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Mallard duck question (long)

Posted by kirklanb 9 (My Page) on
Sun, May 29, 05 at 20:33

I had a pair of mallard ducks start coming into my yard in mid April. I was on vacation from work that week and in the pool a lot as well as working out in the yard. It did not seem to bother them. I live in a suburban area with a fenced in yard. Next thing you know, I noticed the two walking around the yard sizing it up- looking around all the bushes and trees etc. Then the female built a nest right next to my bedroom and the deck to the pool under an elephant ear plant. It was very smart on her part as most of the day it is in the shade.She began laying eggs on May 1st. There were 9 eggs and she put one of them in the pool so now there are 8. She started laying on the eggs full time on May 11th so I calculated her due date to be somewhere around June 4-8th from what I have read. Here is my dilemma. I have not seen her eat in my yard and I had read not to feed her.She does eat a few bugs that she finds in the pool. Before she started laying on the nest fulltime she and the male would leave for extended periods of time, I assume to go eat.They would come back to my house a couple of times a day mostly to swim and take a nap. There is a holding pond about 2 to 2.5 miles away if you go by street. If she flew in a straight line I would say it is a mile or so away. I have seen them (looks like their size) together with another larger male in this pond when I was out riding my bike before she started laying on the nest fulltime as I was trying to find out her primary source of water. Across the street from this pond is a big yard probably 2-3 acres and the house is sit way back from the road. I have seen two large male mallards and 1 large female in this yard.
Now she is on the nest fulltime getting off about 2x a day to get in the pool. She does fly away for 5 or 10 minutes but she does not go very far-just to my next door neighbor's pool mostly. I am not worried about her eating as she is able to fly. I am concerned about feeding the babies once they arrive. There is no body of water where they could eat vegetation close enough in walking distance and they will not be able to fly.
I am not sure what to do once the babies hatch. Feed them and wait until they are older and can be relocated? Cage them and relocate them?I looked online for a wildlife rescue person in my area but she only works with relocating mammals. The bird sanctuary place called BEAKS is closed until June 30th(?).I do not want to keep the ducks as pets as my yard isn't that big and really don't know the best way or time to relocate them. I do not want to upset their mother or spook her. I have read that it will take the babies 50 days to be able to fly. If I fed them until then, would they fly off or am I ruining their ability to look for food themselves. I do have some friends that might be able to take them at their pond, I just don't know what and when would be best for them with the least amount of stress to them.
Any advice is appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

I think you have to trust the Mom to take care of her ducklings, but hopefully others will have more advice for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Maria's duck tales


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

I wouldn't worry. I've seen ducks nest in bizarre places nowhere near water, like our churches parking lot. I've seen ducks feeding on grass, spilled birdseed, etc. They are vert resourceful. When the duckling are a few days old mom duck will start taking them around the neighborhood to eat.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

They are really nasty creatures though so if you value your yard, I wouldn't encourage them to stay...they will ruin your grass and it will become a slimy dirty mess....and ducks are the poopiest creatures you can imagine...


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

I would also let Mom take care of them. She knows what she is doing and I would just enjoy them! They will eat grass and take care of most all your aggravating insects. They also love mosquito larvae. I have one sitting on 15 eggs and then I have 17 in the incubator. Then I ALSO have, lol, 10 eggs in a nest waiting for the female to sit on.... I have 6 grown mallards, 3 females and 3 males. My yard isn't a muddy mess. They play in and around the pond. I have a kiddie pool for them to swim in around their pen. They go to the pond out in front of the house in the day time and then at night they go into a pen out back. I can't wait to see how many of the eggs are going to hatch. I HOPE ALL of them do! LOL I will have my hands full keeping them all fed but I know I will enjoy seeing those ducklings playing in the water. You might want to make sure that you have something for the ducklings to get out of your pool on. I would put several things in there so they can get out because when they are really young, they will get soaked through and through and they will drown if they can't get out in several places. Good luck with them. Let us know how it goes ok??


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

I also have a mallard - as a pet. I would just leave Mama alone. Claire is right - they eat grass and other vegitation. If you are concerned about the food & water, set out some cracked corn and a dish of fresh water. Please set up something for the ducklings to walk up out of your pool. They can get wet when they are small, but they can get water logged and sink. Mama will take good care of the chicks - Mallards are VERY good Moms. She probablly picked your yard because she felt it was safe, and quiet. After the chicks hatch out, Mama may just lead them away to the pond. She may come back every year to lay her eggs! Just let Mother Nature do her thing and the ducks will be fine! :)


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

6 baby ducklings arrived today. There may be more but that is all the heads I could count from the 8 eggs. They were getting restless right before dark like they wanted to eat but finally settled down for the night. Got the pool ready and made a ramp for when they need to get out. They are just precious! Thank you for all your help.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

They went for their first swim today and there were nine baby ducklings and one egg did not hatch.They were able to follow mom out of the water most of the time and when a few were left back and started crying she came back and showed them how to get out again on the raft. She has flown off about 4 times today when I have been outside and flown around quite a bit. I wonder if she is looking for the drake. I am suprised she left me "duck sitting" but by now I guess she knows I am not going to hurt them. I am having a blast watching them. They are a joy!


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

You have know idea how JEALOUS I am! And how LUCKY you are! I really believe you have been given a precious gift...enjoy it.

I know you'll continue to do the right thing!

Suzie


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

oh how wonderful!!!! Well I have my first baby as of this evening! I am sooooooo excited! I have 7 more pipping now. I can hear them just a peeping in the incubator. Mine are mallards as well. They are sooooooo tiny when they are first born! I've never seen one hatch before and this is my first time to incubate but I am defiently hooked now! NEED some more eggs to put in the incubator after these hatch! hee hee
Good luck with your ducklings!!!


