New Ducklings

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by into_my_web, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. into_my_web

    into_my_web Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello, I have a momma duck who's eggs began hatching today, two ducklings have hatched so far.
    I'm new to ducks and have never bred them before, so could anyone answer some questions for me?

    1. Will the ducks stay with their mother all the time?
    I ask this because we found both ducklings out of the nest at different times.

    2.Is there any chance that the ducklings could stray from the mother when outside?

    3.How long does the mother wait before taking her babies outside?

    4.Do ducklings have to be warm all the time like chicks?

    5.If the ducks keep leaving the nest without the mother should we move her to a cage?

    Thank you, this info would really help me out. [​IMG]
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    into, welcome!

    Wish I could provide answers - We don't have a drake (yet), so we don't have experience with this.

    Based on some threads I have read, keep a close watch on how everything is going. Some ducks are good mothers, some just don't have the instincts.

    I think the ducklings could get separated from the mother for a number of reasons. You may want to section off an area for a little while just in case.

    Ducklings need to be warm all the time, yes.

    Some people decide to move the ducklings to a brooder. Let's hope some experienced folks weigh in.
     
  3. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can only tell you what I know from watching wild ducklings. Yes, they often go away from their mom, especially if the mom is not attentive or she's a first time mom. The duckling in my icon/avatar had one of these new moms who was a really bad mother at first, but after a week, she became a really good mom afterall. Her ducklings kept going off on their own and it's a wonder nothing happened to them the first week of their life (I watched and protected them whenever I could, but I couldn't be there all the time).

    Wild moms usually take their babies out after the first day or two. The babies will swim around and feed near mom and come back to her when they need to get warm or get oiled by her. A good duck mom stays nearby and shuttles them around to safe areas to eat. But, in your case, you might want to keep an eye on them to make sure their needs are getting met and they're staying warm. If the mom's not attentive to them, you might want to set up a brooder and hand raise them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
  4. Birdcrazy

    Birdcrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congrats on your new ducklings [​IMG]

    My duck recently had ducklings and she will not let the ducklings stray away from her, usually the stick close and follow her everywhere but if something catches their interest and fall behind she'll charge back and round them up.
    Her first clutch of ducklings she had, she was a terrible mother - basically didn't know what to do with them so those ducklings wandered off and hung by the pool and feeder until I put them in a brooder.

    A duckling probably wont stray, since they prefer to stay in a group and will look to their mother if threatened, but they may go off as a group if you have a clueless mother - sometimes it takes them a while to learn.

    A mother duck will usually wait one to two days before exiting the nest, it gives all the baby ducklings time to hatch and dry off. A duckling will last about 2 days without food after absorbing the yolk from the egg.

    Ducklings are pretty hardy, so you'll often see them trecking about in the yard in bad weather, but when they get cold or tired they'll retreat under the mother and she'll keep them warm. During the night they'll either go back to the original nest to sleep under her or to another shelter if its cold.

    The ducklings are probably jumping out of the nest because they are ready, but I wouldn't move the mother to a cage - give her some time to let all the ducklings hatch and get it sorted. If things are looking like they are turning out bad maybe confine them. Wouldn't hurt to maybe put up a barrier or something so the duckling can't go too far from the nest.


    You'll also probably hear your ducks communicating [​IMG] the mother will probably always be responding to the peeping (which they'll always do when they're eating, swimming ect) and when they call out in distress the mother will answer them with her own call and come to the rescue.

    Good luck with you new ducks, what breed are they? [​IMG]
     
  5. into_my_web

    into_my_web Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are a mallard mix.
    [​IMG]
    We had two ducklings but the other one died, we are now waiting to see if anymore are going to hatch.
     
  6. DuckyMom

    DuckyMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How often they stray from the mother really just depends on the mothers instincts, the fact that they are already straying isn't too good of a sign...
    It is completely possible for them to wander off when outside. Espcially as the get more confident.
    I would wait a good week and a half after the last duckling hatches before alowing her outside. Be sure to supervise her! Ducklings can wander and many animals find them an easy target.
    for the first week we keep our ducklings under a heat lamp full time. So they should be confined with there mother for about that long i suppose.
    DO NOT MOVE HER! This can cause her to abandon her eggs and it can take up to 4-5 days for the last ducklings to hatch.
    keep the babies warm safe and well fed. If there are any issues with them getting cold often or if more die you may have to seperate them. [​IMG]
    If you do then they shouldnt be introduced to water till they are about 3 weeks old and then only for about 5 min at a time in water about 1-2inches deep. Be sure they have a warm safe place to dry because they will not have their mothers water proofing!
    Good Luck![​IMG]
    Emily
     
  7. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Awww, that's cute, sorry about the one that died. Is it possible that it died of hypothermia? Is the mom allowing them to get under her and keep warm when they need to?
     
  8. Birdcrazy

    Birdcrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very cute ducklings, sorry about the other one [​IMG]
    With my ducklings I introduce them to water on about day 4... something like a pan or lid for them to play in and abot a week old they have a small pond to play in. In the wild the mother pretty much has them in the water as soon as they're out of the nest, so I wouldn't worry, they're natural swimmers completely. They love the water so its hard to keep them away [​IMG]
    Mine are three weeks old now and they're diving underwater, its so cute! [​IMG]

    Hope it all goes well for you and your ducks!
     
  9. into_my_web

    into_my_web Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Awww, that's cute, sorry about the one that died. Is it possible that it died of hypothermia? Is the mom allowing them to get under her and keep warm when they need to?

    That's sort of what I was thinking. We found the duck in a nest next to the one the momma was in. When we found the duckie it was still alive but it was really cold and had a big cut on it's face, I'm thinking a chicken was picking at it.
    Yesterday the momma duck went outside and left the baby alone in the coop, is that normal?
    I was hoping she wouldn't go outside because it's so windy outside that the duckling could literally blow away.
     
  10. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know if that's normal for domestic ducks, someone else might be able to help. But, in my opinion, I would keep checking on him to make sure he's staying warm. Perhaps you can put him in a brooder or some kind of box or container with a heat lamp available at night and return him to mom in the day? Others will have to let you know if this is a good thing to do.
     

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