Help with mother duck and duckling?

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inn

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Help with mother duck and duckling?
« on: June 02, 2011, 10:11 »
So of all the strangest things last month I had a runner duck decide she wanted to have a go at brooding some eggs. So I popped some under and left her to it. She's sat the full term (we did lose two eggs that were knocked out the nest near term :( which were fertile) and now we have a duckling!

Now I have only dealt with broody hens before in the past but never a mother duck and duckling before. So I have a few queries.

- Ideally I need to feed them on chick crumbs without ASC but I'm struggling to get hold of some, what can I feed the duckling with for the time being?

- I have 3 females and 2 drakes, the 2 drakes are still actively treading. Do I need to keep mother duck and duckling away from them? If so how long for? Will they be okay without access to a pond?

- Will the mother duck give up sitting on the eggs eventually?

Any help will be much appreciated, I am definately a newbie when it comes to ducklings.

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Sassy

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Re: Help with mother duck and duckling?
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2011, 13:54 »
You've done well ducks are not renowned for their broody abilities.

Do see if you can order some chick crumbs without ACS. A horse feed store or farm supplies shop should be able to help, I don't know where you are based - even a good pet shop may be able to help. I don't know what to suggest otherwise.

Whilst the duckling is very young I would be tempted to keep it separate to the others although I am sure there will be those that say it is ok. If you do keep them together keep a close eye in case the drakes become aggressive.

The mother should give up on the other eggs naturally but I would only let her sit for 2/3 days at the most past the time you expected them to hatch.

They will be fine without access to a pond but will need water not just to drink but to dunk their heads in, especially Mum. Do be careful it is not too deep as young ducklings are not waterproof.

Sorry I don't feel this is of much help but someone else should be along shortly. :)
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted!!

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joyfull

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Re: Help with mother duck and duckling?
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2011, 14:02 »
look out for allen and page organic chick crumb - this is unmedicated  :)
Staffies are softer than you think.

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inn

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Re: Help with mother duck and duckling?
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2011, 14:25 »
You've done well ducks are not renowned for their broody abilities.

Do see if you can order some chick crumbs without ACS. A horse feed store or farm supplies shop should be able to help, I don't know where you are based - even a good pet shop may be able to help. I don't know what to suggest otherwise.

Whilst the duckling is very young I would be tempted to keep it separate to the others although I am sure there will be those that say it is ok. If you do keep them together keep a close eye in case the drakes become aggressive.

The mother should give up on the other eggs naturally but I would only let her sit for 2/3 days at the most past the time you expected them to hatch.

They will be fine without access to a pond but will need water not just to drink but to dunk their heads in, especially Mum. Do be careful it is not too deep as young ducklings are not waterproof.

Sorry I don't feel this is of much help but someone else should be along shortly. :)

Yes I'm very surprised, especially considering her breed, runners are not known for being good sitters. I hope she is as good a mum too.

Thanks for the help. I have managed to find some feathers and beaky crumbs from a local pet shop (states is suitable for ducklings) in the end so that solves one problem at least.

I have some small chick drinkers/feeders which I'm intending to use but also have a very high sided tub that I want to use as water for the mum, I'm hoping the duckling can't jump!

My main concern/wondering is if I can mix mum and duckling with other ducks and chickens. The ducks and chickens are currently separated but my usual configuration is to have them all mixed together and they return to their own houses for roosting. Is it possible to house mum duck+duckling with the other ducks at night?

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Caralou

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Re: Help with mother duck and duckling?
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2011, 18:10 »
I wouldn't trust the drakes with the duckling until the duckling is about 4 weeks of age as sadly in my experience they can be quite viscous with the young  :(

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inn

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Re: Help with mother duck and duckling?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2011, 08:09 »
A nice little update. Mother duck was quacking away in the hut wanting to be let out. I think she's finally given up with the rest of the eggs.

I let her out and she's desperate to rejoin the rest of the duckies, the drakes came over and were quacking away to her. For now, especially since I've had to go to work and can't watch them I've kept them separate in their own run to everyone else.

I think mother duck is being good, she quacks away at me in a particular way and fans her tail. The duckling is great, it just runs along and follows mum about. Hopefully they will be okay.

My next worry is how can I tell if she has no interest in looking after the duckling any more?

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inn

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Re: Help with mother duck and duckling?
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2011, 16:12 »
Just an update.

On the first day after work I had found mother duck and duckling had managed to get in the run with the other ducks! But duckling seemed okay despite me seeing the other ducks snap at it. I decided to keep them separated after that.

But it's a sad ending :( I found duckling had died during the night, this morning on my usual morning run. Mother duck seems unphased and has rejoined the others. I'm not sure what happened, whether it didn't eat or drink or it was the cold.

I must say I am devastated  :( I'm thinking next time this happens is to try take the duckling(s) from the mother and brood it by hand.



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