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

All nine ducklings continue to do fine. Some crows were bothering them so my husband got the BB gun out and scared them without hurting them. Theygot the hint and haven't been back since.I mowed the backyard very carefully and you should have seen the little guys motoring around the yard catching the bugs after I was done. It was too cute.My husband who wasn't overly thrilled about them being in our backyard for awhile even built them a little house. He has definitely taken a liking to them.They stay under their house most of the day in the shade and I have it right by the pool. Keeps the hawks and crows from seeing them. Then at night they sleep on my raft in the pool. Guess mamma finds that comfortable. I have a boogie board in the pool too and it is funny to see them all on it.Daddy duck finally showed up after she flew off yesterday morning and got him.He stayed about twenty minutes to check out the kids and hasn't been back since. I am loving it and every day is a new adventure. I am very thankful.

Belinda


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Daddy duck won't help rear the kids. He's just lookin' for alittle more action, (if you know what I mean)before he flies off to a large body of water to molt. Momma will molt after her babies are on their own. What a joy to experience Mother Nature close up and personal! Have fun.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

I woke up this morning and all 9 ducklings were fine. Went to the gym and came home. 1 duckling was dead in the grass about 2 feet from the pool. His feathers just behind his right eye were gone and you could see some skin ( about 1cm). There were no puncture wounds. I would think a hawk or a crow would have taken off with their kill or if they left it show puncture marks from the talons or beaks. Do mother mallards kill their ducklings? None of the nine looked retarded or slow. They have all been keeping up with her. Maybe she thought it was sick or was trying to pull it up out of the water and caused head trauma. I have four floats in the water and even when one gets stuck he cries a little and then figures out how to get out. I have not seen her have to pull one out of the water. Any ideas? Thanks.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Though it might seem an obvious thing to do, I have NEVER seen a duck or a goose pull a little one out of danger. They just don't seem to get that idea in their heads.

It is possible that your duckling got stepped on or smothered by its mother when she was trying to shelter all of them under her wing. It happens. We lost a gosling that way this spring, and so did friends of ours. You should hide/dispose of the body promptly so it doesn't attract scavengers.

If your pool is chlorinated, you might want to offer them the option of non-chlorinated drinking water. I find that an upside dwon trash can lid (the flat metal ones) with a hose just barely dribbling into it stays reasonably clean, and little ones can get into and out of it without a struggle.

enjoy them!

Katey


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Baby Ducks,

Hi, We have 2 female muscovy ducks. One of them laid 15 eggs, but a snake got into her house with her and tried to eat her eggs, we were afraid the snake might oneday hurt our duck "Jake" so we took her eggs. The other day we went and got 2 more babies. A solid black duckling, she is a mallard I know because we saw her mother. I never knew baby mallards were black when they were babies. How can you tell if it is a girl or a boy? I know how to when they are grown, but not when they are babies. The other one we got was all by itself with 3 male mallards. The mother was nowhere nearby and it would not follow the other mallard mother with the black baby we got. It is the smallest baby duck I have ever seen. Its the normal lookin color, yellow and black. What kind do you think it is? It looked no more than a day old when we got it Thanks Genny.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

My mallard ducklings are black with identical small yellow markings. I have read that if they are born in the summer, you will not be able to tell the sex until the fall when they start growing their feathers. The only other way you can tell now is to take them to a Vet who is skilled with wild birds or else they could injure them. If it is yellow and black I would say it is a mallard. If the other baby ducks are larger than the small duck, they will not accept it. I have read that you have to try and find a mother mallard with babies that are similar sized for the mother to accept it. I am not an expert but that is what I have read. Too bad you don't live in Florida, we could try and see if my mother would take it. Hers are growing but are 2 weeks old this Saturday.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Wow! The black baby one we have is larger than the black & yellow one, we are keeping them inside until they get big enough to carry outside. We have a fenced in yard, and they sleep in a kids size dollhouse at night then have the whole yard in the daytime. The 2 new babies I wrote about are getting along very well. We love ducks so we are going to keep them :) I read somewhere the female mallards have a black beak and the males a orange beak. But I'm not sure if thats when they are young or not, I read that it was when they are grown, Anyway thanks for your help* If you have any more info. on muscovies or mallards I'd appreciate it.
Also our muscovie "Jake" we had to take the eggs away from could not have hatched her eggs anyway. We only had 2 females and not a male muscovie :( But its better that way cause we don't have to worry about 15 babies outside, we have a bunch of hawks here that would kill them :( Genny


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

I wanted to let you all know that when I said the ducks sleep in a kid sized dollhouse I didn't mean the new baby ducks we got do, I was talking about our grown muscovies! Just wanted to let ya'll know!


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Hi everybody. I'm new here.
You all have no idea how much I've enjoyed reading this page! You just about have me convinced that I'm kinda normal for loving Mallards the way I do. The thing is, I've only loved Mallards for about 3 weeks! What I have here between my feet is the cutest little Mallard baby I've ever seen! Of course I've never had a close up view of any mallard duck before now. My son found the baby in the road and stopped for him. He said the baby was turning around and around and was "screaming" and would I PLEASE take it and raise it? I told him to give that baby duck back to it's mother and call me to tell me how things turned out. About 2 hours later he and his wife came over and told me that they simply couldn't find a mother duck anywhere around there. So now I have an accidental duck and I am just thrilled with him! My husband is too. My husband says he's (she's?) the cutest thing to come along since our last grandchild was born! I've never raised ducks-just chickens, so I've learned a lot by reading this page. I just have one question: How do you get a duck to move out of the house?? Here's another question: Am I feeding it right? I have it on chick starter, but it sounds like they need greens as well. Any ideas from those who already know?
chickenmama1


