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New to Raising Ducks!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

We're planning on getting three new ducklings next week, one Rouen, one Khaki Campbell and one Cayuga! I've done a bunch of research and have a basic idea of what I need to do. I'm just wondering if there's any information you'd suggest I know before bringing these new babies home? The plan is to keep them in the basement where it's decently warm for the first few weeks (yes I've been told about the smell :) Is it okay to use pine shaving? I know what to do with the heat and decreasing the temperature every week. What's grit and what's it used for? Also if anyone has one of these breeds I'd love to hear what you have to say about them! Also I read you can feed them some treats while they're still young such as weeds, peas, kale and oatmeal...any thoughts on this? If we use a regular water feeder do you suggest putting marbles in it or have you found they're fine without them. How often do you change the bedding while they're babies? Is chick feed okay? Sorry for so many questions, just want to be as ready as possible before they're here! If you have anything else to add, PLEASE ADD! I'll take as much information as possible!! Thanks so much and I'm beyond excited!

post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 

Also I was told you can wet their food to make it easier to eat. Is this true? And also you can make sugar water or put apple cider vinegar in their water....opinions on that?

post #3 of 5
Pine shavings are fine. I used puppy pee pads and replaced them twice a day and up to five times a day as they got bigger till they went outside at 6 weeks.

Grit is basically rocks that they eat. It stays in their crop to help them break down food (since they don't have stomachs). For ducklings you can give chick grit or clean sand. You need to offer them grit as soon as you start giving treats. Just put it in a separate bowl and they'll take what they need.

There's a great thread called ultimate duck treats thread. It has lots of info on what to give and when.

I used one of those waterers and didn't add any marbles. Just realize they will eventually figure out they can splash the water out and they will empty it quickly. As mine got older I used a cool whip countainer with holes in the lid and milk jugs with holes cut half way up the side. Worked great and they can't splash the water out.

Chick feed should be fine but you need to add additional niacin. I used the Brewers yeast meathod. One tablespoon per cup of food or 2-3 cups per 10 pounds of food. Others add powdered niacin to the water but you have to make sure you get the right kind. It is very important that they get enough niacin.

I never wet the food but It wouldn't hurt. Just remember that they must always have access to water when they have food. They could choke otherwise.

I mixed a little honey in their water the first day I got mine home. Mine were shipped. It helps them get a little extra energy.

ACV in the water has many benefits. Many people offer it about once a week. Mix 2 tablespoons per gallon of water.

Okay... I think I got them all. 😄
post #4 of 5
Pine shavings are a good bedding material, DO NOT USE OAK SHAVINGS, because when the little ducklings try to eat them, they can get poisoned
post #5 of 5
Also avoid cedar shavings.
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