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First Time Duck Owner

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I decided to begin my quest of raising backyard birds by ordering 5 Pekin ducklings. They were shipped across the country by mail and arrived healthy. They are now three weeks old and have been living outside for about a week and a half in their heavily secured pen. I tried to make it the Fort Knox for ducks.

One duck demonstrated a difficulty standing and walking, so I began to give the ducks large doses of brewers yeast, and she is walking much better but still not like the others.

1. Should I start to feed them frozen peas given they are a good niacin source? I read they should be 4 weeks old before eating peas, but will they really be hurt by giving them peas at 3 weeks if I thaw them?

2. I read on BYC that ducks and other poultry can get worms and die. Is this from unsanitary living quarters? How do I protect them from worms?

Sincerely,
Newbie waterfowl owner
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotPekin View Post

I decided to begin my quest of raising backyard birds by ordering 5 Pekin ducklings. They were shipped across the country by mail and arrived healthy. They are now three weeks old and have been living outside for about a week and a half in their heavily secured pen. I tried to make it the Fort Knox for ducks.

One duck demonstrated a difficulty standing and walking, so I began to give the ducks large doses of brewers yeast, and she is walking much better but still not like the others.

1. Should I start to feed them frozen peas given they are a good niacin source? I read they should be 4 weeks old before eating peas, but will they really be hurt by giving them peas at 3 weeks if I thaw them?

2. I read on BYC that ducks and other poultry can get worms and die. Is this from unsanitary living quarters? How do I protect them from worms?

Sincerely,
Newbie waterfowl owner

That was very early for them to go to a regular outdoor pen. Are you providing supplemental heat for them?

 

Niacin is much more abundant in meat than in veggies, but peas should be fine for them. One reason not to feed peas to very young ducklings is that they can be a choking hazard. I always cook my peas regardless the age of the duck, not to the level advised on the bag, but I do cook them to around room temp. It wouldn't hurt any of them to add a poultry vitamin mix to their drinking water.

 

Have you examined this particular duckling's feet and legs? I would do that to make sure it's not an injury.

 

Worms can come from unsanitary conditions and are more likely with other types of poultry like chickens. Do you have chickens or any other poultry?

 

:welcome


Edited by JadeComputerGal - 10/5/15 at 1:43pm
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have a 250W heat lamp in their coop, but I often saw them moving away from it and panting. It is about 30 inches off the bottom of the coop. I quit running it unless the temps get to the low 50s. I hardly ever see them huddling up to stay warm, and they seem to be doing fine. They are usually spread out and not bunching up. The high today was 63, and they were all separate in the pen running around. I check them frequently to make sure their not huddled up together and cold.

I do not have any chickens or other poultry. Only the Pekins.

I just gave them peas for the first time, and they went crazy for them.
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotPekin View Post

I have a 250W heat lamp in their coop, but I often saw them moving away from it and panting. It is about 30 inches off the bottom of the coop. I quit running it unless the temps get to the low 50s. I hardly ever see them huddling up to stay warm, and they seem to be doing fine. They are usually spread out and not bunching up. The high today was 63, and they were all separate in the pen running around. I check them frequently to make sure their not huddled up together and cold.

I do not have any chickens or other poultry. Only the Pekins.

I just gave them peas for the first time, and they went crazy for them.

I can understand the 250W thing. That's a lot, lot of heat for a coop unless it's very large. Coops hold their own heat, plus the ducks in them generate more. I'd take that out of there if I were you. I'm not a big fan of things like that in a coop simply because they're a fire hazard.

 

LOL. Glad to hear they liked the peas. Now you've made friends for life!!!

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Ehhh they like me until the treats run out; then they run away peeping loudly.

The one that's not walking right does not have any injury I can see. She's improving though.
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotPekin View Post

Ehhh they like me until the treats run out; then they run away peeping loudly.

The one that's not walking right does not have any injury I can see. She's improving though.


That's very normal since ducks are flock animals. When one flutters and runs, the others follow. Just keep trying, and please let us know how things go. :)

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