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Hi, We have raised ducks off and on though the years; and just last year got 2 baby muscovies and now they are a year old :) Just about 5 days ago we got 2 baby mallard ducks?! We have been keeping them inside the house until they grow big enough to go out with "Jake & Topaz" our muscovies.
Here is how we started keeping our muscovies outside after they lived inside for several months!! We kept them in a rabbit cage while they stayed in the house with us, for 2 months I'd say, then we started keeping them out side in a kids size dollhouse only at night for them to sleep in, and during the day we let them stay on the porch!The porch was a mess by the end of the day but we kept it washed off with a hose. Then a few months after that we let them start staying out on the grass in our front yard during the day and locking them in the play house at night while they slept. They know when at night when I am going to put them up, they just take off runnin to their little house, it's sooo cute :)
So now they are out in our front yard from daylight to dawn. We are going to do the other new mallards the same way. But they are so little if they were out by themselves a hawk might get them we have a lot of them flying around here.
Are you going to keep this one you have or release him when he gets older? I would suggest maybe getting another one to go with him if you plan on keepin him. I know mine love each others company dearly :) Because we can't be with them all the time now.
And about what we feed them, right now while they are little we only feed them cracked grain that people use for baby chickens. They eat it well, plus, we give them some bread and break it up small so they can eat it, also I provide water with it because baby ducks can get choked very easy. I feed the grown muscovies, grain as well, bread, popcorn, chips, rice, cereal, fish, chicken...dif. stuff they love it. I hope this helps you, let me know if u need to know anything else.....Genny


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Hi Genny,
Yes, this has helped me a lot. Thank you. I had no idea other people would admit to having a duck in the house. I started my chickens the same way. I started raising them in one of the bathrooms. I lined the bathroom with plastic half way up and kept them in the shower stall. LOL I get such a kick out of all these animals! I've been trying to be my duckies buddy, but he seems to need my attention every waking moment. I have the chickens, two dogs and three cats to take care of too. Doesn't sound like much, but add 5 grandkids to the whole mix and it's a bit much. So, yes. I will get a friend for my baby. I had hoped to release him or at least give him the choice to leave, but he bonded to me faster than any animal or bird I've ever raised. It really surprised me that he bonded that quickly. I'll still give him the choice when the ducks and geese start flying over in the fall. We'll see how it goes.
Thanks for your info. I appreciate it and would LOVE to read more duck stories here. :)
chickenmama1
Maggie


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

They do bond w/ you quickly. They think you are their mother! We have 5 dogs, 2 cockatiels, a hamster, a rabbit, and 4 ducks!
They are a handful but well worth it :) Hope you enjoy yours!


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Hi Maggie,
My ducklings are with their mom and I try not to feed them a lot so they will look for food on their own. They have been good about that. I tried giving them a treat the other night of very small cuts of fish fillets (specks) to see if they would like it. Man did they ever. Even the mother mallard liked it. We have also been trying to mow the grass once or twice a week as it makes the bugs come up. Today we edged the yard and you should have seen them diving in the grass and rooting around for bugs. One got a worm. When mowing we let some of the grass clippings fly in the pool and they seem to like that too. I found out what killed one of my ducklings. In the corners of the pool I have various floats so the ducks can get out since they can't fly. One float I was using was a child's life jacket with a towel over it and a flower pot holding the towel down. Well I was changing out the towel to wash it, and one of the ducklings had gotten trapped under a side of the life jacket. it may have gotten caught in the strap. I felt bad but at least I knew. I think the other got killed by a crow. No sign of it from last Wednesday but when the mother sees the crows she makes noises and they try and hide. Cracked corn and wild bird food ( at the feed store -has cracked corn and grain ) is good to feed them too. Good luck. Glad you are keeping the baby.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Hi Belinda
Thanks for the words of advice. I'm so sorry to hear about your baby being drowned. :( That's sad. It's also part of raising animals, so I have to sit myself down and give myself a reality check whenever one of them gets killed. I have to remind myself of my mother and grandmothers helping with the slaughter--I'm sure I'd have to do it if I grew up during that time period- during latter 1800's and early 1900's. My "farm" is tiny. The neighboring farmer sold off all of his beautiful fields and now there are tiny little new houses as far as I can see from my place. I guess I'm a "suburban farmer" now, since the city limits have grown to include my place too. My family has dubbed my place "Maggie's Farm". :)
Thanks again for the words of wisdom. I appreciate it.
Maggie


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Yesterday I saw the neatest thing. It seemed to me that the mother mallard gave her babies some diving lessons. She saw a few of them diving for some fish at the bottom of the pool that I had fed them hours ago. Next thing you know, she quacked really loud to get their attention and dove very quickly down to the deep end of my pool. She came up with her head lunged forward and quacked very loud almost as if to scare something. Then she repeated it about 3 or four times. When she was done, the little ones tried imitating her. I am kicking myself that my camcorder was inside and I did not get to tape the "diving lesson." Yesterday the neighbor's cat was licking his chops on my fence but I scared the crap out of him and chased him back all the way to his house so he wouldn't come back. This morning luckily no sight of him. The baby duck drowning was sad but like you said it is part of it. I buried it and did not let the mother see it.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Does anyone think mallards &muscovies would get along?


