The Wood Duck is well known in aviculture, it is considered by many to be North America's most ornamental and most colorful duck. The Wood Duck and it's close relative the Mandarin are often the first ducks a beginner obtains. They are extremely hardy, easy to care for, and will get along well with others in a mixed collection.
Wood Ducks are cavity nesters and will require a raised box for nesting. A ratio of three boxes for every two nesting pairs is recommended. They can breed their first Spring, however fertility is usually better their second.
While their cousin, the Mandarin will commonly trio, I myself have had no success at breeding Wood Ducks in trio's. The breeding season is in Spring, and begins in March in my region, however I have collected eggs as early as February and once in December. Clutches range from 10-16 eggs and are incubated for 28 to 30 days. If the eggs are removed early in incubation the hen will often produce a second clutch. Second clutches will normally consist of less eggs than the first.
While most experienced waterfowl aviculturist find wood duck ducklings fairly easy to raise, many people attempting it for the first time find them quite challenging. For the beginner excessive losses of ducklings at about 4-6 days of age is common, and usually results from the fact that they did not settle down enough to begin eating, or did not like the food or the way it was presented.
At Mallard Lane Farms we start our Wood Ducks on Mazuri Waterfowl Starter. Listed below are a few tips that we commonly use to get these ducklings eating.
Sprinkle foods on brooder floor and onto the ducklings themselves
Smear moistened food onto sides of brooder
Place food in small containers of water (we use pickle jar lids) mazuri will float
Put a duckling of another species (of about the same size) in with them. This duckling will help teach them to eat.
Feed live meal worms
Wood ducks are available in several different color mutations which include the apricot Wood Duck, white wood duck, and the very beautiful silver Wood Duck and the rare platinum wood duck, all are currently bred in the US.
Wood Ducks for sale
Mallard Lane Farms
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