I have been raising three mallard ducklings the last month or so. This morning awoke to find that a raccoon had managed to get into their cage area and killed two of my ducklings. I’ve had them since May 10th, so they are about 6 weeks old. I know that ducks are very social animals and do not like being alone. I am unsure what to do now since he no longer has the siblings. I live on a lake and have also have a pond on our property which is where I was going to have the ducks live. I have the surviving duck out by the lake right now and other ducks are approaching. One female is particularly interested in the duckling and has been constantly checking on him/her (I can’t tell the sex yet). The female seems to be in a flock with another female and three males.
Would it be possible for the female (and the flock) to take in my duckling?
I’ve also been in contact with a few duck sanctuaries and one suggested that we move the coop closer to the house and secure it better, but I’m nervous he/she will be lonely without the siblings?
Does any one have any suggestions or advice of what I should do?
IF the duckling is the same age/size as the ducklings with the wild duck on the pond, yes, she will allow it to join, ducks can't count.
Watch closely, from afar, and see how this goes, you will know fairly quickly if she will allow this new one to join. To attempt this you will need to free the duckling (with the ability to recapture IF they get aggressive, be that a net, boat or swimming). Wait until the Mum and babies are as close as possible, and gently lob the baby in the direction of the wild ducklings, ideally so it lands within 30 feet, maximum - it will peep, they will peep, and everyone should join up.
Again, ONLY if they are the same age/size. I have done this dozens of times, luckily, it has never failed, BUT I also think I have usually found the Mum. When I rescue ducklings I Google Earth the nearest bodies of water and scout them for a likely Mum, then do as described above. Good luck.
Lorinne Anderson: Specializing in sick, injured, orphaned and problem wildlife for over 20 years.
It won't be a problem for long unless you kill that coon or improve your enclosure. Once they get into poultry, they come back night after night. So, I'd say job #1 is figure out how to protect your duck. Finding it some friends is also important, but not as urgent. Ideally, you would just get a few more ducklings.
Even if another duck takes in your duckling, there is no guarantee that the duckling will not return home to seek you. We had a sick duckling that stayed inside with our dog for a few days while recovering. After that, it would go hang out with its siblings, but only while the dog was in sight. If the dog went away, it would try to find her.
I too would bring it in. I don't think its oil gland is working yet and it's not feathered out. So there's a possibility that it could go in the pond, get water logged, and get hypothermia if the duck you've seen doesn't adopt it.
I'm qualifying all of my advice with "I think," because mine have usually stayed inside in a brooder for what seems like forever.
Ducks don't have as strict a pecking order as chickens. So it may be adopted fairly easily. Ducks can't bite very hard, but a tiny neck doesn't take much, and they can be rather mean especially around mating season.
If the ducks are the laziest way to get food, they will find a way. Electric poultry netting is an option, we put ours away in an A-frame coop I made every night.
Solution could be as simple as putting some dogfood/catfood out so the racoon has an easier meal, removing all food sources from enclosure. Racoon traps are relatively cheap and can sometimes be rented. Some companies will relocate raccoons (we have about 100 on our property so not an option).
My first bit of advice is that if you are going to be a mime, you shouldn't talk. Even the tiny ad is nodding: