Tiny Lost Mallard Duckling struggling

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Mallard Fillmore, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. Mallard Fillmore

    Mallard Fillmore New Egg

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    Jun 24, 2011
    [​IMG] Hi Forum, I'm new in here. Found the BackYardChickens website looking for info on Mallard ducklings, food, etc. This little guy we have was found cowering in a busy drive, alone and apparently deserted by mama and rest of the brood(We searched the area quite awhile trying to find his family). I would guess his age to be around one week. Here in this part of Western Michigan we have a lot of Mallards nesting everywhere and I'm quite sure he is a Mallard. He doesn't at all look like photos of baby Wood Ducks who also nest in this area. He/she has been really struggling and learning to live in our environment. We have been feeding hard boiled egg yolk, shredded carrot, and crushed eggshell, mixed together in a watery puree. The little guy will eat OK but has some definite issues standing upright and walking without falling over. There seems to be no obvious leg injury(s), his biggest problem was keeping warm. We have put a 75 watt lamp over the big plastic clothes basket he has been calling home the last six days. He gets to swim in our little outdoor lily pond when the weather is nice. He seems to really like that, except that he comes out looking like a drowned duck, cold and wet, so I have not been letting him swim when it's not very warm out. Biggest issue has been him losing balance and falling over. Sometimes he doesn't have strength to right himself for a while and just lays there kicking in the air. This seems to happen more when he is wet and cold. Hopefully, it's a condition he will outgrow. It may well be why he was abandoned in the first place. Nature is cruel to those who can't keep up. I would appreciate any suggestions on how I can best accommodate this guy and meet his needs. I don't think I'm the first person to have taken in a lost stray duck, but I have no experience at all dealing with poultry. Any suggestions on how I should proceed? At some point I expect we will be releasing him back into the wild since Mallards are migratory, but at this point survival in a human environment is his immediate problem. Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  2. SaraFL

    SaraFL Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2011
    Jacksonville, FL
    I would give him the chick/duckling supplement. It has niacin and other goodies in it. I think it's called Sav-a-Chik? Something like that. He probably needs chick/duckling food. And maybe greens? Others will probably post and tell you more, I'm still a newbie. Good luck.
     
  3. La Mike

    La Mike (Always Slightly Off)

    Nov 20, 2009
    louisiana
    The sav a chick wouldnt hurt but get some chick starter from you local feed store and it should feed on that just fine. Make sure and keep water plentiful for it. Thats about all you can do along with keeping it warm. Temp for it should be around 90 degrees or so and lowered 5 or so degrees each week. After 3 -4 weeks it should be fine [​IMG]
     
  4. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    I agree with what the others said. Make sure he's got adequate temperature at all times plus healthy food and supplements. It sounds like he might be a bit cold and undernourished. If you let him swim, dry him off thoroughly and put him under the heat lamp. You might want to get a thermometer where you keep him to make sure that it's warm enough. Plus, make sure the lamp is placed where he can get away from the heat if he wants to. Also, make sure any water you place with him is not too deep.
     
  5. Mallard Fillmore

    Mallard Fillmore New Egg

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    Jun 24, 2011
    Hi All, Thanks for all the suggestions. The little fella has made it through his first week here, away from his Mallard family. He seems to be getting use to th e routine around here. Hope he will continue to thrive and grow. [​IMG]
     
  6. La Mike

    La Mike (Always Slightly Off)

    Nov 20, 2009
    louisiana
    Thats great [​IMG]
     
  7. DuckyMom

    DuckyMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 7, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Sounds like you have everything undercontrol as of now. When he gets older he can not be released, unless he is raised by a wildlife rehabber. You can rais him yourelf, but if you do you will need to be prepared to give him a permanant home. If you want him to be released you will need to find a local wildlife rehabber and hand him over to them.

    Good luck

    Emily
     

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