Is this hen giving up?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by miro, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. miro

    miro Hatching

    Mar 4, 2012
    Hi everyone, found this forum while searching about Muscovy ducks. Hoping you guys can help me out with something. I live in South Florida and our apartment is on the edge of a lake, we have quite a few Muscovy ducks here. They've had ducklings three times since November but all of them are gone after a period of time. Yesterday we were down to two, today is just one, a yellow one. Yesterday and today we noticed the mother seems to be absent a lot suddenly and she's leaving the duckling by itself Then this morning a little before 7am we saw the lone duckling, swimming the perimeter of the lake squirming very loud and after what seems over an hour I noticed the mother was across the lake with a group of ducks, then she suddenly flew over to her duckling. After a bit of time now I see some of the adults are grouped and the males extending their necks out (mating ritual I guess?). So I'm curious, has the mom given up? It's as if she's just leaving the duckling on purpose. My partner keeps looking out the window and thinks we should try and grab the duckling and take care of him, but I'm not sure us humans can be useful to him for anything more than food. The odd thing is that out of 35+ ducklings only one as of today has survived...
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012

  2. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

    Sep 7, 2009
    Florida - Space Coast
    Turtles and fish and gators are eatting them. It's unfortunately what happens with ducklings in the wild. The neck extension and huffing and all is greeting and breeding behavior. You most likely won't be able to close to the duckling to catchit since it was wild born. We have a small group who were dumped here, after 2 months one drake will come to us for food. This morning he has new "friends" with him eatting, one includes a chocolate female with a stump for a leg. Enjoy watching them, but unless you are willing to be a forever home to this duckling, leave it be. Since you are in an apartment, even more reason to enjoy watching them, but leave the duckling with its mother.
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Songster

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    What CelticOaks said is true. Unfortunately, there could be another cause for these disappearing ducklings. I also live in Florida and here they are considered a nuisance species and as long as you are not being "cruel" anyone can do anything they want to/with them. Many apartment/condo communities hire "trappers" to remove muscovy. The state also has an initiative in place that allows them to destroy muscovy nests. What they typically do is shake the eggs to destroy the developing embyros but leave them in place so the hen will still set for a while and not lay more eggs.

    I have not seen a female muscovy close to me in years. There are 2 drakes that live about 1 mile away and another drake a bit further than that but no girls. [​IMG]
  4. miro

    miro Hatching

    Mar 4, 2012
    I doubt anybody here is hurting them although there was an older duck someone or something killed, it was floating in the lake. The worst I've seen is the kids trying to get the ducklings out of the water. Luckily the property manager is busy, and half her staff are too lazy to do anything but sit at the computer and IM and Facebook.

    I also had no idea fishes ate ducklings! Today I found out what a Heron is and that it too eats ducklings, then I realized the bird outside we saw this morning was a Heron, which explains why the mother looked anxious when it showed up. It was here yesterday as well but it was cautious of me so it didn't get too close to them. I've seen it around other times too so it might be up to no good

    At this complex we have at least four guys, probably more. Three are trying to impress one of the ladies right now so I think we'll be seeing a fourth batch of ducklings soon enough. I think we have 4 females, one is white/brown feathered she's always around by herself, now sure why. I feed them from time to time and two of the males are quite outgoing (or just hungry), they'd even eat out of my hand, and when they see me with groceries they'd come right up to me and stretch their neck trying to see what I'm carrying.

    Guess we'll have to let nature take its course but would be nice to have at least a couple of ducklings grow up

  5. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    The Muscovy mother probably knows more about raising a duckling than you do.

    If you do try to capture the duckling and remove it from its mother, please get it in writing from your property manager that you are permitted to have a duck in your apartment. It would be a shame for you to lose your place to live over trying to do a good deed.

    Many wild mothers in many species will hide their young and then go about their business. Your duckling is not abandoned, especially since you see the mother fly back occasionally to check on the duckling. More than likely, she doesn't want to take her duckling around a bunch of males, so she is stashing it somewhere..

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