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Wild Mallard Mother

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by WillowPond, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. WillowPond

    WillowPond New Egg

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    Aug 7, 2013
    England
    Hi everyone. I'm new and live in England in the UK. I came across this site looking for answers about mallards. So I've joined. What I want to know is when does a mallard duckling finally develop his green markings. We have a wild duck who walked into our garden (would you call this a backyard?) and led her 20 ducklings into our small, natural pond. I feed everything that enters our property because we like wildlife so started feeding her and her brood. They stayed for about 90 days, by which time mum had gone and they were practising flying and landing on the pond. Then one day they all took off together, flew over the house and were gone. Their wings sounded like a small motor. A week later Mum waddled back with another 15 and they are still here. The first brood all looked like females to me, even at 90 days. So I want to know if they develop later than that. Since I wrote this on the poultry section I have been told they have eclipse plumage until the autumn. My only problem now is whether she is going to lay all her eggs each year in our garden!! Costing a lot to feed.
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Well you started it. LOL [​IMG] and [​IMG]
     
  3. They get they're sandy grey feathers at around 5 months. Our boy is probably 6 months and his head is almost all green.

    You really shouldn't feed them, even if your feeding them healthily the mom will become dependent and may not migrate.
    If you really want to keep them around but not make them dependet, feed sparsely and only every 2-3 days
     
  4. mothergooz

    mothergooz Out Of The Brooder

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    May 16, 2013
    Vernon Hills, IL
    Momma mallards don't necessarily return to the same pond every year to lay their eggs.

    I have one mom that alternates what pond she chooses as her summer home.

    But I do have to tell you you are doing a good thing by supplimenting her diet with feed. Momma mallards lose a lot of weight after giving birth (I had one duck that lost half her body weight) and I read somewhere that that is the reason there are not a lot of female mallards around...they don't get the nutrition they need after childbirth.

    I have supplimented two mothers in my area and they are nicely putting on weight. I don't feed them every day, and when I did sometimes they didn't even want the feed and went for whatever was in the pond.

    They do understand when I don't bring them the feed, and believe it or not, they don't get upset with me.
     
  5. WillowPond

    WillowPond New Egg

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    Aug 7, 2013
    England
    Thanks for the advice. Did you mean migrate to another country? The climate here is not severe so they stay all year round. We have several large areas of water near us and I think she may come and go as she pleases. Thank you anyway, nice to hear from you.
     
  6. WillowPond

    WillowPond New Egg

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    Aug 7, 2013
    England
    Thank you for the advice. I felt with so many ducklings, 20 the first time, she and they would find it very hard to survive. She's a fantastic mother. She gets them all under her wings when they bed down for the night so they don't get cold or wet while they still have their down feathers. It was nice to hear from you.
     

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