Momma Duck keeps leaving her ducklings to be with the bigger ducks....

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Lucky Ducky, May 17, 2009.

  1. Lucky Ducky

    Lucky Ducky Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have no idea whether I should be concerned or not. I searched but didn't find an answer, sooo now I'm throwing it out there for all of you smart people to answer.
    I have a duck that hatched out ducklings(7). She is enclosed in a pen within her and her buddies original pen. I put it up when it got close to time for her eggs to hatch. Then the others wouldn't bother her. She is a Buff duck. I didn't put a top on the outside part because most ducks don't fly and the idea was to just give her and the babies a safe place away from the others but still within sight of them.
    She keeps flying over the pen. It's about 3 1/2 ft. tall. It seems like she cannot figure out how to get back. Maybe she doesn't want to be with them. If I go in the big pen, she's usually right outside the small one talking to them. It's crazy having to chase or herd her back into the pen every day. Today I had to do it twice. I even went out there this morning and made her pen shorter so she would be able to just jump back over. It's now about 18 inches tall. That's enough so the babies can't get out and she should be able to easily get back over.
    I don't know if she wants to bring them out or what but the larger pen isn't secure enough for these tiny babies. Do any of you have any idea about what is up with this duck? One other thing when she was on the nest she was easily scared and would run off of it but she would go back to it within a few minutes. My other broody duck will not budge from her nest at all. If you even look at her, she starts hissing and bristling all up. She acts like she is a snake. It's actually pretty funny to see. Maybe it's just the difference in their personalities.
    I have two ducklings that we had ordered in our greenhouse and I'm wondering if I should take the babies away and put them in the greenhouse. If she's in the pen and you look over, she runs off and leaves them.
  2. DuckLady

    DuckLady ~~~Administrator~~~BYC Store Support Staff Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    I would just take the ducklings and raise them myself.

    Is she a first time mother? Often first timers are unreliable.
  3. Lucky Ducky

    Lucky Ducky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yeah, she's a first time momma. On a positive note, she got over the lower barricade and at least attempted to get back over, only she went over in with the other duck that sitting on eggs. I'll give her a couple more days and see if she can figure it out, if not I will take the ducklings and put them in with the 2 in the greenhouse. Thanks for the advice. [​IMG]
  4. Lucky Ducky

    Lucky Ducky Chillin' With My Peeps

    I gave up on her and removed them to the greenhouse with the other two that we had ordered. They are doing great without her. My DS's Blue Swedish duck hatched out 9 babies this morning. If you try and look at them she acts like she wants to eat you. I had to get in the little pen with her to fix part of it and she came after me. She is soooo different than the Buff duck. I finally figured out my other duck (Fawn & White Indian Runner) is in fact a drake. I had a pair but something got one when they were molting. [​IMG] I thought this one was the duck because it has no drake feather but it's not noisy like the other ducks and I've got some blue babies that stand and run like an Indian Runner. [​IMG] It's the only adult Indian Runner. Oh well. [​IMG]
  5. rlhbond

    rlhbond Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2009
    Mocksville, NC
    Good luck with the babies. How about some pics?
  6. L0rraine

    L0rraine Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2009
    Whidbey Island
    I agree with the person hoping for pictures - these guys sound darling!

    Re: your negligent momma, I just had a Magpie hatch seven and she was obsessed with getting back with the other ducks, wasn't encouraging her ducklings to eat or drink or anything. Maybe I should have been suspicious when I checked on how the eggs were doing and found the fluffy dry ducklings in the corners of her nest box. The final morning she had only three (and one bad egg) but fortunately I was persistent with my hunting, because the other four turned up outside huddled together behind her little nesting house. Anyway, I had a Runner with six three day-olds who was happy to have another seven. The odd/cute? thing is that the Magpie momma stands and stares longingly into the 'duckling' pen every now and then and I've found the Runner "sharing" the brood with her at the fence line off and on during the day.
  7. Goat_Walker

    Goat_Walker I Am THE Crazy Duck Lady

    Jul 9, 2008
    My buff duck did the same thing when her babies first hatched. I did the same thing you did with the pen inside the big pen. she would pace back and forthand then fly over. But mostly she would jsut stay with her babies. Finally I gave her and the babies the big pen and left my oldest drake in with her ( he is an awesome protector. one of my wild rescues). And i placed my other two drakes and three girls inthe pen next door ( fence is five foot between them)

    I would suggest putting one or two adults in with her, if you feel safe about them. I put the old drake in with her when the ducklings were two weeks.
  8. L0rraine

    L0rraine Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2009
    Whidbey Island
    Goat_Walker - sounds like a workable solution.

    My ducklings are small enough to wander through the pen fencing and the other adult ducks seem more curious than anything. So far they don't wander far past the 'fence line' and mom, except for one of the littlest ducklings, who seems fascinated by the drakes, and has wandered out to 'hang' with them a few times. I wish I had had camera to catch the three of them sunning themselves together.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by