Leave or interfere.

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Leave or interfere.

Postby no1chrism » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:20 pm

I have a duck that has escaped its run and has been sitting on 8 eggs for at least a couple of weeks now in very long grass. Do I leave it alone and try to catch chicks if and when hatched, or perhaps catch mother and move her and eggs somewhere better. I think if I leave them buzzards or hooded crows will have the young away.
My only safe run is about to be occupied by chicken chicks. Could I mix them?
Chris
Bluebell Croft



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Re: Leave or interfere.

Postby chrismahon » Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:34 am

Bit of a dilemma that Chris. Chicken chicks don't mix well. The ducks are filter feeders and will carry water to the feed to eat it in my experience. It is then ruined for the chickens. Ducks are quite scary to chickens and I put it down to the size of beak. We had one duckling in a chicken hatch and it caused chaos -never again.

As you know the mortality rate in the wild is very high. Rats are also a problem. The only way out of this I can see is to get another secure run. You could try for a rabbit house on Preloved?
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Re: Leave or interfere.

Postby Marigold » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:53 am

It's never a good idea to try to mix two batches of chicks + mums even if they're the same species! as the mums probably will resent sharing the space and see the other as a threat to her babies. Additionally there are the problems Chris highlights, of feeding and hygiene. Chicken chicks in a damp and messy duck environment would be much more at risk of infections such as coccidiosis.
As she's halfway through incubation it would be difficult to move her and the eggs. Could you perhaps erect a barrier around or over her as some protection? As Chris says, predation of the eggs by rats is possible, but more of a risk is from foxes to the duck, if there are any foxes around your way.
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Re: Leave or interfere.

Postby no1chrism » Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:08 pm

Thanks for the advise. I am going to put a ring around the current nest and then once hatch transfer to a shed I have borrowed with a small external run and a cut of barrel for a small patch of water. I will let you know how I get on.


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Re: Leave or interfere.

Postby Marigold » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:57 pm

That sounds a good idea, good luck, shall be interested in what happens.
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Re: Leave or interfere.

Postby Papa Chicken » Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:16 pm

I had that same issue about two years ago, I had a wild mallard duck nest in some tall weeds by my small hay feild she had 7 or 8 eggs that she was laying on. I erected a decent sized run made from 1/2in well wire and 1x2 for her around the nest to keep predators away. It took me about a week to make it because she was a bit agressive towards me lol, 5 of the eggs hatched and once the chicks were of age to fly I opened up the run and they took off. They flew around my house with there mama for a few minutes then landed back at the run I built. I left them alone for a week or so thinking they would migrate but aparently they felt more secure in my yard as did the mama duck. They stayed on my property for over a year then one day I went to check up on them and they were gone I figured they just migrated i was a bit sad though because I got attached to them. I havent seen them since but I do see mallards flying over my house once I ahwile.
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Re: Leave or interfere.

Postby no1chrism » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:55 pm

That's amazing about the Malards. My duck in the end hatched 10 and they have all grown very well. Now they are two weeks old. They have a run and a coop. Does anyone have a view as to when they are old enough to be returned to the pond with their mother to mix with the existing ducks. They are two drakes and 9 female Khaki Campbell's. Other residents of our pond enclose are a male and two female Rhode Island reds, and two Muscovies that have amazingly hatched two ducklings today. I say amazing as they are very old and we thought well past that sort of thing! I need the run for 13 bresse Gauloise chicks. It's all go here.....
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Re: Leave or interfere.

Postby Marigold » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:32 pm

Great to hear so many hatched so successfully, well done.
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