My wood duck flew away :(

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by katieducklady, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. katieducklady

    katieducklady In the Brooder

    Jul 13, 2014
    9 weeks ago an acquaintance found a new baby wood duck all alone and she didn't know what to do with it. I have 3 Pekins and a Runner and I told her I would take it and give it my best shot at helping it. When it got to me it was cold and limp, I honestly didn't think it'd make it through the night. After being under a heat lamp for a few hours, it perked up. The next battle was getting it to eat and drink, I read that wood ducks don't do well eating on their own so I was worried. The next day I was able to get him to take mushed up food out of my hand and drink water. He was doing great! Since he was lonely I found 2 muscovy babies on craigslist (the only ducklings I could find locally at the time) and the 3 of them got along great. We named the wood duck "Woody." He (or she) was happy and healthy with his two friends, even though they were several times bigger than him.

    After they out grew their brooder we put them in a box stall (we have horses) with food and water and a little pool. I wasn't ready to put them with my large ducks and chickens yet, since the wood duck was SO much smaller than all of them, in the meantime we were figuring out a plan on how to get them outside and transition them in with the rest of the flock. My husband works many long hours so his time to help me here was limited.
    Well, today I was in the stall and as I was adding fresh wood shavings Woody got scared and FLEW up and over the stall and out of the barn. This was the first time I've ever seen him fly. I knew the time was coming but I wasn't prepared. He made it past my dog who I'm pretty sure wanted to eat him and then flew out of the yard so I couldn't see him.

    I was/am devastated, and my 5 year old daughter keeps asking if Woody will come home.
    From day 1 I told her (and I knew) that he had the capability to fly away and that he was a wild duck and if he did then it was part of nature. We saved his life and I was proud of that. Well, of course now he's gone and I'm TERRIFIED for his safety.
    We were gone for a few hours after this happened and when I came home I heard a weird bird call noise coming from the direction he flew away. I looked up wood duck sounds online and I'm almost positive this is him! I played the noises on my phone and I kid you not, he was calling back and forth with my phone. I waited outside playing the noises for EVER and waited but he's still in the same location, not coming any closer.
    I even downloaded a wood duck call track from iTunes and I have my iPad hooked up in the entrance to the barn playing this call on repeat to get his attention to lead him home, hopefully?
    I feel awful that this happened and that the poor guy might not even recognize where "home" is since he was indoors. I'm upset with myself that we didn't get him outside sooner and in a better coop where he was safe and could enjoy the outdoors.
    So many things are going through my head and I guess I'm just praying he returns but I know it's not likely.
    I also am scared that he will come back and my outdoor farm dog will get him. She has a history of getting my bantam chickens (they're no longer free range because of her) although she doesn't mess with the ducks but obviously this guy is SO small.
    As I type I have the front door open and I still hear his calls. He must be so scared and lonely! :( I'm glad to hear him but scared that he's calling the attention of predators! :(
    I guess I just wanted someone to cry to. Oh he's the little guy in my profile cute and so loved...
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England


    Consider temporarily restraining your dog.

    And try to come to terms with the whole picture - a wood duck is definitely different, not domestic.

    Also, there is a Migratory Bird Act that restricts who is sanctioned to have certain types of birds.

    It could be the little will remain nearby for a while. Yes, ducks in the wild are vulnerable. But this one has not had instincts bred out of it.
  3. laughingdog

    laughingdog Songster

    Feb 16, 2011
    Newport Tennessee
    Put the scovy ducklings out in open air cage like cheap meat rabbit cages hung on side of barns, with its feeder waterer et, near where is. put a hiding spot like box with holes on bottom sides and rock on to wright down.

    consider rehoming your dog, pening (maybe fortify a stall?), or training it. an untrained dog loose on a farm is a loaded gun, you can't just try to keep things out of its way, and chaining as most do just worsens problems.

    Good luck getting woody back, and when saying how got, just say was odd egg in free range nest. licensed dnr rehab places keep tamed wood ducks as breeders in breeder boxes (a box with wire bottom and thin slits on sides and top for vents so game birds don't just keep bashing into windows trying to get through wire), or just training tool prey for raptor release training.. I'm not saying its wrong as BOPs gotta eat too, but knowing was a pet makes you not want to break its wing to stop from flying as done at some centers at least (I've only been to a few learning apprentice falconry etc). its got better chance at happiness being raised up till can fly off on own at right time to migrate with other woodys. Clip your female scovys five flights on only one side of wing of each female, to stop them from flying off this fall, and then next spring. don't worry about woody as if tames and male he will keep coming back or maybe even stay if have female scovy (they have small close set, back on body seeming, pigeon toed feet, and slenderer head bill neck, n tail shape, males much broader all around and). Muscovy closer related and better for having with your woody than mallards anyway as act more similar and body language etc supposedly closer.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014

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