Ducklings

Hi we have a family of ducklings ..started off with 10, now down to 6 unfortunately.. we have a large pond in our garden and was hoping soon the ducklings would fly but recently a fox has been visiting and we lost another last night .... do we open the side gate now ..there is a pond in the village about 2 miles away ...would the mother duck take the ducklings there? And when is the best time to open the gate? I really don’t want to lose anymore 

  • Hi Suzy, I would have thought with the ducklings being in imminent danger a rescue centre would have offered you some help but organisations such as RSPCA have very limited budgets and resources so are often unlikely to attend unless you can capture the duckling family for them to relocate; they don't have time to round up ducks themselves as they have even more pressing issues such as cruelty cases. RSPCA or a Wildlife rescue centre should be able to advise you the best way to try catch the ducklings to put into a crate, pet-carrier or box with air-holes. I'm not sure the adult or chicks could find their way 2 miles to the village pond as the ducklings won't be able to fly yet and as you have seen, are very vulnerable to predation at the moment. Not really a lot you can do except contact a rescue centre for further advice and try catch the ducklings or perhaps if you can get your hands on a large pet carrier or dog-crate leaving the door open and  place some food (seed would do) inside the crate so the ducklings may venture in with the female following them. I'm not an expert Suzy and others on this forum may be able to offer better advice. I can understand your worries.

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Thank you Hazel, we have tried RSPCA etc but they are just not interested... we have tried catching them etc but that doesn’t work. The mother duck is flying more just lately and I just keep praying they will mimic her, their wings have grown and all have new colouring on now... our house backs onto long gardens ..if they followed the gardens down to the woods they would reach the big duck pond..it’s just heartbreaking every night when the fox arrives although my husband and I do chase it away, but he came back last night and this morning another one gone... thank you for your advice ..I wish we never had the pond
  • Yes, I remember you tried to catch the ducklings last time and as they grow they will be harder to catch but you could try the dog crate - or similar largish cage to try tempt the ducklings in with some seed food - even if the mother doesn't follow. Foxes tend to be out more during darkness although depending on how hungry they are they will visit gardens during the daytime. Nature as you are finding can be both very beautiful and also cruel at times as the fox is probably trying to feed his/her own cubs. We had a garden magpie take one of our Great Tits last week as all the birds are feeding their offspring, very upsetting to witness and hard to accept that this is part of nature. I hope your ducklings are soon able to fly and at least a few can be saved. Good luck Suzy.

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"