Orphaned ducklings

RubyNala97

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 9, 2015
4,625
1,048
351
Hudson Valley, NY
My neighbor has ducks. He had a nest of eggs that hatched approximately 7 days ago. Last night a raccoon came and ate the mother duck. He had the babies in a small cage outside but they were wet, cold and crying. I've taken them in, there are 3 of them (someone else took the others.). I have them in a brooder with a 150 red light, chick starter food and water. They are doing better!! Can I find a mama duck that has babies about the same age and release them to her or will she hurt them? I'm reading mixed things on the Internet. Thanks so much! They are safe for tonight!
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
Jan 3, 2010
23,213
2,813
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Southern New England
Glad you took them in! I would get a thermometer and make sure they are around 85F.

Sometimes you can find a female duck who will take them in, but some females will attack the littles. No knowing ahead of time, no guarantees.
 

RubyNala97

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 9, 2015
4,625
1,048
351
Hudson Valley, NY
Glad you took them in!  I would get a thermometer and make sure they are around 85F.

Sometimes you can find a female duck who will take them in, but some females will attack the littles.  No knowing ahead of time, no guarantees.  
Thank you for responding! They had a good night. They are eating and drinking like crazy! I even caught one playing, he was darting around the brooder and shaking his little tail! I'm nervous to try and put them with another mother because I'm afraid if she rejects them, I won't be able to recapture them. I guess I have my work cut out for me now. Better order that book I keep reading about, that teaches all about raising ducks. Is it ok that they are eating medicated chick starter?
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
114,498
133,641
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Mountains of Western N.C.
Thank you for responding! They had a good night. They are eating and drinking like crazy! I even caught one playing, he was darting around the brooder and shaking his little tail! I'm nervous to try and put them with another mother because I'm afraid if she rejects them, I won't be able to recapture them. I guess I have my work cut out for me now. Better order that book I keep reading about, that teaches all about raising ducks. Is it ok that they are eating medicated chick starter?
Better they don't eat the medicated since ducklings eat so much more feed than chicks they are getting more of the medication too.
Here ya go best info we have
https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750869/raising-and-caring-for-ducklings#post_10611711

and bless you for taking them do you know the breed?
 
Last edited:

Lugh

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 4, 2014
84
18
84
Deerfield Beach, FL
Give them plenty of water and steer clear of medicated feed as ducks are very sensitive to medication. Your local feed store should have Purina Game Bird Startena or Game Bird Flock Raiser-- both are good for ducklings, though you will need to cut them with plain oatmeal to get them to 20% protein as they are at 30% out of the bag. But please-- no more medicated feed ASAP.

I'd recommend trying to see if another broody mother would take them because it's best for the ducklings. If she rejects them, she'll just pick at them a little bit-- it's rather tough for her to do a lot of damage with that bill. Ducklings aren't that difficult to catch, either, because they're rather dumb. Just walk behind them with your arms outstretched and corral them, preferably with a second person helping you out.
 

RubyNala97

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 9, 2015
4,625
1,048
351
Hudson Valley, NY
I picked up duck starter feed. So they only had the medicated feed for about 24 hours. I also bought brewer's yeast for them to get niacin. How much do you recommend giving them?
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
114,498
133,641
1,962
Mountains of Western N.C.
I picked up duck starter feed. So they only had the medicated feed for about 24 hours. I also bought brewer's yeast for them to get niacin. How much do you recommend giving them?
1tablespoon of BY to 1 cup of feed daily for 10-12 weeks. If they eat 2 cups of feed then 2 tab. sprinkled over feed.
 

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