Newby duckling mama

lovinlife

Songster
10 Years
Jun 18, 2009
768
4
169
Deep in the heart of Texas
I have three ducks, one is a drake. My girls have sat on eggs before but nothing has ever happened. The two girls have kept eggs under them in their dog house shelter for a while recently, but I haven't given them much thought since they've never hatched anything out before. This time was different.

Last night I went out to the chicken coop to lock up the hens and decided to look in on the duck pen. To my surprise, I saw ducklings in with the two mamas! I was careful not to disturb them too much, but I looked in on them and thought I counted 13 babies. One was not looking good, curled up next to the wall. I thought maybe it had just hatched out and was drying off. I left them alone and let them do what nature taught them.

This morning, the one duckling had died and was kicked out of the shelter. Two others were outside the door, looking pitiful. I stuck them in with the others and noticed one wasn't walking. It shuffled toward the others like it's feet didn't work. I did fill a dog dish with water in case the babies explored and needed a drink. Turns out, that was a smart thing to do.

When I got home from work tonight, I checked on them and one of the ducklings was alone in the shelter while the others were running around exploring vigorously. I picked the little one up and held it by the water so it could drink. It said thank you. Another one was looking weak, so I did the same for it. Meanwhile, the other 11 (I counted 13 still alive) were running around, splashing in the water, showing off, and having fun.



The two weak ones are on the left lower corner of the pic. I eventually moved them into my shop with water and crumbles. They're looking much better. The stronger one probably could have stayed with the others, but I didn't want the weaker one to be alone.

I'm very excited because I've never had ducklings before! We have a 2 acre pond they'll get to live on eventually, but until then, I get to enjoy them!

Yay!
 

Mum

Songster
8 Years
Dec 23, 2011
872
25
128
UK
Aww, they are adorable!!!

Congratulations
yippiechickie.gif


Sorry for the ones which didn't make it, but sounds to me like you are an excellent "newby duckling mama"
thumbsup.gif
 

lovinlife

Songster
10 Years
Jun 18, 2009
768
4
169
Deep in the heart of Texas
I'm not sure what breed the big ducks are. The drake is black, or very dark black/brown. The ducks are mottled, one is gray and white, the other is mostly tan with white.
The drake has matured from this pic and doesn't have the white on his wings anymore. Any guesses to their breeds?


I'm concerned about the one duckling's feet. They don't splay out. The toes stay together and a little bent, like there's no muscle to keep them apart. Any thoughts about what to do for him?
 

jdywntr

Songster
10 Years
Oct 31, 2009
3,215
211
243
Somerville, AL
At this age you need to make sure that the ducklings can't get seperated from the rest. If they are away from mom and siblings for extended periods they will die from the cold. Any obstacle, regardless of how easy it may seem to get around needs to be moved or the mother and babies need to be sheltered unless you want to have more deaths. The 2 that were "outside the door, looking pitiful" were probably cold/dehydrated.

With water, at this age, you need to be careful that they can ALWAYS get out. If they can't get out of water, they will chill and can die.

In my experience, leaving them with mom is best and easiest but precautions need to be taken. I have only had 2 hatches, 11 runners and 11 muscovy but none died that mom hatched out.

The dad could be a cayuga, he looks oddly proportioned but it could be the angle. The hens blue swedish and buff maybe. They may all just be mixes.
 

lovinlife

Songster
10 Years
Jun 18, 2009
768
4
169
Deep in the heart of Texas
I'm pretty sure the adults were feed store ducklings. I'm not concerned with the breed, really. :)

I did leave the two weaker ones out with the mamas and they got cold and dehydrated. That's why I brought them in. My feeling was that they had a better chance to stay warm and safe if they were inside and not being run over by the adults and babies. The 11 babies that are out with the mams are doing very well.

The two I brought in are doing very well inside. One isn't walking though and that concerns me. I'm convinced that he wouldn't make it if I put him back out with the others.

I know with chicks that have issues with their toes like this, you tape their toes open so they grow straight. Is there anything I can do for this chick with the limp feet? He was obviously born this way. I'm just not sure what to do for him.
 

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