Weird wild duckling

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by desertdarlene, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here comes Trouble! Taken this morning:

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    I think he's getting chased away from the rest of the family by a couple of coots. Plus, I think he wants people food. He kept following me around.
     
  2. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nice pictures!

    This bird is confusing me, colouring of chest and back fit to a drake, but the bill should not be black at this stage of development, typical would be a much brighter yellow, right?
    And he is so thin...he doesn't look like he could take physical strain the conditions of winter would cause on him...
     
  3. farm316

    farm316 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you have yourself a duck… even though he has lived this far, I would congratulate him on his remarkable journey… Its going to really put a damper on his life in the winter, I would get a duck house and domesticate him, lack of food is very bad too ducks and can kill him,
     
  4. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our winters here are very mild, so I don't think there's going to be any problem temperature or food wise. He often gets fed by the humans and knows how to forage on his own. Winter here actually means more food because it gets greener and has more snails and flying insects during that time of year. I'm hoping his hormones will kick in and he would get a growth spurt. He is very slowly starting to feather out. He's also still extremely small like 6 week old duckling.

    His bill is starting to turn green and he's got a quiet, raspy peep and is not very vocal, so I'm guessing he's a boy.

    Farm316, I live in an apartment, so I can't keep him. Plus, he was hatched by a wild mother and is, essentially, a wild duck, so it would be illegal for me to keep him. The only thing I can do is take him to a rehabber if he gets too sick or injured to live on his own.
     
  5. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh excuse me, I failed to notice your location. In this case, the remark on the dreads of winter is indeed pointless.
    His dark bill might then also be due to his slow development, I have a runner drake who is now about seven weeks old, and his bill has long turned from brown to yellow.

    What kind of food is he given by people? Large quantities of bread would be bad for him.
     
  6. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, people feed them bread and seed and other junk food. There's not much I can do about that, though. The staff tries to enforce a no feeding rule, but they can't be there all the time. However, he does eat a lot of his own forage and seems to want to eat a lot of insects and baby snails right now. His siblings have moved on more to algae and aquatic plants. He eats some of those, but not a lot.
     
  7. Frank Phinster

    Frank Phinster Chillin' With My Peeps

    I hate it when I see people throwing bread at ducks as if it was going out of style. But yes, I guess most people wouldn't stop feeding ducks with bread even if you told them. People don't like to be lectured.

    It is really impressive that you can keep track of this in such detail. My young drake likes to hunt flies and moths. I suppose ducks at this age like some additional proteins.
     
  8. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's what I'm thinking, too, that he is looking for protein for his growing body.

    Trouble is comes from one of the few duckling families to survive this year, so he's easy to keep track of. He's the only one at this stage of development.
     
  9. RedJungleFowl

    RedJungleFowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm so odd of a mallard to be so small can't wait to see it finally earning its wing.
     
  10. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought I would update you all on Trouble. I've been having a hard time definitely identifying any duck that could be him. I think I saw him a few days after my last post back near his family. He had grown slightly. However, he was always far away and I couldn't see details.

    However, since then, I've gone to thoroughly look for him twice and have seen no duck that looked like the one in the last photos I took. I kept seeing this one duck in this next photo that looks a LOT like Trouble. He even has the errant feather on his neck, the whitish belly (though this one has a dark stripe near the tail), and is almost the same size, but slightly larger. But, he looks a lot older than Trouble and I don't think Trouble could have changed that fast in only ten days or so. The confusion is that everyone is in molt with many ducks, including Trouble's brothers, getting grown-up male duck feathers. So, some are in various stages of this molt.

    But, I know of no other adult duck that is this size and body shape with a little errant feather on the neck like Trouble. There is a half-mallard half appleyard with similar coloring at the lake, but he's at least a third larger than Trouble.

    If this isn't Trouble, then I think he may have passed away.

    [​IMG]

    This duck seems to have taken up residence with the Pekins. Trouble was always curious about the other ducks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014

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