Releasing Mallard Ducks....please help!

kllart4uAugust 9, 2007

Hi to all. We have 5 mallard ducks, 6 wks. mother since day 1. We are looking to release them. We have worked hard not to domesticate them. I have a friend with a small pond, who could put out food for them if needed, or we have beautiful forest preserves with bodies of water and a few other mallards. We could not put food out there. I am wondering which location you would suggest and at what age. I am worried about migration South in the Fall. They are very healthy and doing well at this point. Any advise is greatly appreciated!



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megajas(z7 VA)

Wild mallards need to be placed with a wildlife rehabilitator ASAP to successfully be re-released into the wild. They need to be able to forage on their own and be placed where they will learn where to migrate with other mallards. As far as the release age, they need to have all of their permanent feathers in place, no baby fuzz/down and be able to fly.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 8:16AM
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Thank you Bonnie. I have since contacted a certified rehab specialist. She suggested to continue the current set up until they are 70 days old. They are going on 8 weeks old. They have their wings, but not fully and none have been able to fly yet. They forage and swim without difficulty. I am concerned about waiting until 70 days of age to release. That seems too long to me?? Any thoughts? Thanks again!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 12:49AM
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megajas(z7 VA)

Actually, that sounds about right to me. 8 weeks = 56 days ... so you just need to hold them for another 2 weeks.


PS- you don't want to release them too early as they can't get away from predators... snapping turtles, cats, dogs, hawks, ect ... I've seen numerous baby ducks come back into rehab due to injuries.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 7:35AM
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Thanks again! We are prepared to do that based on your and other's advice. We greatly appreciate your assistance. We plan to release them in a protected reserve area with many water ways and soooo many mallards!! I think they will be very happy and safe at least at this point.
Thank you again.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 6:02PM
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I found duck nest once 2 eggs werent broken out of like 10.So I put them under a broody hen.She took care of them.I left them out every day to free range the ducks went along.At the end the two ducks took off and fly just around our house,Would come down go in chicken house.One night they took off went up to the pond.Once a year in spring they come back and go down and go in chicken house to see mom chicken.Its cute to see them waddle down go in chicken house.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 8:59AM
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i have a hen mallard would it be wise to introduce her with the other wild population flight feathers are just now forming

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 9:05PM
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Wild ducks are easy to reintroduce in the wild. Just take care of them like you would free range chickens (after they have fully developed wing feathers). Let them out during the day and close them in during the night, and when they are ready the will stay out for longer and longer periods of time (sometimes days/weeks). Eventually they don't come back.

When I was younger we would have some brought to us (as found eggs or duckling) we would raise them up and let them choose if they wanted to stay or go. With few exceptions they go. We would see them about (we used colored leg bands on them) as much as 2-3 years later on a nearby pond or lake and occasionally they could come to visit us in the early spring.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 10:00PM
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I have 7 10 week old Mallards (4 male 3 female). I've had them since they were 3 days old. I live where I have access to a lake and my neighbors are ON the lake. Yesterday I took my ducks down to their property and slowly let my ducks out of their dog crate. Two flew into the lake and were swimming back to me when two Pekin ducks showed up. As my ducks were swimming back and almost to the bank these two white ducks each took my ducks grabbed them by the neck, twisted their necks and shoved their heads under water then pushed on my ducks until they were under water! We threw stuff at the white ducks until they turned loose of my mallards. My ducks flew up onto where I was and waddled as fast as they could to their crate. Will ducks kill other ducks??? Mine are still young but I'm hoping when they get older I will be able to release them so they can enjoy the lake etc. They can come home at night if they want but I want them to have the lake during the day. Is this going to be possible? Anyone out there know details on duck behavior? Thanks!!!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 1:16PM
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Were they mating or were they fighting more like a territorial thing?

Yes, ducks are very aggressive breeders & have been known to date rape females, and yes sometimes drowning them.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 7:58PM
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