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

I don't think the muscovies in general like them but if they grow up together it might be different. At a friend of mines neighborhood lake there are a bunch of muscovies and they snub this one mallard.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

I would like to thank all of you who posted advice here. We were not the ones who posted the original question, but your information became quite valuable to us. My five year old daughter and a neighbor's grandkids found a dead mallard mother and an orphaned duckling. We took the duckling in and (using advice contained here) tried to give it a good home. Unfortunately, the duckling passed away yesterday. Of course, my daughter is crushed as she had "adopted" the duck and had taken the responsibility of taking care of him/her. My question is this. Does anyone know where we could look into adopting a mallard duckling? We have read so much about them now and would love to have a healthy one for our children to raise. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Dan


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Dan, you need more than one. Ducks like more ducks and don't like to be alone. Even if it is two females or two males, whatever, they still want company. They are flocking birds so they really have to have company. Check with your feed stores in your area for folks that raise them, they will probably know of folks that raise them.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Maybe try the web site www.liveducks.com. I think they have some information there about buying baby ducks.They also have some very cute baby duck pictures.
I am sorry to hear that the baby duck died. I only have two left from my nine. A hawk took off with 5. They are penned now until they get all their feathers with their mom.I couldn't take it anymore. They are doing fine though and growing like weeds. I can understand how your daughter would get attached for them. They are truly a joy to watch grow up. Be careful of lurking hawks. They are an easy pick for them. Since you are getting them when they are young you can pen them if not around without the mother freaking out about it. I agree with the above and in my research I have read that they need a friend.


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RE: Mallard duck question

I've been enjoying reading your posts here, it's been very informative. There is a female mallard duck who has decided to make a nest in some landscaping at our business office.

Two questions:
1. She is safe from predators and it is relatively quiet here, however for 6-8 hours a day she is in direct sunlight. She opens her beak and sometimes her head wobbles a little. I worry she could get too hot. Should I be worried? Should we try to create some shade with something while she is away from the nest? And can I help her with giving her water or food? There is a small metal bowl of water near her, but she doesn't seem to take from it. (My boss put it out and I think the water may get very hot quickly.)
2. Also, I worry that when the eggs hatch, the ducklings could be in danger from the cars in our parking lot and on the nearby road. There is no water directly nearby; she would have to walk them across the street and through some apartments to a pond. Should I leave her be or call the Dept. of Wildlife to try to move her?

This seems to be a pretty active forum, so I hope someone has some advice on the heat and the baby safety. Thank you in advance.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

1.I would try and shade her area while she is gone.from the nest.Maybe buy a large plant to block the sun. Something natural as you don't want to spook her.Mine was really smart. She cased our whole back yard and picked a spot with no direct sunlight under an elephant ear plant. The plant was only about three feet from our pool. I would continue to give her water in a bowl even if she doesn't take it.You may want to even consider getting something larger for her like an upside down plastic trash can lid filled with water. It may be that she has not laid all of her eggs yet and is just flying off to get some water and food. Once she lays all of her eggs, she will be on that nest fulltime to incubate them except a couple of brief moments to get water and food.
If she is opening her beak a lot, it is probably due to the heat. It is similar to what a dog does when hot. I would change out the water 3 or 4 times a day to keep it cool.

2. I have read that a mother mallard is able to lead her ducklings up to a mile away to get water. It will be 7-8 weeks until they are fully feathered and can fly. I suppose that she is smart enough to pick a place she thought safe and close enough to a water supply. She knows where the closest water is and could not survive herself without it.

I would be concerned too about the traffic but if you call wildlife, just be careful. They might say they will relocate them , but they might dispose of them.
When she starts laying on the nest fulltime, it will be about 26-28 days before they hatch. Maybe you guys could get a couple of trash can lids or the top to a plastic storage bin to do as a "pool"until they are able to fly. Keep it under some cover so hawks don't find them.You could use a kiddie pool but you would need to have a ramp in and out because they cannot fly and would drown if they can't get out. The mother will not pull them out if drowning. In my large swimming pool, I used some stadium seat cushions in each corner with a wet towel over the top of it. I held the towel in place over the pooldeck with a plant.I have heard you can also use a small cooler lid that floats. Don't use a life jacket. Too big and one of mine drown getting trapped underneath. It takes awhile for them to learn how to get out on the cushions but after they see one do it, they get the hang of it. Mom just jumps out.

The other option would be to try and calculate when they hatch. The first day, mine just stayed in the nest and ate their eggshells. The next day mom took them out. If someone could walk with them to the watersource across the street.. that would protect them from cars at least that day.I think it would be easier to provide them the water closer until they can fly away.
I hope this helps.
Belinda


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Has anyone here ever had a young female mallard with a small amount of iridescent green on her head when she's very young?? Hubby says it's a female. I say it's a male. The iridescent green is very apparent in direct sunlight, but it's just on the top. I think we got him/her in or around May. The bill is not quite yellow.

Do immature males have this green on the top of the head for a long time before they color up?

Mr. Flippers (mallard) doesn't quack. He says "unk-unk-unk" a lot.

His buddy, Mr. Flappers, the Blue Swedish, has just said, "Quack" today for the very first time. (that I know of) And that quack is unmistakable! It actually says "quack". He's growing into quite the handsome dude out there in my duck yard.

I have all these questions! And many, many more! :)

chickenmama1


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

I noticed that too, but breezyB told me that they will color like the mom at first until the fall. I think it is the sunlight as sometimes I don't notice it. One thing I noticed different about my two is that one has a plain beige bill and the other has a beigy orange bill with some dark markings in the center of it ( like it's mom). So far, I theorize I have one girl and one boy. They are the opposite of what I guessed at initially as the smaller of the two has the plain beige bill which might make him a boy. I assumed he was a girl as he was smaller and a little less aggressive when going after food, diving in the water etc.The pictures I have of the daddy duck show that he has a plain beige bill also. Who knows for sure?
I can't remember where I read it but it does say that the boys and girls have different quacks. The one that I think is a boy can make this one sound like a whistle.
I freed them from their pen today finally and they were so excited to get out. They are completely feathered in so I figured it was time. Boy did they enjoy their freedom. They are so grown up now. This Saturday they are 8 weeks old.

