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New to ducks and need some advice - Page 3

post #21 of 33
Looks great. They are going to love it.
post #22 of 33
Thread Starter 
Yeah I'm exited for when they are able to be outside and enjoy the weather and open space.

I'm still shocked at just how fast they are growing. They have easily doubled in size since getting them.
post #23 of 33
Thread Starter 
Just a little update. The weather is finally nice enough to get them outside for more than 10 minutes at a time.

They are nearly full feathered now. Just a little baby fluff remains on their heads. Man do they love their little pond. They dive under and just float around like I'd imagine ducks would do.

They are getting big too. I think they are just about nearing full size. I'd say maybe another pound or two and they'll be full grown.

I have a little bit of the starter left, about enough for a week. Is it alright to start them on normal food once the starter/grower runs out?

And once I switch them, do I still need to provide them with the food 24/7? I've been making sure they are never out of food or water since I got them.

From what I can tell, a couple of them seem to be starting to make sounds similar to quacks. So I'd assume those are females. It's hard to tell still but I only see one that looks like it has a definitive drake feather. But I'm not sure how old they need to be to get that. 173e14c59714c7b1eac111a828fdfb7b.jpg
post #24 of 33
Depends on what you mean by regular food. You don't want to give them layer feed till a few weeks before they should start laying. If the starter food is too high in protein you can add oats or grains to cut the protein. They should be at about 16-18% protein now. I have been giving mine Purina Flock Raiser since they were 6 weeks and I just adjust how much oats I add to meet their needs. I give free choice oyster shell and their eggs have been perfect. It's also a good way to feed if you have drakes. Layer feed is bad for drakes' livers.

From what I have read, drake feathers normally show up between 4 and 6 months. Not sure if any have shown up so early.

At this age you can take the food and water away at night if you want.
post #25 of 33
Thread Starter 
When would I expect them to be able to start laying eggs?

So if I give them the raiser feed, and then have a sperate feeder with the oyster shell, I can put that in the pen with both the males and females and the males will just eat the feed and the females will eat both?

I guess maybe what I thought was a drake feather is just a curly feather since these guys aren't that old yet.

It's hard to tell which could be males since they all sort of peep still but some definitely are developing more of a quack than a peep. I assume that once they get a bit older, the males will be basically quiet and the females can quack.
post #26 of 33
It depends on the breed but they start laying around 5-6 months. Mine started at about 7 months but that was because they hatched in fall and the days weren't long enough until they were older.

Yes, the hens will take the oyster shell they need and the drakes will leave it alone. I think it's pretty neat that they know what they need. You can just put it in a little bowl, you don't really need a feeder for it.

It could be a drake curl. I just never heard of one on such a young duck. Can you post a picture?
post #27 of 33
Thread Starter 
Oh OK. So I have a little but yet before they start laying.

I will let them finish off the food they have now and then start them on the flock raiser. Are the niacin levels of any concern anymore?

I've given them a couple peas and cut up some lettuce for them. They kind of picked at the peas but ate the lettuce. Is this alright to be giving them for treats at this age?

They also eat grass when they are in their pen, which I assume is ok. I'm sure they are getting some bugs as well.
post #28 of 33
The flock raiser has additional niacin as compared to regular chick feed. I still added Brewers yeast until they were 10 weeks because I had one that started having problems walking. Some say to give the niacin till 8 weeks and some say 10 weeks.

The peas and lettuce are fine. Mine love peas now but they didn't at first. They really like tomatoes, too. They will follow me anywhere for their dried mealworms. There is a thread called Ultimate Duck Treat list (or something like that) that has lots of different treat suggesrions. Since yours have been outside they should be good as far as needing grit, too.
post #29 of 33
Thread Starter 
Well they haven't been outside full time yet. I'm still finishing up their house and the roof for their pen. So they are only outside when I am able to watch them.

I found that treat thread earlier. I will have to get some stuff for them to try out. Maybe that will be my way of training them to follow me haha. Right now they are still sort of skiddish unless I move real slow. Once I touch them they genrally don't run away. They will let me pick them up and all just fine. It's just getting them picked up they like to play.

I'm hoping the weather stays nice so as soon as their pen is all done they can stay outside.

Right now they are still in my basement at night, and I end up cleaning the cage everyday and it starts to smell if I don't put the ventilation fan I made on.

Thanks for all the advice. I will give more updates as they come along.
post #30 of 33
Thread Starter 
Well they are still doing good. I'm feeding them the flock raiser now. They love meal worms as snacks. They have been outside full time now for the past couple weeks.

Only 2 are quacking so I'm fairly certain I only have 2 females and the other 4 are males. The only sound they make is a whistle type sound.

From what I've read it isn't always good to have more males than females. I guess I'll find out if I start seeing the males doing their thing and beating up the 2 females.

Worst comes to worst and I'll have to give the 2 males away to even it out.
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