What to do when ducklings first hatch?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by huckleberrypres, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. huckleberrypres

    huckleberrypres Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2016
    Davenport, WA
    Newbie everything here.

    I've looked everywhere for days and for whatever reason haven't found, or understood the answer to my specific question/scenario.

    I have a small flock of 11 Muscovy ducks and 2 mallards, all currently in the same pen while we all survive the country winter.

    The female mallard found a private place and has been sitting on a nest with 8 eggs since just before Christmas. I've candled the eggs and from what I can tell we are to expect ducklings soon.

    We've raised ducklings before, so I'm not too worried about the process from duckling forward.

    What I want to know is....should I move the mom and her nest to a separate space now?

    Will moving her mess her up? Should I wait until the ducklings hatch and then move them? Just leave them alone and hope the drakes don't murder the ducklings until they are all born and I can assess the situation? I could simply wrap chicken wire around her nesting spot and provide warmth, food and water for the new family (minus mallard drake daddy, right?)

    As much as possible I'd prefer to keep the mom and babies together and am willing to do whatever it takes to support that. We have an ideal duck habitat once it warms up. I would love to know what to do now and soon, given these ducklings are being raised somewhat naturally, without an incubator.

    Thank you!

    Val
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
  2. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is the nest in a safe place where they (and mom) will be protected from predators? If so, I'd just make a temporary chicken wire fence around her with food and water to keep the other ducks out. Also keep daddy drake out as well since drakes are known to sometimes kill ducklings. After they are all hatched you can move mom and ducklings to a safer, warmer place. I would not move the nest unless it is in an unsafe area because you do run the risk of her abandoning the eggs.
     
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  3. huckleberrypres

    huckleberrypres Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2016
    Davenport, WA
    okay. that was exactly what I needed to know.

    Interestingly, the answer became clear moments before you responded. I heard a duck commotion and went to check it out. "Happy" the newly randy muscovy was attaching my mommy mallard. The clear thing to do was put a fence up do exactly what you described. Now it all makes perfect sense!

    I'm very excited and grateful! I never had ducks before, never thought about having ducks before and it turns out I totally am in duck love. I'm happy tending to the duckies. :)

    Thank you!
     
  4. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No problem! Keep us posted, and come back to share pics of the little ones after they hatch! I'd love to see them. ^-^
     
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  5. huckleberrypres

    huckleberrypres Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2016
    Davenport, WA
    Another specific, basic question...

    The place where our ducky and nest is totally fine for the mature ducks but way too cold for ducklings. How does that work? does she sit on them until they are hatched? Do the ducklings start running around as soon as they are dry and then freeze?

    We'll be gone all day today, let's say they start hatching while we are gone. Will everyone survive fine under mom until they are all hatched and move-able? I assume mallards naturally have this problem worked out and, I'd like to be more certain of what I'm to do and can expect any moment now...


    Thank you!!
     
  6. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mom will stay on them and keep them warm for at least their first full day of life. They typically wait a couple days until everyone is hatched out before getting up. After they are fully dried and get a little more active (day 2, or 3 maybe), then she might get up and take them out to find food and water. Ducklings don't need to eat their first few days of life because they still have the yolk in their tummies to absorb and live on while they gain strength after the tiring hatching process. Just keep a close eye on her, but after you are sure they have all hatched, you can move her and the ducklings to a warmer place.
     
  7. Mstrudster

    Mstrudster New Egg

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    Hi guys,

    I have a question too.. I just had ducklings 9 days ago.. and I was wondering if the momma duck will mourn when they are all gone??
    I am so worried about her.

    Any answers would be nice.

    Thanks,
     
  8. MotorcycleChick

    MotorcycleChick Gone quackers

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    She will move on with her life, and will resume laying sooner. Some ducks (birds etc.) might look for her young, but to my knowledge and experience, it isn't like when they lose their partner.
    I hunted you down after seeing you on the Pekin thread. Feel free to ask away there too.
     
  9. MotorcycleChick

    MotorcycleChick Gone quackers

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    Mom will be there to warm them up in the future too. She will take them out in that horrible white stuff, and give you a heart attack. But she is there, and she will warm them up when they need it.
     
  10. huckleberrypres

    huckleberrypres Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2016
    Davenport, WA
    Thank you for the help! It makes a big difference.

    It's clear I can't have the babies around the muscovies. Will the mallard dad, mom and babies make a happy family, or should I keep the mallard drake out as well?

    I wouldn't buy mallards in the future. Rescue/adopt yes. I'm loving the muscovies right now. Having baby mallards born here, for the first time, is exciting though. I can't wait to see how the new family gets along and what it's like when mom and babies get to be together. It's worth the all trouble.
     

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