Have Bird Questions? Ask a Bird Specialist.
Hi there, I am Dr. Kane, and I will do my best to assist you with your the duckling you found today. Please give me a moment to type up a response to your concerns. In the meantime- please take a moment to relay any other pertinent information. Sound good?
The first thing you are going to want to do is look online or call a local veterinarian to see if a wildlife rehabilitator is in your area. A wildlife rehabilitator is licensed to care for abandoned or injured wildlife, and are the most experienced in being able to provide the appropriate care.
You can use a large cardboard box or plastic tub to keep him in until getting him to the appropriate rehabilitation organization. Leave it open on the top for ventilation, and line the bottom with paper towels for traction. Ducklings need to be kept warm; placing a desktop lamp, or 75 watt light bulb, over one corner of the box should provide adequate heat. The duckling can move to the more shaded side if he becomes too hot.
A duckling found weak or staggering can immediately be given a mix of sugar water, applied to the tongue. He may be suffering from lack of proper nutrition and could die if unresponsive to the mixture and food within half an hour. Find duckling-specific feed at farm or pet stores. In the meantime, offer him crumbled bread, cottage cheese, oatmeal, chopped greens or a hard-boiled egg with a finely chopped shell for calcium. Always provide clean, fresh water in a very shallow dish so the duckling does not drown.
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