Mallard eggs in my backyard

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Davesd, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. Davesd

    Davesd Hatching

    Apr 18, 2016
    Hi...A mallard laid 11 eggs in my California suburbia fenced in backyard. I built a fence enclosure around the nest to protect her and the eggs from my Cat and other neighborhood cats that get into my yard. Been feeding her chicken scratch. It's been about 24 days she's been incubating them...flying off for an hour or so a day. All has been going well...So, I should have ducklings by the end of this week.

    My concern is, there is no pond or creek around my place...other than swimming pools (I don't have one). Everything I've read is that mama duck leads her ducklings to water within 24hrs of hatching. I plan to dismantle the temporary fence and open my side gate to let her out. questions....

    1.What are the chances she'll want to stay in my backyard? (I'll have to plan for safety, food and water)
    2.Would mama duck already have a water source she's scoped out where she's going to take the ducklings?
    3. How far can ducklings walk in a day?
    4. If I follow them at a distance....and realize they are wandering aimlessly...should I pick them up and bring them back? or relocate them to a pond?

    I have noticed that mama duck and daddy duck hang out at a neighbors pool during the hour she's gone...could she be planning to take her ducklings there? hope not...cause they don't want ducks in there pool ;o(

    Any advice would be helpful...

  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Hoo, buddy.....

    She may indeed think that that's her water source.

    I think you are doing well to protect her and provide for her as well as you can under the circumstances.[​IMG]

    I suppose you could dig a small hole and sink a kiddy pool in it, put in some rocks or a ramp so the littles have something to stand on and a way to get out (and not drown).


    Ducklings do grow really fast - so I don't think they'll all be around that long, really.
  3. bh1duck

    bh1duck In the Brooder

    Nov 4, 2015
    it is good that you are protecting them from your cat but generally wildlife should remain wild. try not to intervene too much.
  4. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Songster

    Apr 8, 2013
    Is she actually eating the scratch? That is not the best feed for ducks but she can probably fend for herself pretty well and brooding ducks don't eat much. I would make sure to remove it before the ducklings hatch because they will need real food.

    The hen probably has a home so keeping her nest protected was the best thing for her but I assume she will leave with her family when the ducklings are ready to leave the nest at a couple days old. The fact that her drake is protecting her means he should also father the ducklings.

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