Try checking their bills out and let me know.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

I ex husband took some baby Mallards away from the neighbor's dog and told my son to call me. I raised 11 out of the 13. The two the dog had caught died. The neighbor's children on the other side caught some and when their mother came home she sent them to me too. I lost a couple of them too since they had kept them without food or water all day until they called me.
I checked with my vet and the farm supply store they said don't use chicken starter! It seems it is medicated and its hard on the ducks. They have a duck starter, which worked fine. I put a wadding pool out for the ducks too. Bottom line is they flew of when they grew up, as we are only a mile or so from the river and every year for several years they would come back in the spring and fall before nesting on the river.
I have since found a bird rehab specialist and I have sent anyone with babies to her because of her experience. I wouldn't try to tame a wild animal. So I wouldn't recommend them as a child's pet. The last time my niece brought a baby mallard the neighbor's children had captured I took it to my friend the rehabber and my husband bought my great niece babies at the farm supply store so she wouldn't mind giving the wild one up.
I hope this helps.
Martha


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

kirklamb and KyME and the rest.

Thanks so much for your replies. :) Yes, your info is very helpful. I guess it's a waiting game until this duck is finished growing feathers.

I'm so afraid of what will happen to the mallard if it tries to fly away in the fall. Each year the ducks and geese fly back and forth right over our place. It's not a fly way, but there are two lakes on each side that they fly to before they actually leave for the winter. This duck is so tame that I know it won't stay away from humans. The air conditioning guy was just here for a tune up on our air conditioning unit. He told me that those ducks are pretty "neat". He said they weren't shy at all when he talked to them. So... Well that's what I'm worried about. Do you think it will stay because it already has a buddy here? I kinda think it will try to fly away. I just can't see how it will be able to take care of itself though.

Worry, worry, worry. That's me. :)

chickenmama1


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Another Mallard Duck Question (also long)

Hi Everyone,
I just found this site today and I am so pleased. We found a mallard duck nest in the bushes next to our deck the other day. The problem was, our deck is scheduled for demolition on Monday. The duck was leaving the nest every evening around 6pm, so last night my husband moved the nest into a small cage while she was out. We put the cage right where the nest had been and I was thrilled this morning to find her in the cage sitting on her nest. So, now what? We need to move her out of the way of the demolition, but we have 2 dogs who I fear are a threat to her safety. I am also at a total loss as to what to do when these eggs hatch. Any advice is much appreciated.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Bullswan.....I don't see where you have much choice but to relocate the nest. Try to keep it close by the orginal, i mowed, right up to a nesting mallard by accident 8 inchs close
she never moved off the nest, and eventualy hatched them out,
Took all of 28 days or so. She was trusting and would let me feed and bring water to the nest site.
As for mixing mallards and muskies they don't mix, here on the 600+ acre lake i live on.....i don't like the muskies anyway so they stay on the other side of lake :)
Also some one correct me if i'm wrong but doesn't the Federal Gov. own the mallards, and can't really be bought and sold? I know long time ago i did catch 6 and give to a friend, out of ignorance i guess :( they are so plentyful here, we have had two hundred at a time and so crowed most of them left, they are just starting to come back, one has 20 about 1-2 weeks old don't see that many young at that age long, most get ate by gators or bass ? In the first week. Out of a 15 hatch most will raise half,just the way it is :(
Oh Pekin and mallards get along fine, but the pekins are dumber than a dove, I can see why they don't survive in the wild....I don't feed the ducks, my neighbor does 50# bag a week and if he isnt out there by 9am and 5pm they will cross the road to get him and most of the ducks are killed by cars in front of his house, think he would learn :(


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

IT is now agains federal law to demolish your deck (migratory bird act), just FYI, not saying that you shouldn't move the nest and demolish anyways.


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RE: Mallard duck question

I found an abandoned baby mallard. I am rehabilitating her as she was in bad shape. Doing fine now. I want to raise her untill she is big and well enough to be let back into the wild. I heard I can get a ticket or even go to jail for possesion of a mallard. What should I do?


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Could you maybe just keep her? Or give her to a friend that has ducks????


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Depending on the state you live in you could be fined. I don't think you would go to jail. Where I live at, you cannot pen them without a permit. If the mallard is roaming around free in your yard, then you aren't penning it, so it is free to go. You can't help it that it is staying there. Once it gets older and learns how to fly, if it hears other mallards around, it will take off to join them. They are social birds and don't like to be alone. Maybe search your state's department of wildlife website for their policy. Chances are, nothing will happen. I would just not tell or show the duck off to your neighbors as they could report you.


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RE: Mallard duck question

Hi, I've been reading your postings on mallard ducks. We have one in our yard, nesting I think in the flower bed near the foundation of our house. She is very camoflouged in a green juniper bush. She hasn't moved all day, but previous to today would come and go.

I want to know if I should feed her or will it attract squirrels or raccoons? Also, does it take 28 days to lay the eggs or hatch them? Do you think she will continue to come and go or is she here for the duration?

I have no body of water very close to my house within walking distance (the bay is about 2 miles away). Previously to today, we have seen her fly in and out.

I know most of you say to let Mother Nature take its course. But any advice would be appreciated, as I want to make sure she and the eggs are safe.

