New Wood Ducks. Help!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by rivermedic, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. rivermedic

    rivermedic Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 15, 2012
    I just received a pair of wood ducks from McMurray. I mistakenly believed they would be hatchlings but they are fully feathered. They are really scared of me and panic when I try to get near them. The rest of my birds, some 2.5 week old geese and ducks live happily in a kiddie pool in a room. I currently have the wood ducks in a large plastic tote (ventilated) that I used for a brooder with food & water. What should I do? Will they mellow out and get used to me? Eventually I'm going to move them all out to a stall in my barn. Should I go ahead and do that? Will they stay here? They are pinioned.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  2. crazyduckmom

    crazyduckmom Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm having the same issue with my 5 week old ducklings, I was told to sit near them and talk calmly and throw them treats like peas.
     
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  3. rivermedic

    rivermedic Out Of The Brooder

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    The rest of my birds (which I raised) are friendly and always want to be together. I've set the tote in the kiddie pool with the others. Maybe they'll get used to them and want to be part of the flock. All my ducklings follow around my male embden gosling (as big as a crow) they go along with whatever he does. He's also bigger than either of the new wood ducks.

    ^What kind of peas? Like dried peas or canned or frozen?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  4. crazyduckmom

    crazyduckmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Frozen peas are best, either thawed out with some water in the micro wave or thrown in some warm water while they swim. I used some canned peas last night since I had no frozen ones in the house but I made sure they didn't have any sugar or salt added and rinsed them completely before giving it to them. I've also started experimenting with a veggie mix for my ducks and so far they seem to love it. I mixed corn kernels, peas, some sliced up grapes, about half a stalk of celery chopped up really small and some celery greens chopped up. Then I just mixed it all up in a colander in the sink and rinsed with cool water while i mixed it and put some into a small crock bowl and gave it to them like that. They gobbled up every last bit of it.
     
  5. QuackerJackFarms

    QuackerJackFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What a surprise for you huh? I bet they're gorgeous though. I have no advice because I don't have any ornamentals, but hopefully KansasKid or someone else will show up shortly.

    Pics?!?

    And Welcome To BYC!
     
  6. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    Wood ducks are a wild duck and won't ever be friendly for you to hold, pet or feed by hand. They are a ornamental duck that should be housed in an enclosed pen (aviary) with a top to it to keep them safe from predators.
     
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  7. QuackerJackFarms

    QuackerJackFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aww. I love all your fluffies! Beautiful woodies!
     
  8. Dr. Todd

    Dr. Todd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As CelticOaks said, these are wild ducks. They won't let you handle them and will always be uneasy around you.

    I really wish McMurray and other hatcheries would stop selling wild waterfowl species. They give absolutely no information on how they should be kept and many end up with folks who don't know how to care for them (not your fault Rivermedic) .They should stick with what they and their customers know: domestic breeds.
     
  9. jgell

    jgell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a similar story with my first wood ducks from McMurray. It didn't end well. I was planning on keeping them on an open 3/4 of an acre pond. I clipped wings but those little guys ran away. I have since learned a lot about keeping ornamentals on a open pond. The best thing I did was to create a soft release pen. I got the idea from watching a documentary on the re-introduction of wolves into Yellowstone. They first tried to just let them go in the park but they all ran away. So they built a large enclosure with in the park and let them live there for months. Then opened the doors and the rest is history. My pen is a 3'x3'x6' wood framed poultry wire enclosure that floats on 5 gallon buckets (so predators are less of a problem) with about 1 foot under the water surface. It has platforms on either side with a small shelter. I keep new birds in the pen for about a week before opening the door. Usually they go in and out of it for another week or so. One nice feature that wasn't by design is that the frame, which is at the water level, doesn't keep 100% of the floating food in pen. This food then attracts my other ducks and allows everybody to get aquainted. So far I have released Mallards, Woodies and Northern Pintails with the release pen and no run aways.

    I keep a pair of Woodies in my basement on a 225 gallon pond that I built for them and my turtles (the turtles go outside in the summer). I have had them for a year and half and they a somewhat friendly. By that I mean they will make noises and swim towards me when I go to feed them and they don't' completely freak out when I enter there area. Pinnioning was a good decision for me. They can get where ever they need without flying into the ceiling fan and I never have to catch them again, I think that reduces overall stress.
     

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