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"Wild" Rouen duck

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Mamasaurusrex2, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. Mamasaurusrex2

    Mamasaurusrex2 Chirping

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    So I have posted here a couple times about the orphaned ducklings who started coming to my front door to be fed. They were about 3-4 weeks old at the time. There were 5 but two had injured legs and we took them to a bird rescue. I have been feeding them for about 6 weeks now, they know me, come when I call and eat from my hand. The 3 left have picked up a slightly younger friend who was alone. They are all mallards except one is rouen. I don't know how they all ended up together but they have always been very friendly and trusting unlike all the other wild ducks who live in the creek behind my house.

    So here is the thing, I have been seriously considering getting a duck coop and run and taking in the rouen. I would of course have to find some friends for her so she isn't alone. I am having mixed feelings though and curious what others think. I absolutely LOVE these ducks I tall about them all the time, my phone is loaded with pics and videos, I worry about them. My husband calls me a crazy duck lady. I have scolded a couple teens for harassing the birds in the creek because I worry about them. I worry about the rouen because I know her friends will be able to fly soon but she will not which makes her more susceptible to predators, which we do have coyotes and raccoons.

    She is very fearful, a lot of the other ducks and geese pick on them, fighting over food. This duck will get so scared when a certain duck family comes around (the mama of that family was attacking them when they were small) and when the geese are around. She will shake and hide in the grass if they are blocking the entrance to the creek and won't eat if they come around. The mallards don't get so scared and stick around until the rouen leaves and they follow her. I keep thinking if she were in my yard she would be safe and could relax. At the same time I feel it might be mean to take her from her mallard friends and from the life she knows in the creek. But she is so used to me maybe it wouldn't be so mean. Anyway, sorry for the long post, curious what others think. Here are some pics. One pic is of one of the first days after they started coming to my door, the others are from today. 20190604_210820.jpg 20190716_181057.jpg 20190716_181057.jpg 20190716_181041.jpg
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    Where are you located ? Is it a large or small body of water ? If large and it does not freeze in the winter she might be fine as is. Otherwise she will need some protection.
     
  3. Daphne_loves_mealworms

    Daphne_loves_mealworms Crowing

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    She’s beautiful! Honestly, I would be conflicted. She is clearly not a wild duck, and therefore faces a lot more danger than her wild friends. However, that is the life she knows, and she has a territory and a flock to help keep her safe.

    One thing I wondered is if the mallards are truly wild or if they, too, are from domestic stock. If they are not truly wild, maybe they wouldn’t migrate and leave their larger buddy?

    If you were to rescue her, she would need other friends. However, is she now a carrier of diseases not typically seen in domestic flocks? Would those new domestic friends be at risk of contracting something from her?

    It’s a difficult decision. On paper, it almost seems easy. She’s a domestic bird. She shouldn’t be in the wild.

    However, good intentions sometimes go awry.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    How about adopting all with the good intentions of letting the Mallards decide on their own whether to leave or stay. I wouldn’t be surprised if most stay. But at least the Rouen will be safe. Like @Daphne_loves_mealworms says no domestic duck should live in the wild. Follow your heart.
     
  5. Mamasaurusrex2

    Mamasaurusrex2 Chirping

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    I keep thinking this very thing! I feel like it might be mean to catch them and put them in a cool, but when they are free ranging the mallards would have the choice to leave and the creek they live in is on the other side of my 4ft fence so it wouldn't be hard for them to choose to return lol. Heck, they can come and go if they want too lol. I really like this idea as I don't want to separate them and I worry so much about the rouen and all of them really lol.
     
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  6. LilyLoo

    LilyLoo Songster

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    I agree with Miss Lydia and Daphne.

    And I dont think they are as wild as it seems, meaning they were dumped there at some point and were most likely more domesticated then one would think. They are prey to predators and kids. Im surprised they've lived this long... You could turn ur back and hope for the best or step in and try to home them. I don't think they're going to protest too much lol. At least that is what a true crazy duck lady might do...just saying lol
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

  8. Mamasaurusrex2

    Mamasaurusrex2 Chirping

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    Yes, this is where I am at, it's hard. She is so scared all the time and many of the other birds are quite mean to her, she could relax in my yard away from the stress, she knows my home and me, but she knows the creek too. I also really wonder about the other mallards with her. This creek is on a nature path and connects to a 55 acre nature reserve with 5 ponds that starts about 20ft from my house. There are quite a few various domestic ducks and geese with the wild ducks and geese out at the ponds but they stay separate from the ducks in the creek. Many of the wild birds in our area don't migrate so these may or may not, but they way they all showed up together with no mama, and they way they were so friendly and trusting right away makes me wonder if they had all been domestic. The mallards feet are not marked however.

    I didn't even think about diseases, that is a good point because the rouen definitely would need friends and I would really love to get cayuga ducklings at some point. But then I wonder if they would be exposed anyway with such a large amount of wild ducks directly on the other side of my fence all day long. When I go out to feed these girls I now have 24 other mallards and 3 goose families who come to me too lol. They were out there before we moved here, but they got the memo that I had food and come to me now every time I go in my backyard lol. I see coyotes regularly in the pasture on the other side of the creek and I hate that this girl couldn't fly away if she needed to. Just a hard situation.
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    I bet with a secure pen and house and a kiddy pool and good feed they would think they had died and gone to duck heaven.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  10. Mamasaurusrex2

    Mamasaurusrex2 Chirping

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    That is exactly what I am thinking too because how odd is it for 4 mallards and one domestic rouen of the same age to just randomly show up in front of my house with no mama. I fed them once or twice and then suddenly they were on my front patio 4 times a day waiting for me to come feed them LOL they have stopped coming to my door, I think the neighbor's dogs scared them, now they stay on the path by the creek behind my fence. One of the mallards never wants to leave when I go out to feed them, the rouen gets scared of the other birds and heads for the creek and one mallard I named Squeakers also stays behind til the other call for her. The only one that would be tough is the younger one they recently added to their group. It is probably truly wild and while it knows me it won't get to close or est from my hand like my girls lol
     
    Nathalie, LilyLoo and quackiemama like this.

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