Mama Left Duckling Behind

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by vfem, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    My husband was out fishing and as usual our ducks would swim around following the boat begging for treats. This time he noticed an odd ball.... a dark colored duckling with the group. We only have pekins and a white muscovy... so this was defintely not a hatchling from them. We're pretty sure he's a wild thing and his mama hatched and was either killed or flew off leaving a lone duckling behind.

    Though my ducks pretty much are paying him no mind, do you think they would adopt him and he'd be ok? Or am I just better off catching him, feeding him until he's big enough and releasing him? Though, there is no guarantee he didn't belong to perhaps a neighbor's duck and wondered off onto our pond either.

    I can't be sure as to what he is until I catch him... hoping a turtle doesn't get him first!?

  2. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    How big or what age do you think the little one may be?? If its very small- especially if it hasnt got many feathers yet- it may not survive long on its own.
  3. pringle

    pringle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    I say raise him but try to have no contact with him,if he doesnt fly away when hes older and stays with you just keep him.
  4. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Catch him and keep him safe, then bring him to me.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    If he's fully feathered, even if he's still relatively small, I'd let him be. But if he's still mostly or even partly down-covered, I'd catch him and raise him. If you post pictures here, someone can probably tell you if it's a wild species or a domesticated breed. If it's wild, you'll need to contact a licensed wildlife rehabber to take him in. If it's domesticated, you can raise him & release him with your flock when he's old enough.

    Good luck, and nice find! [​IMG]
  6. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:Hi neighbor! Sanford NC here. Is there any chance that the mother and other ducklings were hiding some where when the man with the boat and the strange ducks appeared? You would be surprized at how well ducks can hide! Perhaps your dark one is just brave or stupid and joined your flock by mistake rather than hiding. If he is pretty much the same size as your ducklings, maybe he can live with them for a time. If smaller I would leave him there in hopes he can reunite with his original family. Sounds cruel but it is his best change for the best ending. If he doesn't disapper after a hour or so of being alone then you can try to claim him.
  7. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I was pretty concerned as the last batch my girls hatched ended up eaten by a heron! [​IMG] I wrote about it here. Not a lot of good survival rates here lately.... foxes, raccoons, turtles and herons.... its like a steven king novel out there!!!! [​IMG]

    I'm pretty sure his/her mama is gone whatever it was.... its out with my flock again still this morning. I am going out to feed everyone shortly, and I think it may follow my girls up here to eat.... maybe I'll catch a good look at it. [​IMG]
  8. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    Do you know what kind of duckling it might be (or can you post photos)? If it's dark, it might not be a wild duck (but still could be feral). If you're sure the mother is gone after watching for a while, then take him in. Then, if you hear a female duck quacking her head off looking for him, then let him go to her.

    What's strange is that he seemed to survive the night alright because he left and came back. Most small downy ducklings wouldn't survive more than a few hours without their mama keeping them warm and oiled.

    ETA: Perhaps he's a ruddy duck or a scaup? They tend to look "fuzzy" and they're very small, too, like a mallard duckling. Does it have a stiff tail and a blue bill?
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010

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