them) was feeding them canary mix! When I delivered the ducklings for her I gave her some chick starter and gave her a whole spiel as to how to take care of them. I suspect she kept them in the carboard box, she was complaining on the amount of poop there was, for one, it would have been worse because the ducklings had horrible diareoah (a corn colour with the canary mix seeds still there) and secondly it would have seemed to be less poop if she had given them enough space!

    The ducklings should make a full recovery though... hopefully they will wash off the poop they were lightly covered in too and their poop returns to normal, well, as it should be.

    Thank you all for your help!
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Congrats on the new ducklings, pics when you get a chance. and newspaper is not good for ducklings to be on it's slippery and can cause leg problems. so either shredded up newspaper or shaving would be best. All the best with getting this lil ones in tip top shape.
     
  10. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Very kind of you to rescue these ducklings. It's a shame how some people handle infant animals. They can be lucky to have someone who cares so much for them and informs himself so well [​IMG]

    I'd also be eager to see pictures of your new aquisitions.
     

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