Will a Mama duck adopt orphans?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by JouleZ, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. JouleZ

    JouleZ New Egg

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    Jun 18, 2008
    Rural New Mexico
    Hi, I've been lurking here for a while and this is my first post. Something killed my 2 week old baby ducks last night and we are getting 3 or 4 from the feed store to put with the Mama duck, a Campbell Khaki. Anyone had any luck with adoption or should I just get the brooder ready? Thanks.

    As for the predator, we think it was a Great Horned Owl since the heads were bitten off so we put netting all over the pen. This is our first loss since getting started about a year and a half ago with chickens, ducks, geese and goats. It's very sad to lose an animal. Any and all suggestions welcome.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2008
  2. monarc23

    monarc23 Coturnix Obsessed

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Indiana, Pennsylvania
    Quote:I'm pretty sure a great horned owl would have flown off with and eaten a whole duckling...almost positive. That sounds more like a skunk or an oppossum to me.

    As for if mama duck accepts the chicks you're getting....get a brooder ready BUT you may be in for a suprise. I personally think all animals are different some wont accept others will i hpe yours does! [​IMG]
     
  3. JouleZ

    JouleZ New Egg

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    Jun 18, 2008
    Rural New Mexico
    Thanks for the response. Seems you are most likely correct about it being a skunk. That's what the lady at the feed store thought as well since the heads were torn off, which surprises me since I've never seen nor smelled one in the 6 years I've lived here.

    Whatever it is, we found a hole it dug to get in under chicken wire and then through field fencing.

    Time to get the brooder set up in case it comes back. I don't want any more dead babies. My husband is going to watch for it tonight. I'll post if any new developments.
     
  4. JouleZ

    JouleZ New Egg

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    Jun 18, 2008
    Rural New Mexico
    Well, good news! Mama took those new 4 babies just like they were her own. Yippee, now to keep them all safe.
     
  5. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    Keep an eye on the mama and babies. We put an orphaned duck in with my mama duck and 13 babies, everything seemed fine at first, but after about 20 hours she figured out that the new baby didn't sound like hers, she killed it.

    Ducks vocalize in the egg and the mama "talks" to them before they hatch. These new baies will not sound like hers and while she may accept them, you should keep a close eye on them for a couple days at least.
     
  6. monarc23

    monarc23 Coturnix Obsessed

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Indiana, Pennsylvania
    ^^ I deffinatly agree wtih the above statement.

    As for bad mr. skunkie...honestly they dont' really smell too bad unless you scare them then they'll spoof and ooh boy! [​IMG] A skunk can have a skunky smell to it's fur, however it's not strong and pungent like it's bum glands are---which you only smell if it gets scared, or hit by a car etc lol!

    Dang skunk!!!! I hope your hubby sees it and gets it if ya know hat i mean..but tell him to be careful!!! Or you'll have to dump a ton of tomato juice on em! LOL!
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2008
  7. JouleZ

    JouleZ New Egg

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    Jun 18, 2008
    Rural New Mexico
    Thanks U guys. I have the new babies in a brooder in the house because after a few hours of watching, Mama sorta ignored them and baby duckies started coming up to me by the fence. (They were raised for the last few weeks in covered horse trough at the Feed Store, so human faces look familiar?). Mama was nice but I just didn't trust the whole thing, especially with a skunk out and about.

    Anyway, locked my chickens in for the first time ever in their house, ducks wouldn't go in (but I caught Mama and made her go) and DH didn't spot anything tonight. Going to try some cayenne pepper and a radio 24/7 to keep skunk away. Radio is on C&W. Plus I read that motion activated lights would scare them. I hope so.
     

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