Should I give my Mallards away?

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

  1. katie197888

    katie197888 Out Of The Brooder

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    I rescued baby Mallards from a busy parking lot back in April. They are nearly grown now and we only lost 2 after bringing them home surprisingly and we have 6 left.

    Last week I had a lady come by to check out the farm to see if we are a good canidate to take in some feral barn cats that she has rescued. While walking around she saw my ducks and I told her the story about how I aquired them.

    While I am sure she had their best interest at heart, she made me feel really, really guilty about having them. She said that I should take them to a wildlife sanctuary where they can have a better life. :\

    Now I know they don't have as good of a life as they could have if they continued being wild but I did save their lives, built them a nice, cozy coop, built them a safe nicely sized run and they always have a filled kiddie pool for swimming and fresh water to drink and food to eat.

    Am I being selfish? I thought I was helping them out but she made me feel like I am doing something wrong. She also mentioned that they don't have grass in their run...which is true but it's because they are busy digging holes with their beaks all day and destroyed the grass! :)
     
  2. DuckLady

    DuckLady ~~~Administrator~~~BYC Store Support Staff Member

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    They should be old enough now to fly away if they choose. and being wild, they really should have that choice.

    You have a good heart to take them in and if you should happen across another situation like that, they really should go to a Wildlife Rehabber who would have the permits and training to raise them to be released. It is only legal to have them if you are licensed or working under a rehabber. But what is done is done and your friend shouldn't be making you feel bad.

    Are they able to fly off it they chose? If not, giving them that opportunity would be a great thing to do.
     
  3. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I'm not really sure how living in a wildlife sanctuary is really a better life. There's tons of predators and these guys were not raised in the wild so would die within days. If they have ample room,proper feed, and plenty of swimming time I'm sure they are plenty happy in their situation. Though you should be careful who you inform how you got them because it's technically illegal to have them. Best case scenario would have been for them to be taken to a wildlife rehab at first but you can't change back time now. I think you're trying to make the best of the situation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  4. katie197888

    katie197888 Out Of The Brooder

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    When one of them got sick within the first week that we got them we took them to a local vet who does almost very animal around, he even has cared for lion cubs! He told me that I was doing the right thing and that they could never be released because they were now domesticated.
     
  5. Ana Tidae

    Ana Tidae Out Of The Brooder

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    We have mallards, and even though they have a coop for night time, they are free ranged during the day.They could leave if they wanted to, but they don't.
    Unless you have a predator issue,maybe try leaving their pen open during the day and see how it goes.
     
  6. DuckLady

    DuckLady ~~~Administrator~~~BYC Store Support Staff Member

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    A wildlife rehabber and a wildlife sanctuary are different.
    A sanctuary gives unreleaseable wildlife a safe place to live in as natural a setting as possible. A rehabber uses expertise and training to raise wildlife with the view to their release to migrate or whatever as the end result.

    I had a mallard who, once grown, flew off to join a wild flock. That was what she was meant to do. And I was glad to have her do it.

    I would do as Ana Tidae suggests and give them the choice.
     
  7. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Even though they are indeed from non domestic heritage you might want to talk to your Game Warden. Releasing them at this point would be considered illegal in some areas. Raising them in a domestic setting gives them the potential to spread diseases to Wild flocks. Not to mention the chance of them surviving if they flee is slim. While it's unfortunate they do not get to live a normal Mallard life I personally believe attempting to give them a normal life would be detrimental to the birds as well as the possible flocks they would come in contact with. Human reared specimens have just been impacted too much by human behavior.
     
  8. Don't release them. You did the right thing, but releasing them, quite frankly is not the best idea. There domesticated now, I've seen wild mallards, never raised with humans, become depedent on them due to people feeding them. Well then they don't migrate, and here, they die. If you released them I'd bet they'd die within a week, and maybe spread deadly diseases to the rest of the flock. If they find a flock.
    You did the right thing when they were little, but I'd keep them in a covered area, and keep them as pets. They will live long, healthy lives with you. Don't let them fly off to die, enjoy them now :) I wouldn't even give them the choice, and just in case anyone asks, there are some people who would turn you in since yes, they are probably technically illegal, so I'd say you just bought them from a feed store or something.

    Hope you enjoy them :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. katie197888

    katie197888 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks :) I like your idea most! haha Plus, their wings are clipped. I know they wouldn't make it out there alone, having no skills on surviving or getting food.
     
  10. Cluky

    Cluky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my opinion the animals are no longer wild. If they grew up with you they might not know how to live in the wild. And if they want to leave they can.
     

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