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we found a baby duck, now what?

 
Peter Hartman
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Location: springfield, MO
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Our neighbour called and said they found a baby duck in their driveway, so we went and picked it up. right now we have it in a 18"x24" tub. We have some towels in the bottom with a little water container with about 3/4" of water in it. we gave him a few crackers but obviously there is no nutritional value there. What should we be feeding this little guy? I have a 65w light shining down in the corner of the tub, with a thermometer to see how warm it actually gets. What else should we be doing?
 
John Elliott
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Peter Hartman wrote: What should we be feeding this little guy?


Slugs. Put some beer in a saucer and set it out in the garden. In the morning it will be full of duck breakfast.
 
Ben Miller
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Location: Southwest Ontario
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This happened to us once too. We kept the ducks in the bathtub with water towards the front of the tub and on towels towards the back of the tub. The ducks enjoyed fresh chopped spinach from a food processor and watermelon. We would put the greens in clean water and they would eat it out of the water. Ducks are very messy. The tub needed to be rinsed several times a day.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Species type is important to getting the little fellow up past a few weeks. The advice thus far is pretty good. Can you post pictures of it here? Do you see evidence of the parent animal anywhere? You may be able to reintroduce the baby back to the family unit. Most "wild" ducks will eat the same feed as domestic ducks.

Good Luck,

j
 
Peter Hartman
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Location: springfield, MO
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Jay C. White Cloud wrote:Species type is important to getting the little fellow up past a few weeks. The advice thus far is pretty good. Can you post pictures of it here? Do you see evidence of the parent animal anywhere? You may be able to reintroduce the baby back to the family unit. Most "wild" ducks will eat the same feed as domestic ducks.

Good Luck,

j






Fortunately our garden does not have a big slug problem. I did try some worms though. He acted more freaked out by them. It is eating grass happily, but he does not like clover. I soaked a few pieces of dog food in water and gave him that this morning for some protein.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Errr...Uhmmm...I don't think we have a duck (baby mallards have "eye stripes") here but a (perhaps?) gosling Canadian Goose?

Do you have a family of them near you some place?

I would find them and see if they have rejected this little fellow for some reason, or if they will take her/him back. Grass is its normal diet, and the occasional worm if it has the "bolstering courage" of its clutch mates and/or parents close by...otherwise you see how "freaked out" they can get by anything "different." Many animals present with "food shyness," especially when neonatal. Does it run from you or come to you? This baseline behavior can be critical in getting them raised fully. If they don't imprint on you they often loose the will to survive. "Puppet" raising is often necessary and then there reintroduction into a "juvey group" some place close by so they can migrate in a flock.

Regards,

j
 
Burra Maluca
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You might want to want to watch the full version of Fly Away Home. Here's a taster

 
Peter Hartman
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Haha thanks for the heads up. I know a pond about a half mile up the road where some geese hang out. I have no idea how this guy could have gotten this far from there though. Do I need to worry about him being excepted by the adults?
 
Ben Miller
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Location: Southwest Ontario
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I would keep the duck. We had a baby swan rejected by the parents and we tried to force the parents to accept the baby by repeatedly putting him back with the group. They killed him.
Very traumatic for the kids. Try putting the greens in water for him eat. He will grow up quickly and may be a nice addition to the farm.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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The reintroduction of any species can have its risks...no doubt...yet the relationship between "Signet," and their parents is much different story than with Geese, and many other water fowl. Swans are a "surly" bunch in general...especially Mute, so there would be a risk of that Ben if this was a swan.

As for Geese, which this does look like one, they are much more "forgiving." Either way, reintroduction is not for "or state of mind" or the our often misguided "human" sensibilities (no matter how noble)... they are for the sake of the given animal. All too often "wild rescuers" only see a "cute fuzzy" and don't think of the repercussions down the road. Those that do...great...otherwise reintroduction (if possible even if perilous) is the appropriate course in most cases. Whether duck, goose or swan, its "reintroduction" (dependant on species) is going to be more of a challenge the more they are imprinted on by humans. So, unless you have room for a permanent house guest, (legality permitting) or can live with the fact that your rescue may be "short lived"...wild rescues are challenging affairs all around...for human and animal...especially those with limited experience. I still wish you good luck and know that we hope you the best!

Regards,
j
 
Dan Tutor
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Location: Zone 5, Maine Coast
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My ducks love comfrey, dandelion, burdock, and several other weeds from the garden. They especially like the dirty roots. They've eaten nearly every plant I've given them except nettle, which made them shake their heads and get a drink of water.
 
James Graham
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Location: Cranston, Rhode Island
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We found these guys last week wandering in the yard. No mother to be found.
They look to be 9 Mallards and 3 Pintails.
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Daniel Palacios
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ducks are social birds so you may need to let this one go to someone who has ducks or get a few more. two is enough for them to turn to each other but the more the better. But i see you found that they love arm pits ). i got hobby farmer poultry feed, and i chop up weeds and radish greens for my ducks. They need lots of clean water and they learn to groom early on in a small amount of water. Good luck with your new best friend, the duck.
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