Thanks.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

  • Posted by bside Canada (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 16, 06 at 12:52

Hello!
Last evening we found a baby duck in the grass near our front door all alone and lonely. We brought it in, put it in a box and gave it a bowl of water and some crushed up cherrios and bird seed. I have not seen it drink or eat yet and I am wondering if I should take it to the wildlife centre for rehabb. Does anyone have some advise on the care of a newborn
baby duck? I think it might be a mallard.
Thanks,
Mel


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

sorry this is kinda late but I was out of town. I would get some cracked corn and grain-make sure it does not have growth hormone.Depending on what area of the country you are in, if you take it to a wildlife refuge center they might destroy it .For example, mallards in this part of Florida are considered ferrile at this time of the year and thus a nuisance. The biggest thing is that they need water to drink and clean out their nostrils. The mother keeps them from getting too cold when they swim as she gets out and then they get out. She just knows when. When they lay underneath her, her oil gets on them and helps with waterproofing. I forget how long it takes them to develop their own. If you do let them go swimming, make sure they can get out of the water and don't chill. I used a seat cushion or a styfoam cooler top. They swim on that and then step out. If not, they could drown in a pool etc.
Hope this helps.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

I also am new to the duck world. We have a 2 acre pond and 11 ducks were dropped off to us. We have eight that survived and they are now about 9 months old. We have one duck that the others will not let nest with them. The duck does not look sick or anything its more like the "Ugly Duckling". We have to feed him by himself most of the time. They are all boys I think and they are very fun to watch. When we start the Rhino up in the mornings to go feed you will see them on the road and then they fly to the end of the pond and wait on us.
Anyway, my question is why do they treat the one little male so badly and ignore him?


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

The mallard drake has an olive green bill and the females have an orange with black bill. The females have the loud voice and the males sort of whisper.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

I ran upon this Page looking for imformation on Mallard Ducks because i recently had mallard ducks come around and found this page to be very helpful. I do have a few things that I would like to ask though, one person said about the Crows and using BB Guns, I live in an area that isn't quiet because it's almost in the City and if I use a BB Gun the police will show up I am sure. So how do I get rid of them? I also would love to know how to get the ducks into my back yard instead of hanging around the front because the neighborhood kids love to either chase them away or gather around them. They come here mostly when the kids aren't around? In my back yard I have trees in the one corner of my yard and it's fensed in with privacy fence and lots of bugs too. I think that they would love that. I also know that they love eating bread, the white part anyway. The female eats right out of my hands. It's so cute. She doesn't bite me either, I thought that she would but she doesn't. I just love having them come around. One looks in our screen door into our house, like where is some food people...lol it's cute. Anyway, any advice??


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Hello, I am new to this forum and I need help solving a mystery that is baffling me. I found a female Mallard that built a nest in the bushes next to my front door. The way I found the nest is that when I was trimming the bush (Zebra Grass) it flew out. I counted at least 7 eggs. I stopped trimming and she came back to the nest and everything seemed fine. I checked on her the next day and she was still there sitting on the eggs. Then, about 4 hours later I checked and she was gone and all the eggs were gone! I looked all over but could find no sign of her or the eggs or eggshells or feathers or anything! Then about 3 hours later I checked and she was back sitting on the nest but I didn't dare disturb her to see if the eggs were there. Is it possible that she hid the eggs while she went out for food and water and then brought them back? Or did someone else find the nest and take the eggs? Would she still be sitting in the nest if someone took the eggs? I hope you can help me with this. BTW, the closest pond is about 1/4 of a mile away.

Here is a link that might be useful: Picture of Duck in Nest


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

OK, I answered my own question. She hid the eggs in the nest burying them with leaves and such. She goes out everyday at 5:30 AM and 5:30 PM. Sometimes she hides them better than other times. Usually the in the morning when she is gone I am able to see into the nest and see the eggs.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Thanks for this great blog. I have a Mallerd nest under a bush near my house. The problem is my dog a lab puppy has disturbed the nest several times. Once breaking an egg and most recently taking an egg out that I put back. The mom has still been sitting on the nest. She not affraid of me or the dog unless he goes right up to the nest. I'm affraid the eggs have been damaged and won't hatch. I think it's been about 2-21/2weeks since I noticed her and the eggs. Since reading everyones letters I now know to write it down so I can figure the expected hatch date. Thanks. My question is how long will she sit on the nest if the eggs are no longer viable?


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

help we have ducklings and if mom takes them into the pool again they will die of exhaustion because it's too tall for them to get out!


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Hello,

I am new to this post and I have found it to be quite interesting and informative. I live on a mini farm with various critters and I too own Mallards (and I used to have White Pekins, a couple of mixed breed ducks, and a rehab Muscovy. Another story for another day). Or is that the other way around? Either way I thought since I have had a few years experience with them that I might could help answer some of the questions I have read. I have raised some of them from babies and they now live out on my pond. They are beautiful to watch and do a great job of keeping the bug population down but I do feed them as well. They are fed cracked corn and floating duck/fish food in a metal pan beside the pond. I do this for several reasons. My pond is stocked with fish, big fish, and we feed them as well the floating food. So as not to confuse the two we feed them separately. The reason I feed close to the pond is because I used to feed up close to an outside shelter away from the pond but I found that they weren't the only ones eating the food. I actually had two foxes fighting one night over some cracked corn left on the big slab I used to feed them on. So I bought the pan and I now put the feed up at night. None the less when I raised them as babies I did so in my bathroom in a tall box. I fed them a cracked corn and floating duck food mix blended in a blender. They were fed out of the containers you can buy at a feed and seed store that is like a trough but the cover has holes in it for them to stick their beaks in. They also had water with a vitamin mix in it. The brand I used can be bought at the same type of store as the feeder and the waterer and is called Vi-tal-a water vitamin, electrolyte and mineral supplement. Another name that comes to mind is one called Quik Chick. I hung a lamp to keep them warm but as previous posts have mentioned only close enough and on one side to keep them warm if they wanted it. They would behave as others in that they would move closer or further away dependent upon their needs. Also, I cleaned their box two times a day to keep the area dry. As they get older and figure out their food is better if they mix the water and the food together things tended to get kind of messy (and stinky; What goes in must come out). Once they were too big for the box they were moved to the garden tub. After too big for that they were moved to an area outside in our green house. Still providing the necessary food, water, and warmth. I introduced them to the pond daily by letting them get into a kiddie pool in a secure area. This helped them with developing the oils they didn't get from mom. Once they were old enough we would walk down to the pond during the day, then back to the greenhouse for the night. Eventually, I think at around 3-4 months (they still couldn't fly yet but close) we went to the pond for good. They did quite well but the other ducks steered clear of them for awhile until they figured out these guys were there to stay. I have lost some through the years to predators, over zealous males, and unknown reasons but where there are males and females there are eggs. . . and lots of them. I lose many to snakes, oppossums, black birds, and ???. But there are those that actually hatch and make it to the pond. For the faint of heart stop reading. There have been more than a few that I have lost to birds of prey, and much to my dismay, fish. I never would have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. I am not sure if it is the Catfish or the Bass but I try really hard to catch the babies before they make it to the pond. Although heart breaking it is an unfortunate fact of life and the perfect example of the food chain. I have two females sitting now on eggs. If allowed to hatch and I can catch the babies they will be relocated to neighbors who also own ponds but don't have ducks. Well, I hope you didn't fall asleep. If I can help in any way or if you just want me to try I look forward to helping. Perhaps one day I can discuss a situation where one of my roosters accidentally pulled his beak off and what transpired thereafter. Have a great Summer.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Hi everyone,

