Wild mallard hen with a possible leg injury NEED HELP ASAP!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chickenaddict, May 12, 2010.

  1. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    I was cleaning for a client of mine today and she had left me a note telling me to check out the duck on her deck. I looked out on the deck which is on the second story of the house and there was the mallard hen sitting in a flower pot on the deck right out in the open. I thought to myself hmmm this is odd for her to be out here like this where any air born predator could just snatch her right up. I kept an eye on her and about noon she left the nest. I didn't see her leave just noticed she had gone. I watched and waited for about 45 minutes. When glancing out there at the flower pot I hadn't seen her but then I looked around the deck and there she was just laid out smack dab in the middle of the deck like she was sitting on her eggs. I thought again her behavior was a bit strange. I sat and watched her try to get up and walk towards the flower pot nest, she was having a really hard time walking at all. I saw her left leg was injured like perhaps she had gotten clipped by a car. SHe had to fly up to the nest because she couldn't walk. I sat and pondered what I should do and decided at that point I had better leave things be and make a few phone calls when I got home.

    WHen I came home I called the wildlife rehab center about an hour away from my house. They told me to leave her be even tho she was injured OR take her in and they would try to fix her leg but if they couldn't she would have to be put down. They said I couldn't bring in the eggs (she has 10) They would just toss them. He told me to keep an eye on her and when the ducklings hatch I could bring in the whole crew, trouble is I am not there everyday and my client works everyday as well. Noone can really keep a close eye on her and I am guessing if I took her off the nest and moved her somewhere she would give up on the eggs. I fear that when the ducklings do hatch she won't be able to walk around with them and they will be easy pickins for predators. I have no clue as to what the laws are about these ducks but I sure don't want to get in any trouble. I hate to leave her out there, she is not sheltered at all and I am extremely worried about her leg. I have no desire to hatch out wild duck eggs but I'd hate to take that experience away from her. To mess with mother nature or to just let nature take it's course???? Please help
     
  2. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

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    East Bethel MN
    Ok since I am not getting any help here I think I will repost this in the duck section...
     
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    No, no, you're in the right section. Just nobody has any idea what to advise.
     
  4. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    My only suggestion is to move her (and the pot) to a location that is ground level near shelter (under a bush out of sight perhaps) at least with some food and water nearby. I just can't think of anything else to do. If you don't want to have anything to do with raising those babies that's what I would do. Just knowing you made it safer for the mama and babies could be enough to ease your mind. And her sitting might help heal her leg before those babies hatch, but having some food and water close by may also help the babies as well if mama doesn't heal properly.
     
  5. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Maybe put her and the pot in a large dog crate? With the food and water raised enough that she can get back "on the pot"?

    I realize that would mean moving her to your house though. Is that a possibility? She might give up on the eggs, but perhaps not.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2010
  6. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

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    East Bethel MN
    I don't want to incubate the eggs but I will let her sit on them, its just that the man I spoke to on the phone at the rehab center told me if I moved her and the eggs anywhere she would give up on them. My thought was to move her and the eggs here and place her in a kennel out back with a dog house and pool of her own until the babies hatch then turn them loose depending on how her leg is doing at that time. We have a lake right across the street from our house and tons of mallards hang out there. As far as laws go I don't think there are any in this case because the mallards are NOT migratory birds they stick around all year round. I called my client because ultimatley it is up to her, if she is not ok with me taking mama and the eggs back here I have no choice but to leave her there. I have yet to hear from the client. I am also afraid her being here will make her more of a domestic duck rather then wild like she should be. I didn't sleep a wink last night worrying about her out there in the freezing rain [​IMG]. I think the most important thing right now is the health of the duck and not the eggs so if she doesn't take the nest back after I move her here (30 minutes away from where she came from) it's no big deal, I just want her to be ok. I hate knowing that she is injured and needs help and my hands are tied. I have a pair of call ducks here too and I don't want them to mess with her either.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2010
  7. SAORSA

    SAORSA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK, I'll chime in.
    I would collect her at night, she is less likely to fly if it is a very dark night, being careful that she doesn't "get away". If she leaves and you move the nest she will never find it and you will never catch her. She was brilliant to find that balcony to nest in as raccoons are the biggest threat. The bad news is when the chicks hatch they have a long way to fall to the ground and she would have to WALK them to water. Put the whole thing in a secure enclosure and provide a kiddy pool buried to ground level. Chop up some goodies and put them in the enclosure, some in the pool. When they are all hatched and the mother has recovered, return them to the nearest large body of water, preferably to the company of other Mallard mommies.

    If the mom does not recover, let her raise the babies to until they can survive on their own and release them all, mom included, to that large body of water.

    As for myself, I would keep the mom if she didn't recover, because I am a huge softy, and release the babies at maturity.

    There, with great hesitation, I said it.
     
  8. chikalady

    chikalady Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2010
    Is there anyway you could put a box or something over her while she is sitting on the pot. Just something to protect her.
     
  9. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    Noone is going to know you moved her unless you volunteer the information (other than you and your client). I think you'll be fine and it seems like you already have a plan. It'll help you feel better, and sleep better, once you know you've helped the sweet little girl. Remind your client that they only thing growing in that pot is eggs right now anyway [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2010
  10. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    Thanks guys! I am a HUGE softy as well especially for an injured bird. There is no way for me to put shelter over the flower pot without spooking her off the nest. Great Idea about collecting her at night, I thought about that last night when it was raining pretty hard. SO having the babies here that is IF they hatch won't make them tooo dependant on me and they will be able to survive in the wild? My plan was to keep her here so I could keep a close eye on her perhaps even splint her leg if I could. The rehab center should have told me if it was illegal or not to take her and the babies back here. More or less they wounded like they had a full house and get calls from people like me all the time. For sleeps sake I will do what needs to be done to get her to a safe location and provide her with feed and water so she doesn't have to travel soo far to get it. She gave me that "please help me" look and was very mellow when I was out there with her so grabbing her shouldn't be tooo hard to do. I have a large dog crate to put her in for transport. I just have to do this for her or I will never forgive myself [​IMG]
     

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