Wood duck blast from the past

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by BackyardAR, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. BackyardAR

    BackyardAR In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2010
    This is a "for my information" kind of post....

    About 17 years ago someone dumped a load of wood duck babies on me. The momma was killed crossing the road in the middle of town... go figure. The little ones would not eat and all quickly died even though I kept them warm, had food/water, etc. I did lots of very fast research about wood ducks and learned that they needed to fall from a good height after hatching to get their insides working right... something about a membrane...

    First of all, is that correct? Do they need to fall to get everything working right on the inside? I often wondered if this was an issue. It was very strange for the wood duck to be in town(This was Millington, TN, a suburb of Memphis), and maybe she hadn't nested properly so the duckling's hadn't had an opportunity for that "fall".

    Anyone w/ this knowledge?
  2. L0rraine

    L0rraine Songster

    May 20, 2009
    Whidbey Island
    Have you done a search here for wood ducks? It seems there are a few members who have wood ducks and have specialized habitats and nest boxes for them. They might know the answer, but might not be reading right now, so you could maybe try finding out who they are and send them a PM and see if you get a response.
  3. CityChicker

    CityChicker Songster

    Mar 21, 2009
    I haven't heard anyone here post about that, but yes it is something that the old-time waterfowl breeders used to say. With very few exceptions though, most of the people on this board have only been raising ornamental fowl for a year or two at most. You might check out the ornamental thread and see what someone like Boggy Bottom Bantams says, but I have heard the thing about the fall from the nest many times over. I even remember there being an article about that in the Gazette probably like 20-25 years ago, although if I recall the reasoning for it being important, the theory was that it somehow stimulated them to become active. I don't remember reading something about it being an internal issue with a membrane (although I'm sure it is possible that some people stated that).

    Anyway, at the time, the recommendations were to use raised nest boxes and allow natural incubation or if incubated in an incubator, to drop the babies to get them going. Again, BBB could I'm sure give more detail.

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