This forum is great! I have a Mallard duck nesting in my backyard, we have a pool (not opened yet), and I've been doing a lot of research on line, because many things have happened. Something had gotten into her nest, although there were no obvious signs of it, but one egg was sucked dry, and the other was just sitting there, whole. Then a few weeks later 2 or 3 more eggs were smashed on the stone, with the embryo left there, which I thought was a little weird. Then this week, there was an egg out of the nest, and there was another male and female scoping out her nest, and standing right in front of her. I scared them off with a rake... I felt bad, but my duck had only about 4-6 days left for them to hatch. I had put the egg in front of her nest, and once I went inside she pushed it back into her nest with her beak.

It's not a domestic duck, she just picked our backyard to nest in, and I've been obsessed with her ever since! She hadn't picked a very hidden spot, so I cut a bunch of branches and made her shelter.

Well, today, I saw her with the egg in her mouth, and she was smashing it in the pool and breaking it all up in the pool! I assume it was the egg that I put in front of her, and maybe it had been out of the nest for too long? Has anyone heard of this?

Also, is there any way to tell when they're about to hatch? There's about 3 eggs left, and I'm wondering if there are any signs to watch for?

Sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance!!


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

The gestation period for mallard eggs is approximately 28 days. Mine hatched exactly in 28 days. They will need a water source once they hatch. I have seen a cardinal physically remove an egg from its nest. I put a glove on and when she flew off I put the egg back. She came back to the nest and got the egg and flew off with it. I can only speculate but maybe the mother can sense something is wrong with the egg (the baby duck is not developing properly in the egg or there is no movement when there should be compared to the other eggs?) I don't know about the smashed eggs- sounds like a predator- fox, snake, racoon. It's an ongoing battle with predators. A racoon got into my duck's nest 2x so she ended up moving out of our yard :( They learn to get away from predators. As far as the 2 ducks scoping out the nest, I haven't heard of mallards destroying each other's nests or eggs but another male mallard had come into our yard and he killed one of the ducklings before I could get to him. He was not the dad. The males want nothing to do with the ducklings even if they are the father. Basically they want one thing if you know what I mean.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Thanks for that info. Unfortunately, when I woke up this morning she was standing at the edge of the pool but wouldn't go in. Then we noticed 2 of her eggs floating in the pool. I pulled them out, and noticed they were cracked. As soon as I took them out, she went in the pool, even with me standing there. She then flew off, and I looked in her nest, and the last egg had been eaten, only the shell was left. I'm so so so very sad, I did all that I could to protect her, but it wasn't enough. I just hope she picks a good spot next time, and gets at least some ducklings this season... Sometimes I just hate Mother Nature!


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Sorry to hear that and I understand your disappointment. It is sad when they don't make it despite your efforts.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

I too have a mallard nesting in a bush in my front yard. My main problem is my dog (who is a bird dog). He has chased the mama duck off the nest several times and chases any and all ducks anytime they are in the back yard. We have a stream that runs through the back yard and a deer feeder that is full of corn, so we often have visiting ducks. I think I fixed the problem of my dog chasing her off the nest by surrounding her bush with white flags (same flags that flank our yard for his invisible fence.) I still have two concerns: one, that she isn't getting any food because he chases he when she's off the nest, at the corn feeder. Can I put corn near her nest, or will this attract possible predators? Two, what am I going to do about my dog and the baby ducks when they are born? He killed her one and only duckling last year. (She nests at my house every year, according to the people we bought the house from, but this is only our second spring here.) Also, what will baby ducks do with a stream? It's not like standing water where they can take their time struggling to get out. I am afraid they'll get swept downstream? THANKS!


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

heres another question based on the first one. I have PET ducks that cant fly away because they're domesticated and they just had 14 ducklings. my family got an offer for 3 of the ducklings but i dont know how old the ducklings have to be to take them away from their mother without the ducklings freaking out because the lucky children that will be getting the ducklings wont have much fun if the ducklings keep running from them and wont be quiet.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

With my ducklings the mother flew off when they were 8 weeks old and did not come back. They taught themselves to fly and were pretty large at that point. If they are very young you might have a difficult time getting them away from a protective mother and you are right in that they will cry for their mother. This noise might attract predators and they would be an easy target. I wouldn't recommend separating them until they are 6-8 weeks old.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Has anyone ever seen their baby Mallard ducklings walking backwards for quick spells? I just incubated a little duckling in my classroom. He hatched about 5 days ago. Looks healthy in every way. He's been in a brooder box and is doing fine. I brought him home last night from school to keep him over the weekend. He has not had much time out of the box due to being in the classroom. I took him out and gave him a small pie pan of warm water to play in. He loved it and did just fine. He follows me everywhere. At times he seems to have spells where he starts doing backwards. He rights himself and carries on as if nothing happened. I'm not sure if this is normal and hope that he doesn't have some kind of neurological issue. He seems fine otherwise. Could it be the brooder box has limited him. He's only 5 days old.
Thanks,
Mariyn


