Single duckling - Help please!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by pinkpeonies88, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. pinkpeonies88

    pinkpeonies88 New Egg

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    My flatmate (FM) has had 4 ducks and a drake for a couple of years now. This year he allowed one of the ducks to keep her eggs (14!) and we were very excited at the prospects of having so many ducklings. Three of the ducklings hatched and then Mum abandoned the nest.

    FM wanted them to be friendly, so took a couple of the ducklings to rear inside. One of them stayed with Mum.

    After one week, he decided maybe they would be better outside again. The other ducks didn't like this and were violent to the little ones, even the mother.

    One of them disappeared, so I did some research to find out whether things were going ok, because I didn't think so.

    After reading all of the posts here about rearing ducklings and how they can't be alone with adults (these adults DEFINITELY didn't like them), I brought her (now Bertie) back inside.

    They question is what to do now. She has a ducky soft toy (which she loves) and we take very good care of her (lots of baths, hot water bottles, attention, clean living space etc). However, my FM wants to try and re-integrate her again. The thought of having her out there with the adults is not a pleasant one for me. She's about two and a half weeks old. (That's her in my profile picture)

    tl:dr

    How old should ducklings be before they have (supervised/unsupervised) visits with hostile adults?

    Any tips you have on rearing single ducklings would be much appreciated. I want to do the best we can for her, since we've messed everything up so far.

    Thank you for your help.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Welcome to the Forum![​IMG]

    Generally, it is best to wait till the duckling is as tall as the adults, and then slowly introduce, under close supervision. They can be kept side by side with fence separating them so they can get used to each other.

    I would do it in small doses. And when all is said and done, I feel, it is up to the ducks.

    See if this helps.

    Again, welcome, and please keep us updated.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750869/raising-and-caring-for-ducklings#post_10611711
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Carcajou

    Carcajou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2 to Amiga's advice. And [​IMG]. Best of luck!
     
  4. pinkpeonies88

    pinkpeonies88 New Egg

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    Oct 16, 2013
    Thank you for the advice. I was pretty sure that was the case.

    I read somewhere 3 months? Using size as an indicator is probably an easier gauge (she's a big girl already!)

    In case anyone is wondering, I have no idea if Bertie is a lady or not. I'm hoping the power of suggestion will turn her into one. :p
     
  5. pinkpeonies88

    pinkpeonies88 New Egg

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    Oct 16, 2013
    Hello all!

    Just a quick update and a further question.

    Bertie is growing very well and she is quite nice with people. We trialed her outside in her own little pen yesterday. She seemed indifferent to this, but did enjoy swimming in a different place. She seems to swim rather oddly? Almost like she's top-heavy and her gullet (?) is weighing her down.

    Now here's the question: The other duckling (which was left with the mother, see above) is no longer being looked after by her, but by another female. It's take a whole village and all that. However, when the drake attacks the little one (which he does, frequently), none of the older ducks do anything to stop him. Considering he's the father, why would he do this to something so small and nonthreatening?
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    That is a mystery of duckdom. Drakes can do really insensitive nasty things when otherwise they seemed like good eggs.

    Gotta watch'em, that's all I know.

    Protect the babies, protect the ducks (girls).
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    The drake can and will kill ducklings if the drake is attacking I'd take the duckling away and put with the other one or remove duck and duckling to separate area till duckling is at least 4 weeks old. Ducks are not like chickens where they will protect their babies from a rooster or other chickens ducks are pretty non caring actually, it's up to you to protect these lil ones. It's not that they don't care it just looks that way to me. I keep my mamas and ducklings separate from all the flock with fencing and their own house till ducklings are 3-4 weeks old.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
  8. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do exactly as Miss Lydia if momma duck will cooperate. Sometimes she won't, and then usually the drakes are scared of her anyway. But your best course of action is protection.
     
  9. pinkpeonies88

    pinkpeonies88 New Egg

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    We have put Duckling No. 2 inside, a bit worse for wear.

    Bertie is so much bigger than it, she also attacks it. We put D#2 in a new box. I don't know if they would eventually get along or not. Should we keep trying to put them together?

    Thanks for all your help. This ducky business is confusing.
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I would put new indoor ducky in a clear plastic tote where they can see each other but the biggest can't harm the lil one, then when you can be with them let them be together I don't think it will take long for them to get use to each other. It takes time with these things. This way your giving lil one a chance to catch up with feed and vitamin water.
     

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