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mallard duck and her ducklings

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From: barry levin
chicago, IL
we have had a mallard duck in our fenced-in backyard who has been incubating 7 eggs for the past 4 weeks. this morning the ducklings were hatched... we went to a local bird feed and seed shop and bought food for wild birds after explaining the situation to the shop owner.

we live 150 yards from the chicago river...ive read from my internet research that we should keep the fence closed and give food/water for 2 weeks until they are strong enough to make it on their own to the river. any comments please? thank you very much! -barry

Extension Message
From: Laura Kammin
Visiting Extension Specialist, Pollution Prevention
Extension-Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program
Hello Barry, It was very nice of you to buy food for the ducks. But ducklings need insects, not bird seed.They need a lot of protein at this stage in their development. The best thing you can do is to open the gate so that the hen can get her ducklings to water and the aquatic insects they need to grow strong. If you have more questions, please let me know. Laura

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