Help - baby duck on the pond!

goodyweaverMay 24, 2010

Hi all. My family rents a house on about 5 acres with a small (15 ft across?) pond. The pond is completely fenced in for children. A few days ago, we noticed that we have a baby duck on the pond - he appears to have his feathers and is preening himself, so from what I've read I'm guessing he's old enough to be exposed to the elements. He appears to be around 5 inches long, maybe 3 inches across? He's constantly swimming around and seems to be trying to eat - I'm assuming bugs? Occasionally gets up on pond plants and sits for a minute, but then is right back in the water swimming around. The first day, he was doing lots of peeping, and I thought he was probably calling for his mother and siblings, but he stopped after several hours. Today is the third day he's been there.

I have absolutely no idea what to do for this little guy! Are ducks this size capable of getting enough food for themselves? Should I try to catch him and feed him indoors? Is he lonely and miserable? Should I try to find another duckling to put on the pond with him? I don't want to make his situation worse if he's perfectly fine - but have no idea how to tell if he's ok.

Thanks for the help!

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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

Is he a wild(brown) duck or does he seem to be domestic? Wondering if someone ditched him on you.
I feed my ducklings non medicated crumbles plus they eat bugs fish larvae etc. I would b e concerned about predators but if it is wild you won't get him in a cage and if you aren't committed to caring for ducks find someone else who is.It is a lot of work.Mine are out on the pond all day then corralled at night. But they have three mamas lookin out for them!
But I find it worth it.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 1:48PM
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He appears to be wild - he's brown - and still out there! I feel like he's pretty safe from predators due to the height of the fence (5ft), though I'm a little worried about hawks. Highly unlikely anyone put him there since we are on a back road and our pond is also in back of our house. I think I'm going to get him some feed and at least try to supplement his diet, in case he's not getting enough to eat. A friend of mine who has had ducks thinks that if we feed him, he's likely to acclimate to us and become tame, but if he doesn't he'll probably join a flock. So I think I'll see if we can help him make it at least...

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 4:08PM
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softmentor(z9/sunset13 CA desert)

My guess is that Mom and Dad fly in at dusk. From your report he seems to be doing fine, just enjoy his cuteness and watch him grow.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 9:30PM
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Sometimes all the eggs do not hatch the same day and a young mother will leave the nest with eggs still hatching. If the weather is warm enough they complete hatching and seek water and food on their own.

Sometimes with wood ducks that nest in tree hollows as much as 30' above the ground the ducklings will jump to the ground and if it is a windy day can get blown out of sight and due to the wind noise can't be heard above it and become lost.

Sometimes they become prey for any number of other predatory animals. Surprisingly, many times they survive to adulthood. You could let nature take its course, or you could scatter some feed in and near the waters edge, but there should be enough natural food for it to survive on in and around your small pond.

If it is a wild duck your state may prohibit you from doing anything other than watch. IÂm sure what ever you decide to do it will be fine.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 5:22PM
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