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A Little Duck Tale
I thought I would share this tale of duckling rescue:
I was walking across the yard to feed the horses the other day when I saw a poor duckling lying on her back in a pool of dirty water in front of the muck heap. I felt very sad when I saw its stiff little body there, so I thought I'd bury it when I'd given the horses their feed. As I walked back I stopped to pick it up and noticed a leg move very slightly.
I quickly picked him up, she was soaking wet and absolutely freezing. I held her close and rushed her to the tack room. Switching the kettle on to boil, I wrapped her in cotton wool from the first aid kit, put her inside my fleece hat and placed her next to the warm kettle. I had to carry on with my work so kept going back and re-boiling the kettle to keep it warm for her. She lay very still and I held out little hope for her survival, but I had to try.
After many boilings of the kettle and drops of tepid water into her beak, the duckling's little body moved and there was a plaintive cheep. I couldn't believe it, a couple of hours before she had been as good as dead and now she was trying to move! I finished what I had to do then took the little bundle of down and cotton wool and put her into the basket on my trike.
I very carefully rode the two miles to the next job I had to do and when I arrived I took her inside, still wrapped in cotton wool and hat, and placed her on the window-sill in the sun to keep him warm. Twenty minutes or so later I went back to check her and he was almost on his feet. I was delighted but knew it was still touch and go.
Again I loaded the little bird up and set very carefully off on the three mile trip home. I keep ducks, quail and bantam hens so when I reached home it didn't take long to get out one of my brooders, set up the heat lamp, put in some dampened chick crumb and water and place the duckling in it. A little bit later I went to check her and she was sitting there looking at me, all dry and fluffy at last. I lifted her up and she sat in my hand eating small amounts of crumb from the edge of a teaspoon. I put her back in the brooder and left her quietly recovering from her near death experience.
Here we are two weeks on and sitting in the brooder is a healthy looking mallard duckling, who has learnt to swim and seems to be thriving, apparently none the worse for her ordeal, although quite nervous. I just hope that she has truly recovered and will grow in to a lovely duck - she can stay here with my Call Ducks and runners for company.
I'd love to add a photo but I can't get her to sit still long enough! If she ever manages to pose I will snap one and add it, although at this rate she could be full grown and might even be a he!
Latest news - December 2012 - Little Miss L (for Lucky), as she has become known, laid her first egg on Christmas day - clever girl!