EMERGENCY ADULT DUCK CARE If you have a seriously injured bird If there is no serious bleeding but it is obviously hurt If you must take it to a vet If you need help quickly and don’t have time to join the list BASIC DUCK CARE If you have come into possession of a duck Provide it with water and a safe, quiet place to stay. Keep children, pets, etc. away until it has a chance
to rest and get used to its surroundings. If you plan to keep it If you don’t plan to keep it Even temporary housing must be safe from predators. To plan permanent outdoor housing go to the Yahoo group above Outdoor housing isn’t necessary if you diaper it and keep an indoor duck Ducks/geese need to bathe. Swimming water is unnecessary.
EMERGENCY ADULT DUCK CARE
If you have a seriously injured bird, first try to stop any serious bleeding. Clean the wound gently with peroxide, apply Neosporin and bandage it as best you can with gauze and masking tape. Of course, if you don’t have those materials available, substitute the best you can.
If there is no serious bleeding but it is obviously hurt, it is best to put the bird in a quiet, darkened place for a while to let it rest. Stress is equally as serious as the wounds. Provide water and help it drink if it is unable. Do not subject it to children or several people at a time trying to help.
If you must take it to a vettry to find an avian vet, but if the only one you can get to is a regular vet and you do not know if they take ducks or not, DO NOT CALL THEM! 9 times out of 10, they will say they do not take ducks, so don’t ask. Take the duck to the vet keeping it as comfortable as possible (a soft towel in a box) and demand that they help it. It is very hard for a vet to refuse especially if there are patients listening. They may not know much about ducks, but they can take X Rays, splint a broken wing or leg, stop bleeding, give antibiotics, etc. Go to Links to find avian vets and rehabbers. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/petducksrus.join can be a big help in many ways. You can find a list of veterinarians that have proven to be good with ducks and geese. There are several waterfowl rehabbers on the list who will provide advice on how to care for the injury. There may be a good rehabber close to you who will pick up the bird if it isn’t yours. It is a very active list so you should be able to get help quickly.
If you need help quickly and don’t have time to join the list, call me, 520 631-3320. If I don’t have the answers myself, I can contact the list or call others to help you.
BASIC DUCK CARE
If you have come into possession of a duckand haven’t a clue how to care for it, read on.
Provide it with water and a safe, quiet place to stay. Keep children, pets, etc. away until it has a chance to rest and get used to its surroundings.
If you plan to keep it, go to a feed store and get a bag of scratch (cracked grains) and a bag of unmedicated poultry feed (Purina Layena, Mazuri Waterfowl Feed, Purina Flock Raiser, or any Turkey and Game Bird Feed). They come in crumbles and pellets. I recommend crumbles, but it really doesn’t matter much. The important thing to look for is the protein level; it should be 14% to 16%. Also get a bag of grit. Ducks need it to grind their food. Mix the scratch and feed about half and half and keep it and water available to the duck all day (night is optional).
If you don’t plan to keep it, here are some emergency foods you can try: Lettuce, dry dog or cat food (crush large chunks), spinach, canned vegetables (mixed, corn, peas, green beans), good grain cereals like Cheerios, dandelion greens, worms, crickets or bread. Bread is not a good diet, but if you have nothing else, give small pieces…whole wheat is best. Ducks are wary of eating new things, so don’t figure it isn’t hungry if it won’t eat at first. You might even try putting a bit in its bill so it will know it taste okay. It should have food and water available all the time if possible.
Even temporary housing must be safe from predators.Please don’t leave a duck outside and unprotected at night even in a fenced in area. Keep it in the garage, a safe storage shed, or bathroom. It will appreciate something soft to sleep on like an old towel.
To plan permanent outdoor housing go to the Yahoo group above. You’ll find plenty of folks willing to help you with plans, tell you the pitfalls, and refer you to other links.
Outdoor housing isn’t necessary if you diaper it and keep an indoor duck. If the duck is friendly with you, you can probably diaper it with little trouble.
Ducks/geese need to bathe. Swimming water is unnecessary.The bathtub is fine for an emergency bath, and there are some apartment ducks who use only the bathtub all the time. However, they much prefer to bath outside, especially when they can preen in the sun. A small plastic container like a kitty litter pan or storage box works fine and is easily filled and handled. For a large duck or two ducks, you can get concrete mixing pan at Home Depot, etc. that is easier to dump than a play pool. It is wise to make these decisions right now as you have to plan on the mess that a lot of dumped water makes especially with a duck/goose dabbling in it. Watching a duck swim is very pleasant, but you might be better off with the small container of bathing water. Providing a pond sounds like a great idea and beautiful pictures come to mind, but cleaning it is not an easy chore. Ducks/geese form habits easily, so don’t start something you might not want to continue. I think people enjoy their feathered kids much more when they keep it simple. When you don’t, having a duck/goose can start being a major chore and even cause problems in the family. It isn’t the duck’s fault. They are very happy with most anything you provide as long as they can keep clean, wellfed and be with you. They are one of the most adaptable creatures on earth.