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Raising 3 day old ducklings without a mother

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey
Never had ducks before  but have chickens
Have had my name down at local bird hospital for any birds in need of foster home
So got a call today and collected 3 ducklings approx 3 days old no mum
First time raising duckings
Have them on a heatpad and eating chick crumble/starter wet 
Any other tips, suggestions
will post pics soon
They are so cute!

Chinchilla breeder
New chook owner , raised chicks with broody bantams to have my own backyard chooks in the city and loving it!
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Chinchilla breeder
New chook owner , raised chicks with broody bantams to have my own backyard chooks in the city and loving it!
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post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pheobe_nz 

Hey
Never had ducks before  but have chickens
Have had my name down at local bird hospital for any birds in need of foster home
So got a call today and collected 3 ducklings approx 3 days old no mum
First time raising duckings
Have them on a heatpad and eating chick crumble/starter wet 
Any other tips, suggestions
will post pics soon
They are so cute!


make sure they have a tiny bowl or pool of water deep enough for them to get into and "blow" their noses into.  They get messy real quick so be preparred to do alot of clean-up-but you will also fall in love real quick:-)

Silver Laced Brahmas, Tolbunts,BBS Marans, Tolbunt mixed bucket of fun eggs and ;A bunch of projects working right now!!!!! 

SWAP http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/swap-items-1

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Silver Laced Brahmas, Tolbunts,BBS Marans, Tolbunt mixed bucket of fun eggs and ;A bunch of projects working right now!!!!! 

SWAP http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/swap-items-1

Reply
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pheobe_nz 

Hey
Never had ducks before  but have chickens
Have had my name down at local bird hospital for any birds in need of foster home
So got a call today and collected 3 ducklings approx 3 days old no mum
First time raising duckings
Have them on a heatpad and eating chick crumble/starter wet 
Any other tips, suggestions
will post pics soon
They are so cute!


I'll echo what's been said about their water requirements and the mess they make.  Make sure that the water they get is only big enough and deep enough for them to completely submerge their bills into, as they will attempt to climb into any water and will get themselves quite soggy in the bargain.

Also, you will need to supplement their diet with niacin, since chick foods won't have enough for ducklings.  Buy a small bottle of 100 mg niacin tablets from your local drugstore.  Pound a tablet into a fine powder and mix it into a gallon of drinking water.  That's 100 mg of niacin per gallon of drinking water.  Don't overdo it.

Ducks, ducks, everywhere!
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Ducks, ducks, everywhere!
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post #4 of 10

a lot of times chick starter is medicated and it usually isn't good for ducks, you would be better off going ahead and buying waterfowl starter or gamebird starter then when they get older to buy the grower.

Starter EX. purina flock raiser


Edited by KansasKid - 9/28/10 at 2:26pm
post #5 of 10

Non medicated chick starter is good and add the niacin into the water otherwise the ducklings start acting funny (and it's not fun to worry about it).  I ended up changing litter every day as they would splash their water all over.  I also wet or mushed up their food for a week or so with water and or yogurt. 

Have fun and take lots of pictures as they grow up fast!  We have had ours since the middle of August and they almost look full grown.

Mom to three kids, and having fun with the birds, SLW, BLRW, Turkens, silkies, BB Turkeys, red bourbon turkeys, WH ducks, Pekin Ducks, Mallard ducks and Rouen Ducks
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Mom to three kids, and having fun with the birds, SLW, BLRW, Turkens, silkies, BB Turkeys, red bourbon turkeys, WH ducks, Pekin Ducks, Mallard ducks and Rouen Ducks
Reply
post #6 of 10

For their waterer, get a large Cool Whip or cottage cheese container (plastic), cut an oval slice out of the lid, put something like a clean, roundish/flatish rock inside it, fill with water, snap the lid back onto the container.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/41679_duklingwaterer.jpg

Set that container on a baking sheet or something like that, and there will be SO much less water mess in your brooder!  They can just get their heads into the tub, to drink and to clear their nares, but won't be able to get into the waterer with their webby feet or bodies.   And the baking sheet will keep the pine shavings a little bit further away from the waterer, so they don't foul the water quite so quickly.

-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, five Toulouse geese, and four turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, some bunnies and a rescue cat which owns me. Oh. And a house silkie....

Grab some eggs & Join us! 
Great fun, Great Prizes & GREAT friends! 
5th Annual BYC Easter Hatch-a-long!

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-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, five Toulouse geese, and four turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, some bunnies and a rescue cat which owns me. Oh. And a house silkie....

Grab some eggs & Join us! 
Great fun, Great Prizes & GREAT friends! 
5th Annual BYC Easter Hatch-a-long!

Reply
post #7 of 10

I wouldn't have them on a heating pad.  They will spill a lot of water.  A desk lamp over them will work if you need heat.

post #8 of 10

They are extremely messy and needful. They consume huge amounts of water and feed, leave huge amounts of droppings, and need heated brooding for a few weeks. Don't let them get wet, they are unable to produce oil for their down and feathers the first 5-6 weeks. In the wild mom would do this with her oil. If you let them swim, they will drown, and get them wet, they will die from cold. Since size wise they eat so much food, they will quickly die from eating medicated feed because they will ingest 3 x the recommended dose. Be prepared to work. Good luck.

"Never advance cheerfully on your late opponent without reloading. You may have used your last round, and he may not be properly dead and still spiteful." Major Hugh Pollard
 
     Wife, kids, Ringneck Pheasants, Melanistic pheasants, Bobwhite quail, Butler Bobwhite quail, Easter Eggers, Ameracuanas, two indoor cats, and a giant Yellow Labrador Retriever.  www.gamebirdeggs.com
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"Never advance cheerfully on your late opponent without reloading. You may have used your last round, and he may not be properly dead and still spiteful." Major Hugh Pollard
 
     Wife, kids, Ringneck Pheasants, Melanistic pheasants, Bobwhite quail, Butler Bobwhite quail, Easter Eggers, Ameracuanas, two indoor cats, and a giant Yellow Labrador Retriever.  www.gamebirdeggs.com
Reply
post #9 of 10

Every one has already posted the I&O's.  Just like to add a few.  Do not use a red heat lamp, they can explode if water gets splashed onto them.  Regular light bulbs are fine.  Start off with 100 watts from 2 feet above.  Reduce the wattage as they move away from the heat.  For feed I would go for unmedicated and keep the protein to 16% to prevent possible joint issues.  Some people argue that high protein is fine, but no breeder would give high protein and risk things like angel wing or bad legs.  You don't want them to grow too fast, because their bones need time to form.  Pureed peas are a good treat source and they will love it.  After one week you can offer hole peas, but keep it to small hand fed amounts.  They will bond with you over peas and you can teach them to follow you with them in your hand.

post #10 of 10

Hi Pheobe,

I'm with Wildcare here in NSW, Australia and have cared for orphaned wood and black ducks now for a while.  Welcome to their world.  You'll be captivated I'm sure.

Everyone has made great suggestions.  Hoping some of mine might also help.
- I usually will place a feather duster in with mine so they can nestle into their speudo mum (rightly or wrongly).  This might not be so important with the three of them but still might help.
- In terms of food, I also use the chicken starter + the following
  - finely chopped clover
  - finely chopped lettuce
  - finely chopped alfalfa sprouts
  - mashed, boiled egg white
  - creamed corn
  - mashed peas
  - finely shopped porridge mix

The advice on heating and water is critical until they grow a little. 

Are they wood ducks do you know?

Cheers, and good luck.

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