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Braybuddy
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Purrfect Harmony: Cat Adopts And Nurses Ducklings!

Fri May 24, 2013 5:01 am

 
AeroWesty
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RE: Purrfect Harmony: Cat Adopts And Nurses Ducklings!

Fri May 24, 2013 5:24 am

Aww, how cute. There was a little duckling lost from its brood in our parking lot today—I hope it found its way back to mama. Nice that spring is here again.
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Airstud
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RE: Purrfect Harmony: Cat Adopts And Nurses Ducklings!

Fri May 24, 2013 5:39 am

So, I might be asking for more info than I actually want here, but... did the momcat actually suckle the ducklings? If so, what instincts would have made the ducklings even try that? Don't baby birds get fed by their parents regurgitating for them?

The profile of one of the ducklings reminded me of the yellow dragon in the old Atari 2600 game... oy how much time did I waste back in the early '80s.

Oy.

[Edited 2013-05-23 22:43:08]
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Braybuddy
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RE: Purrfect Harmony: Cat Adopts And Nurses Ducklings!

Fri May 24, 2013 5:53 am

Quoting Airstud (Reply 2):
So, I might be asking for more info than I actually want here, but... did the momcat actually suckle the ducklings? If so, what instincts would have made the ducklings even try that

Yes, you can see it all in the video. According to the expert (Niall Hatch of Birdwatch Ireland -- I'm serious) ducklings latch on to the first thing they encounter after being hatched, so to them the cat is their mother. Ducks cannot suck, apparently, but they filter food through their beaks. They probably mimicked the kittens and biting gently on the nipple would give them some moisture. Ducklings don't need to be fed by their parents and can fend for themselves, so they are also foraging around for real food. Harder to explain is the cat's acceptance of the ducklings, but they put it down to the fact that the ducklings hatched the same time the kittens were born, at a time when the cat would have been particularly hormonal, so her maternal instincts took over. What could be a problem is that the ducklings will grown very quickly and she could reject -- or attack them. He said he's never come across anything like it before.
 
CPH-R
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RE: Purrfect Harmony: Cat Adopts And Nurses Ducklings!

Fri May 24, 2013 8:47 am

I'll take any excuse to post this link: http://new.livestream.com/FosterKittenCam/Mythbusters
A litter of 2 week old kittens currently being fostered. Warning: May contain cuteness overload  
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Purrfect Harmony: Cat Adopts And Nurses Ducklings!

Fri May 24, 2013 1:44 pm

Quoting CPH-R (Reply 4):
I'll take any excuse to post this link:

Awwww, kitties.
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Confuscius
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RE: Purrfect Harmony: Cat Adopts And Nurses Ducklings!

Fri May 24, 2013 2:17 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Thread starter):
Cat Adopts And Nurses Ducklings

The cat is just fattening up the duck for foie gras later.
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Confuscius
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RE: Purrfect Harmony: Cat Adopts And Nurses Ducklings!

Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:19 pm

Ain't I a stinker?
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Purrfect Harmony: Cat Adopts And Nurses Ducklings!

Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:07 pm

This is remarkable. I always figured that suckling was a mammal-only reflex. Why would birds have a suckling reflex? I wonder how they react to milk. Probably not well, I'd imagine.
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Braybuddy
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RE: Purrfect Harmony: Cat Adopts And Nurses Ducklings!

Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:50 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 8):
Why would birds have a suckling reflex?

According to the experts Doc, the ducklings are mimicking the kittens' behaviour and managing to extract some moisture by biting gently on the nipple. That is not enough to sustain them, so they are also foraging around for real food. The ducklings will grow quickly, so it will be interesting to see the cat's reaction when they grow quite large, and edible.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Purrfect Harmony: Cat Adopts And Nurses Ducklings!

Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:00 am

The cat will have adapted to the duck´s smell (and the duck will smell of cat as well), so the cat will probably take it as one of it´s own children. Similarly the duck will see itself as a cat.
I have read about a blackbird, which got similarly adopted by a cat (and imprinted on the cat). It was not considered food by it´s step mom, and, when out in the garden, the other blackbirds gave a danger call about the cat approaching, this blackbird went where it was safe: Between the paws of mommy cat.

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