Rescued adult mallard duck - what now?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Katharsis, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. Katharsis

    Katharsis New Egg

    Jul 7, 2016
    Hello all,
    I am new to this forum. Today my uncle rescued an adult duck which seems to be a mallard which was trapped in some kind of a hole, dirty and scared. There were no other mallards around and it is a wonder how that poor duck even got there because there is literally no ponds, lakes or any other water sources around here. He brought it to us, and my mom and I put it in a garage with a large and wide bucket full of water and some food like grass, small berries, even salad. Of course now the question comes - what now? I know next to nothing about ducks, so I cannot even be sure about its' breed but I spent the last 2 hours on the internet researching ducks and I am pretty sure it is a mallard. I will attach pictures just so you guys can confirm it.
    I am a big animal lover but I only had cats and dogs throughout my life so obviously I am in a bit of a panic mode. The fact that it is an adult wild duck makes it worse. I would actually like to keep it, but of course only if I can provide necessary conditions for the duck and his/her (I am pretty sure it's her) well-being. We have quite a lot of space around our house (we live by the forest) so I was thinking about getting an inflatable pool, do some fencing and so on. But then again, will she fly away in the winter, does she need company...? Or should I just release her back into the wild with no water sources and predators?

    I honestly don't know. So any advice from people who know ducks a bit more than me would be greatly appreciated.
    And sorry for any grammatical errors and such, I am not a native English speaker.

    (OK, so I just realized you can't see anything on those pictures, but the duck has a dark green head with a white collar and brown body)
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England

    Your English is excellent.

    I am not a Mallard person (I have Runners and a few others including a solid white Mallard), but I think a green head means you have a drake. The voice is different. Females have a louder, quacking-type voice, drakes kind of whisper and rasp.

    Anyway - ducks are flock animals, and need the company of other ducks. I am wondering, if you are in a fairly remote area with no way to take the duck to a pond where there are other mallards, how you might reunite the duck with others of his or her kind. Hmmmm. Might be able to do it in the fall if flocks fly over. But then I had another thought:

    Sometime people raise domestic Mallards, and sadly, when they tire of the ducks, they "release" them into the wild. So see if you can get a feel for whether this one might have been domesticated. If that is the case, then it would be risky to let it out into the wild, as it might not have the instincts necessary for survival.

    If you can get a waterfowl feed, that would provide optimum nutrition. Again, if you are in a remote area but have access to standard feed ingredients, you should be able to do okay. Ducks need some protein in addition to some vegetables and grains or seeds. Soaked wheat seeds are a good part of a duck diet. Some small dry cat kibble if that's available (a few tablespoons a day should be okay), flax seeds, spring field peas, a little fish meal, a little kelp, a few oats . . . just thinking about the ingredients in the premixed poultry food I get (it's not a mash or pellets, so I can actually see the components of the food as well as read the ingredients).

    Soaking the feed at least overnight sometimes makes it more interesting for ducks as well.

    They need water with food to prevent choking.

    They like to splash water, so I put the water pot in a large plastic crate with a walk-in side, and sawdust under the water pot. Keeps the area much neater.

    Some lettuce, kale, comfrey leaves, dandelion, chickweed, all make a nice salad for ducks, too.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016

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