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

i have a baby mallard that i saved from a flood and from an egg floating on the flood plain to my surprise it hatched i have fed her game bird feed and she is 6 weeks old. now i am wondering i plan to release her back to the flock and wondering if any one has a duck band i could buy and/or have asi would like to keep tabs on her upon release.you can contact me at LENEDOGG1963@comcast.net or lenny sherman 2C Creighton st newmarket,nh 03857 thanx lenny


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

I live in a suburban area no water close by and two mallard ducks have flown over to my street and choose a house across from mine to nest the homeowner there doesnt pay any attention to them and there nest is in there bushes in the front. The male stands in the yard watching her and then paces every now and then up the street but I am soo worried because sometimes he gets in the street and with morning traffic on my street its cars and cars and lots of suvs. U cant see him. I have taken it upon myself to stay out with them and make sure they dont get runover cuz they leave and comeback the next day. What I dont dont know what to do is when is when the babies comes if it takes 2 months to fly we have outdoor cats and again the cars fast cars. And kids who will run and chase at them. ( had a little girl do that to the male when a car was coming). helpp!


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New Post - just joined all of you -

I have a mother mallard who chose my flower bed under one of my livingroom windows to make a nest for the first time this year. I live in a "city" area in western New York and I am so glad to have found you all here. It is reassuring to hear you all saying I should trust her to figure this all out. We are not at all sure where she will take them for a body of water once they are hatched. There isn't one immediately close - would be miles from me. I put out some cracked corn for her a few days in a row and she didn't touch it so I'm gathering she has other sources of food and doesn't need it. So am I safe to think she has a plan for where to take the clutch once they hatch?


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RE: Mallard duck question

I have a mallard duck sitting on her eggs on the upper deck of my house. She made her nest in a planter box and has about a dozen eggs covered with her down feathers for protection. The deck is about twenty feet off the ground level and there is no side protection to keep the little ones from falling off. I spoke to wildlife rangers and some rescue organizations, getting different answers from all of them. I would like to move the whole nest, mother and all to a location on ground level off of my property. I am only at this house three days out of the week and it it completely fenced in so the ducklings could not get out until they are able to fly. I don't mind the nest at all, but don't want to come home to find dead babies duck that have fallen from twenty feet up. I went through a bad experience last summer when I found eleven dead baby ducks in my pool skimmer so I am afraid to even open the pool. I would appreciate any advice.


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Today(11 am) I noticed a baby mallard duck in my swimming pool. It was all alone no momma or siblings in sight. Called my vet and they told me to look around close by to see if I see the mother duck. I didn't see the mom anywhere and they told me to get the baby out of the pool put in a box and the mom would eventually come back for it. I was worried for its safety so I took it to my vet. (2 pm). Went out to dinner and came home (8 pm) momma duck is sitting out on my pool deck hanging out and one of her babies is stuck in the pool! I walked outside and she walked a few feet to the bushes while I scooped her baby out of the pool. Then they both scurried off through the fence. My question: I feel terrible I took her other baby to my vet!! I called my vet and left her a message that the mother duck came back. Should I go get the baby in hopes of reuniting it with its mom? Do you think the mother duck will come back again? Or should I leave well enough alone and just let my vet give it to a rescue group? How come this mother duck doesn't have more babies? I've only seen two?


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Update: My vet, who took the duckling yesterday, called me this morning. Said it was a good idea for me to take it back and try to reunite it with its mother. So, now I have the baby duck again but am wondering "how" to reunite it with its mom. Vet said to just release it in our backyard and let the mom hear it crying and then she will come get it. Is it that easy. I live on a golf course. My yard is fenced with a iron pickets but if the baby wonders on to the golf course it might fall victim to hawks, crows, etc. Should I just wait patiently until I see the mom duck and then let it go?


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

Hi All,

I'm hoping someone can figure out the answer to my question. About a month ago I was sitting at my kitchen table when out of the blue a small duck (common merganser) waddled by the patio door with 8 chicks. I watched her for a while, figuring that she got in the yard somehow, so she must be able to find her way back out. After a couple of hours went by it was apparent she was getting distressed so I went and opened the back gate for her. Again this morning, a mallard with 9 chicks waddled by my patio door, again I had to go open the gate for her. What I can't figure out is how they're getting in the yard. My backyard is fully enclosed and the gate has barely a two inch gap at the bottom. Any ideas? I looked all over for any signs of nests but there's nothing that I can find.


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

My female mallard which I raised from 3 days old has built a nest & layed 9 eggs. First egg about18 days ago. This morning she was on nest before daylight & stayed for 2 hours & left. Has not returned. Are these eggs OK or should I intervene?


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RE: Mallard duck question (long)

I have enjoyed starting to follow this post. It really seems everybody here wants to watch the ducks and keep them as long as they'll stay.

Well...here's the story, thought it was cute to come home from work one day and see some Mallards in my pool. So of course I took a picture before we shooed the couple off. They were not scared off easily as they kept coming back. Now I see why. I wouldn't mind at all if I lived on a Lake. Worried about the ducks and what they may leave in our pool...thinking about our own family of course. So, I've been doing some reading and found a site that makes me want to keep them and let Mother Nature do her thing and let my boys experience the babies and the process. However there are 12 eggs there...if they've been around here for about 1 week I am guessing they would hatch by the end of the month. So I will ponder on my thoughts!


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