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Mamma duck stressed and anxious

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by MicaFarms, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. MicaFarms

    MicaFarms New Egg

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    Jul 6, 2016
    SW Washington
    I am new to Backyard chickens but I have spent countless hours on the forums looking for answers to my many questions since we started the chicken and duck adventure in April of 2015.
    Our birds free range on about an acre, fenced in with a 6 foot fence. We have 26 chickens, and one rooster along with our ducks. We have a coop, the ducks haven't been using since it is summer. They prefer to stay outside.
    I have 3 Blue Swedish ducks, 1 drake (Kermit), 2 hens (Summer and Autumn). Autumn is sitting in a wooded area of there paddock and Summer just hatched 4 eggs, two died and two lived. She was attempting to take the surviving ducklings (Hatched July 3rd) to a new hiding spot deep in the brush but I tricked her with Cheerios to get her into our brooding house 4x4 feet with the babies. The attached run is 4x10 and fenced overhead. The brooding house is inside the acre paddock.
    The issue is the drake and female seem very stressed and they both keep poking at the fence often. The drake is very interested in her and the ducklings and seems very distressed not being able to be with them. Although he is just on the other side of the fence.
    I know they have been doing this in the wild on there own and probably don't need my intervention but I don't want to let them out. I am already attached and was very upset when I cleaned out the nest and found two didn't survive the first night.

    Am I interfering and causing more issues than needed? Should I let them go?
     
  2. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you are definitely right to keep momma and the ducklings in a safe pen until the ducklings are older. You can test letting the drake in with them, just be very careful and keep a close eye on them. Be ready to remove the drake immediately if he is aggressive at all towards the ducklings. Drakes can kill ducklings, but some are good fathers. You just never know. The adults are clearly stressed being separated, so it's worth a try to see if your drake will be a good dad and can stay in with his family. :) If he tries to attack the ducklings, take him out of course and keep them separate. They may not like it, but it's not for forever. Just until the ducklings are bigger and less vulnerable.

    Good luck! Let us know how it goes! ^-^
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    I think you need to let them all together, keeping an eye on the two without ducklings (sometimes, they get aggressive). Then at night, you need to keep them in a coop, either together or seperately, and provide a heat lamp for the little ones (try to seperate mama and the babies at night so the others don't crush them trying to get to heat). After about a week or two (as long as mama is still brooding them) they should be fine wthout supplemental heat.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Western N.C.
    @MicaFarms I for one think you did the right thing by putting them where they are safe Having an acre fenced still makes ducklings an easy target for predators. Mama ducks can be fierce but against something with teeth they really don't stand much of a chance. I keep my mamas and babies separated by fencing from the other flock members and the drake for a couple weeks everyone can see each other but it gives ducklings a chance to get their footing and helps them be ready to be around all the rest and be ready to stay out of their way. Drakes have also been known to injure and kill ducklings So it's always best to err on the side of caution. After a week or so try letting dad inside and watch to see how he acts with the ducklings. That way you'll be ready to intervene if dad gets to aggressive.
     
  5. MicaFarms

    MicaFarms New Egg

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    Jul 6, 2016
    SW Washington
    Thank you for all of the great advice, I feel better knowing I am not being paranoid! I am going to keep them separate, for now, it definitely keeps my stress down! I will post some photos and keep everyone updated.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Look forward to pics.. [​IMG]and Welcome to BYC!!
     

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