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Duckling dilemma

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1 Duckling dilemma on Wed May 28, 2014 8:19 pm

Farmchiq

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A bit of a back story:  I had a duck (No. 1) setting on some eggs for a few days until a voraciously broody hen (one of Coopslave's Marans/Chants) took over the nest and would not budge!!  So the duck decided to set another batch of eggs and is now safely ensconced in a box stall where she won't get marauded.  

So duck No. 2 had hatched a brood a while back and they did not survive.   Crying or Very sad  She has been out and about for a while now.

So, today saw 6 ducklings hatch under the Tyrannosaurus Chant, with another few eggs left to go.  I found her protecting 6 dry ducklings a ways away from the nest.

So I stole the ducklings and caught Duck No. 2 and put them all in the safe boxstall with food and water and shavings. T.Chant immediately returned to the couple of remaining eggs which may be duds. Duck No. 2 was staring at the ducklings in the boxstall, very interested, but had not run over to brood them by the time I left them earlier.  I am hoping they bond.

Anyone - what are my chances?  Should I prepare a brooder box with heat?  How long can I leave this situation if she hasn't bonded with them in a couple of hours?  I don't want to head into nightfall with the 6 ducklings depending on their own body heat, yet I'm reluctant to barge in there if surrogate Mama is just about to jump in there!

I'm heading out there now for a look.  It's been about 2 hours that they've been out there together in the peace and quiet, and I hope to find Maternal bliss when I check, but if it's not happened yet, should I grab them??

2 Re: Duckling dilemma on Wed May 28, 2014 9:05 pm

viczoe

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Farmchiq
I would grab them if so is not keeping them warm. It is still chilly at night so no point taking a chance.

Heather

http://www.triple-h.ca

3 Re: Duckling dilemma on Wed May 28, 2014 9:17 pm

Farmchiq

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Thanks Heather - I did just that. I went out and when I walked into the stall the babes all ran for "Mama" but she did not shelter them. So I set them up with a heat lamp and a safe spot.
Mama can get to them if she decides to take them in. Also, it's supposed to be nice and warm tomorrow so I will open one side of the low-sided box they're in so they can get out, and maybe, fingers crossed, when I get home from work they will have bonded.

I hope this will be adequate. I can brood them if need be but I know there's nothing like a Mama Muscovy to do that the best, so fingers crossed.

4 Re: Duckling dilemma on Thu May 29, 2014 7:04 am

CynthiaM

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Oh boy, I think you certainly did the right thing. Mamma will take over, if she gets the inkling, but not sure really, never encountered this with the Muscovy breed personally. I do know it would have been difficult for a hen to raise baby ducks, especially when she thinks they are all committing suicide going into ponds of water, smiling. They will be safe with heat lamp. I would like to hear how things progress, this is interesting. Have a wonderful day, CynthiaM.

5 Re: Duckling dilemma on Thu May 29, 2014 8:07 am

viczoe

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Good going Farmchiq, hopefully when you get home there will be family bliss which will save some work for you, as you said nothing like having a duck mama.

Heather

http://www.triple-h.ca

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