Useless Mother Duck

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Useless Mother Duck

Postby Ulsta Dyook Wife » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:50 pm

Hi there,

I know ducks are reknown for being not very good mothers, but I think this one takes the biscuit. Has anyone else experienced this sort of behaviour before?

Two weeks after the babies were born she basically stopped looking after them, and started laying again. The ducks are kept in a run and house however I let them out when I can into the stream outside their house. When I let them out, the duck just abandoned them and literally ran off with the drakes!

I've had baby ducks lots of times with lots of different ducks, but have never seen this before. The duck doesn't even sit with them anymore. Usually mother duck sits with her wings out and the ducks underneath then around her as they grow older. These babies are all huddled together themselves and go into their house early - while the mother stands outside and stares forth!!

I do wonder if it is because she has been locked in for a while. We had a problem earlier in the year in that our 12 ducks were quickly reduced to 4 due to an otter or a cat (or both). When there were only 4 left (3 drakes and 1 duck) I looked them up in their run. Up until then they were free range. The duck was locked up in mid March, and went broody at the end of April, and the baby ducks are now 3 weeks old, and they will be locked in for at least another 3 weeks. So here's hoping she doesn't turn on her babies.

Any wisdom on this sort of thing is much appreciated, although I think the babies are doing OK, but we lost one this week due to a day of rain, the mother didn't take them in and no one was home.
Ulsta Dyook Wife
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Re: Useless Mother Duck

Postby dorsetduckowner » Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:51 pm

Sorry to hear of your losses :(

Yes some ducks can be a bit rubbish, depends on age, breed etc... what breed/age is she?

I had a commercial type white duck who looked after babies for about a week, then they just looked after themselves really.

Zo
x
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Re: Useless Mother Duck

Postby Ulsta Dyook Wife » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:51 pm

She's a Shetland Duck - indigenous breed. Her sister was a very good mother and hatched 8 babies last year. Unfortunately she and most of her then adult babies were victim to the rampaging animal that was taking them at the start of the year.

I really think it must be because she's been locked in for ages. She's just desperate to go for a walk. I think she maybe thinks the babies will follow here, but they just stay in the stream. She does hiss and come at me if I go too near the babies - she just seems a bit forgetful! Can't blame her there - I have 2 babies myself and my memory has disintegrated since I had them I think ;)

They'll be in for 2 weeks more then I should be able to let them out. They are a month old this weekend and a fair size, but can't let them free range yet due to seagulls.
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Re: Useless Mother Duck

Postby Ulsta Dyook Wife » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:54 pm

The mother is 4 years old.
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