Mallards

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by brianlg, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. brianlg

    brianlg New Egg

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    Jul 12, 2011
    Ok we got 4 Mallard ducklings in April. After they got old enough we tried everything to get them to play in the pond, but they would come right out and go back to the chicken coop with the chickens. Well fast forward to the last week. They have discovered their wings and that they LOVE the pond. So much so that we can't get them out in order to put them up at night. Im not sure what to do, I don't want to keep them in the coop all the time, I have to much fun watching them in the pond. Don't think I want to clip their wings, want them to be able to escape anything that might try to get them. I guess my question is, Do I just leave them at the pond all the time? As far as I know they haven't eaten anything but what is in the pond for the last 2 days. Thanks
     
  2. LostGosling

    LostGosling Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 11, 2011
    Hi!
    Mallards are very wild by nature, so if you let them out again they will probably not come out of the water for a while. They are adapted to this as a safety messure in the wild. The wild Mallards live off of fish, frogs, tadpoles, worms , duckweed, and other plants that they can graze on while they never have to leave the water. If a predator comes form the land or sky, they just fly up, make a circle around their territory, successfully lose their persuer(s) in the trees, and land back in the water. Domestic Mallards still strongly have this instinct from their wild ancesters that other domestic ducks have all but lost. You may need to keep them penned up during the winter though, to keep them from going south with any "fly bys" from the wild. Do not bring their food to them. Make sure that you keep their corn or pellets in the coop, so they are incouraged to come to their shelter if they're tired of foraging. So, if your pond is very big, and they seem to be staying in it all night, they should be pretty safe. If they get low on forage, they will go to the first place that they know has some, which you should make sure that they know their coop is the place to go.

    Good luck and I hope I helped! [​IMG]
     
  3. ericdc

    ericdc Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2011
    Quote:leave them out...they should be fine. Mine have done fine out at my pond. I feed them every evening.
     
  4. AdamD77

    AdamD77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2010
    Bedfordshire, England
    Is the enclosure secure anyway, even if they can fly if really necessary? If so it's probably okay to leave them out, as after all they are quite wild in some cases! The only thing that worries me is that you say you don't think they've eaten anything except what's in the pond...? I assume you mean a proper pond with plants, bugs etc? Even then, it's probably a good idea for them to get some supplementary food from you, even with foraging most of the time. Would it be possible to put a dish of food out in their pen or would it cause too much trouble for you with pests?
     
  5. ericdc

    ericdc Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2011
    I feed mine just as much as they can eat every evening about an hour before dark. The forage during the day and I give them a nice dinner before dark. They are always waiting for me when I drive up.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. BigKitty09

    BigKitty09 Out Of The Brooder

    Ive been raising a single mallard duckling since day two. Its mother was hit by a car and the siblings were poisoned I believe. She is now 5 weeks old and has for the most part been living free range in our suburban backyard with 3 chickens who try to avoid her chompers, and follows me wherever I go. She has been skittish around me ever since my mother put a diaper on her which she wouldn't have, but will come to me and let me hold her at night before she goes in her kennel. She has a little swimming pool and I will soon get her some fishies to eat, and of course she has her regular feed. Do you think she will leave us and fly away? A few ducks have flown by and she quacked after them, i don't want to clip her wings, and will not pen her up except at night to keep her safe. If she flew away, what would make her leave, would she come back, and would she be able to live outside of our backyard?
     
  7. THunter

    THunter Chillin' With My Peeps

    She will fly away and never come back. It's what wild mallards do. If you want her to stay, clip her wings. It won't hurt her one bit.
     
  8. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 4, 2011
    I know this isn't popular, but I do have to say that once a "wild" species (under the MBTA) is free-flighted, it is considered a wild bird and confining it equates to capture of a wild bird. If it is properly marked, one could probably avoid the consequences, but if it is not, or you are caught in the act of capturing the bird, you are vulnerable.

    Clint
     
  9. BigKitty09

    BigKitty09 Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:Yes, thank you Clint I read all of your earlier posts.
     
  10. BigKitty09

    BigKitty09 Out Of The Brooder

    To THunter,
    Will she be ok in the wild? I've heard from some people that if you provide food and shelter and such and the climates are mild they might not fly away, while others say they fly and come back.

    Mallard keepers: what is your experience?
     

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