Mother duck abandoned duckling????

Filed under: Poultry |

Question by PERFECT POMS: Mother duck abandoned duckling????
Someone found a little duckling. We believe it to be a day or two old. They found him in the middle of a their high school field. He/She was all alone just sitting there. They took it to us b/c we raise ducks ( Cayugas ) and had just barely hatched a clutch of Cayuga ducklings. It looks simalar to a young mallard duckling ( we used to have a few mallard ducklings ) but it has a longer bill and diffrent colored legs than a mallard. It also is a bit smaller than a mallard. We dont know for sure what breed it is.
Why would the mother duck just abandone it like that? It is perfectly healthy ( we already have taken it to an Avian vet ). And is a really fast runner. He also can jump up to 12″ ( A FT ).

We were going to take it to a wild life rehabilitator today, but when we called them they said that we could take care of it. Seeing as either way they wouldn’t be able to return it to the wild b/c they would have to mother it. And since we already raised ducks than it was in good hands.
But they said that if we really didn’t want to raise it then we could take it to them. We thought that we would take care of it, because he has already bonded so well with our lil Cayugas.
Shay Boogie. That is not true. Its just and old myth. I really dont know how that got started in the first place. The myth was that if you touched a baby bird that the mother would smell your scent and would reject the young bird. That is not true. Most birds do not have a strong sence of smell and could never smell the human on one of their young.
No body had touched the duckling either, so that knocks that theory out completly.
Just Q. They watched from a distance for an hour and a half and saw nothing. They were waiting in their car from the parking lot which is a about 50 ft away from where the duckling was.

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3 Responses to Mother duck abandoned duckling????

  1. When I worked at the zoo and they had ducks and ducklings roaming they use to tell us that if people touch them that basically the mother would disown them. I don’t know if that was true or not but that’s what we use to tell the people so they won’t pick them up. You would probably know better about that then me seeing as you raise ducks.

    Shay Boogie
    March 6, 2014 at 7:41 pm

  2. The duckling could be an Indian Runner. Try looking at the bottom of this webpage for Indian Runner duckling pictures.
    I once saw parent ducks fly away from a little duckling about five days old. I don’t know why they did this, but I would guess they got scared and were not going to wait for just one baby to follow them. I wanted to raise the duckling, but it got away from me.

    March 6, 2014 at 8:22 pm

  3. Perhaps the mother duck was moving her ducklings. . . . Momma duck calls to her ducklings and they follow BUT as with human children etc,there is always that one that will lag behind and Momma has to go back and get it which is what I suspect happened to this little duckling.
    Momma might have started to return for it and was scared off by those who came up on the duckling and took it.
    If people would just sit back and watch. . . sometimes it takes abit of time,they might actually see a Momma come back for her baby but people come up on an animal and automatically think it has been abandoned when in reality Momma isn’t far off hiding to protecting her other babies and waiting for her opportunity to return safely.

    If it were me and the duckling did OK with the other ducklings I’d leave things as they are.

    Just Q
    March 6, 2014 at 9:20 pm

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