Pet duck flew away. How long without food (URGENT)


7 Years
Aug 1, 2012
About 3 or 4 hours ago my 18 week old mallard drake flew away. When I bring my two ducks inside at night, Bubbles and Ivy, they usually fly from the backyard to the front yard to go in. Well today my mom let them out of their cage and they flew and were flying over the houses. Ivy soon realized she needed to come back and circled and landed back in my yard but Bubbles kept going. I was in the front yard and all this happened so fast so I couldn't act. Bubbles usually flys to the end of the street, lands and they both come back. But Bubbles was probably 35 feet up and he has always had a problem with turning around and stopping. Me and my family looked for 3+ hours in the dark. Ivy is so scared because she has never been without Bubbles. Bubs has never slept outside and is used to sleeping in my 70 degree basement. Well it is supposed to get down to 23 tonight. I feel awful, he has no clue what he is doing and has never been away from home except some walks around the block. There are hundreds houses where I live, it is very crowded. How long will he be able to go without food and will he be okay if no animal gets him tonight? He is used to having feed and vegetables and clean water available all day every day. How long could he survive without food? I don't know what to do, he's my best friend :(
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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Dec 22, 2009
1. It sounds like you need to clip wings for the safety of the birds to prevent this from happening again.

2. Ducks can go more than 24 hours without food. It's not advised but they can survive.


11 Years
Aug 4, 2010
San Diego
He may come back when he realizes there's no food for him anywhere else. However, if there are any other ducks around, he may want to stay where they are. Hopefully, if he does stay with the wild ducks, he will learn how to find food from them.

I've noticed that 18 weeks old is about the time when I see male mallards going out to explore, but they often have a favorite place to hang out, so they usually return to where it is secure and familiar, eventually.


7 Years
Jun 30, 2012
LP Michigan
Something must be in the air! Besides our ducks, that is. One week ago, one of our 5wk old crosses disappeared. I of course thought a predator had taken it. Anyway, got home yesterday from an appointment, and the penned up flock was making a ton of noise. Guess who returned? So 7 days, 6 nights without protection, feed, or the flock. We had snow, rain and wicked wind. That duckling is fine! I hope your duck comes home quickly.


7 Years
Aug 1, 2012
thank you guys for your posts. Bubbles found his way home earlier this morning and was swimming in the pool like nothing happened. He's extremely scared of the dark so I think he just slept until it got light and found our house :) thanks again


Overrun with Runners
12 Years
Jan 3, 2010
Southern New England

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