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Rescued baby mallards. One dead, one very weak. Please help!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by katie197888, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. katie197888

    katie197888 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2011
    Upperco, MD
    On Tuesday I see that a friend on Facebook had aquired 9 baby ducklings. He works at a tire store in a very busy town. He saw only ducklings in the parking lot with no momma. Before I came to get them (Funny thing is he says he knew it would be me that responded) i asked him to make sure there was no momma anywhere. He said no, so I went to get them. Very very young mallards, the size you see at TSC for sale. They all seems perfect and healthy, just very scared of us. Thursday morning I wake up to one dead :( randomly laying on its back hard as a board so he must have passed over the night. All others seem ok. This morning I woke up and one was very weak. Couldnt stand and didnt run from me when I went to reach for him. I laid on my kitchen floor watering him with a straw, and he was pecking a little at crumbles. After what seemed like forever he attempted movement and was very wabbly. I got him to stand a couple times but he is too weak to walk and just lays down. I really feel like he is weak from lack of food/water. He seemed on the verge of death when I found him, not hes sleeping peacefully on my chest in a blanket. Occasionally making peeping noises.

    Ive never had ducks.. Only chickens, i just felt the need to act and save these guys. Is there something I should be doing? They have a waterer, pine shaving as bedding, red heat lamp, and theyre eating chick starter. When we went to tsc to get food for them they didnt have waterfowl feed. I am going today to get some from southern states (hopefully they have it).

    Should I feed him and the others anything special? A friend said maybe some sugar water and scrambled egg? I am sooo worried about the others now that I feel like the two got sick isnt a coincident.

    Oh also, I have let them swim a couple times in my bathtub, is that ok?

    Thank you all so much and sorry for any mispelling - Im on my iphone and its too hard to go back and correct everything!
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    They need vitamins, check the temperature because lamps can make it too hot for ducklings. It should be no warmer than 90F, perhaps a bit cooler as these babies lived outdoors.

    They may or may not have some kind of infection, so think about finding a vet or waterfowl rehabilitator.

    Gro gel is a good nutritional boost if you can get it quickly.

    Poultry vitamins are sold at feed stores.

    Ducklings need three times the niacin that chicks do, so if you are feeding chick starter, get niacin capsules (not time release) and open them up and dissolve them in water. 100 to 150 mg of niacin per gallon of water.

    Give them a little bit of coarse clean sand or chick grit, a teaspoon on their food bowl.

    Apple cider vinegar, nonpasteurized, a tablespoon per gallon to start, sometimes perks up ducklings and ducks.

    That is what came to mind first off, and I hope the rest do well. (I need to be leaving, soon, but I will check back before I go if all goes as planned).
     
  3. Mum

    Mum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't worry about letting them swim right now: a) their feathers are not designed to repel water; b) only Momma duck has the oil gland secretions to clean ducklings when they follow her into water and c) you could be killing them with kindness this way! Their feathers will absorb water like a sponge, this will decrease their whole body temperature and, if the water is too deep, they can drown! Its very tiring for them to swim while they have no protective oil glands/full feathers.

    Mashed boiled egg with some milk added to make it mushy is very good for the duckling (very bad for us because of the mess it makes [​IMG] )Cooked frozen peas, mashed, is also a wonderful treat for ducklings.

    Laying down is not (necessarily!) a sign of weakness, but of timidity. That is what they do when they are scared - and I can only begin to imagine how scared these little things must be!

    I think you are really brave to take these babies on knowing the care investment that will be needed: well done you! If you do your best, and some die, it will not be for the want of trying! You are giving them the very best chance they could hope to get; so, do not beat yourself up if some do not survive; but do count your blessings for the ones which do!
     
  4. katie197888

    katie197888 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2011
    Upperco, MD
    He is definitely in a better place now as far as alertness. He is very cheepy, and snuggles with me. Im concerned though that when I can't hold him, like while I sleep, Im not sure if he will stay warm enough alone since I think hes too week to put with the others under the heat lamp. He is better on his feet bow but still not really walking. Hes drinking through a straw but not on his own. I went out and got a vitamin and electrolyte supplement for their water, and got waterfowl feed. He's not eating, even tried applesauce, egg and mashed watermelon. He hasnt pooped at all since I had his out at around 10 this morning, not that I saw anyway.

    Other than that Im very happy that hes alert but worried about him not eating or pooing.
     
  5. katie197888

    katie197888 Out Of The Brooder

    75
    0
    39
    Mar 21, 2011
    Upperco, MD
    He is definitely in a better place now as far as alertness. He is very cheepy, and snuggles with me. Im concerned though that when I can't hold him, like while I sleep, Im not sure if he will stay warm enough alone since I think hes too week to put with the others under the heat lamp. He is better on his feet bow but still not really walking. Hes drinking through a straw but not on his own. I went out and got a vitamin and electrolyte supplement for their water, and got waterfowl feed. He's not eating, even tried applesauce, egg and mashed watermelon. He hasnt pooped at all since I had his out at around 10 this morning, not that I saw anyway.

    Other than that Im very happy that hes alert but worried about him not eating or pooing.
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Southern New England
    Wondering if something high calorie in his water might help until he finds his appetite. Do you suppose just a tiny sprinkle of sugar or syrup might do it? I hesitate to suggest it, as I am unsure about whether it might be more of a problem than a help. But I have heard of people using sugar water. What else dissolves in water with some calories in it?

    Maybe a gruel (just a few grains of oats or cream of wheat in a cup of hot water, cooled down before served). That would have calories and he could drink it.
     
  7. ChristineR

    ChristineR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Honey might be good.

    Is there a wildlife rescue group in your area? They are better equipped to deal with raising and releasing them than most of us.
     
  8. ChristineR

    ChristineR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you 100% positive it's a mallard and not some other kind of duck?
     
  9. katie197888

    katie197888 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2011
    Upperco, MD
    [​IMG]
    After googling Mallard ducklings when we first got them, I am certain they are. Let me know if I am wrong.
     
  10. Iain Utah

    Iain Utah Overrun With Chickens

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    Precious baby!!! I give hatched ducklings that need a little help a drop of polyvisol (without iron) with a pinch of sugar, diluted in 2-3 oz of water. I offer it to them using a small spoon. It seems to really help boost them.
     

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