BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Other BackYard Poultry › Ducks › how to care for ducklings
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

how to care for ducklings

post #1 of 85
Thread Starter 

im going to get ducklings from tsc on monday 25, along with chicks. i need to know how to care for these ducklings properly. is it just like a chick or what?  

Breeder of show quality Blue lace red wyandotte, BBS ameraucana, bantam salmon faverolle
Reply
Breeder of show quality Blue lace red wyandotte, BBS ameraucana, bantam salmon faverolle
Reply
post #2 of 85

Welcome to Duckdom!

 

Short answer to your question:  nope wink.png

 

I am going to try to copy a table here (from some notes I made for a talk I gave last fall) . . .

 

 

Topic

Duck

Chicken

Notes

Niacin

3x niacin

(duckling needs 3 times the niacin a chick does)

1x niacin

Varies by individual duck – some sustain severe neurological symptoms, seizures, death, and/or leg problems

Water

Requires water deep enough to wash entire head.  Ducklings are waterfowl, must have it 24/7 along with food, get the water managed properly from day one if possible

Water deep enough to drink

Insufficient head washing often leads to eye, sinus and ear infections

Pond

Enjoyed, not needed

 

Predators can make a pond a liability sometimes

Brooding Temperature

General rule of thumb 90F first week, drop 5 degrees a week A little warmer, often Some variety in how people approach this

Growth Rate

Very rapid  

Will quickly become larger than chicks - safety risk

 

     

Susceptibility to disease

Somewhat less than chickens

 

 

 

   

 

Feed

Ducklings need more niacin, but can be fed chick starter with supplements, once grown, maintenance or layer feed the same

 

Pellets easier to eat than mash due to shape of bill

 

Some disagreement about whether amprolium-laced food is okay.  There used to be medicated chick starter that was toxic to ducklings.

 

     

Please consider adopting rescued ducks.

 

David Holderread:  

People often ask if they should "put down" a bird that has suffered major injuries.  In my experience, birds appreciate the opportunity to recover.  Ducks have an amazing ability to heal, even from injuries that appear to be catastrophic.

 

Spring-Summer 2014 - please bear with me - plate very full - PM if you need to...

Reply

Please consider adopting rescued ducks.

 

David Holderread:  

People often ask if they should "put down" a bird that has suffered major injuries.  In my experience, birds appreciate the opportunity to recover.  Ducks have an amazing ability to heal, even from injuries that appear to be catastrophic.

 

Spring-Summer 2014 - please bear with me - plate very full - PM if you need to...

Reply
post #3 of 85
Pretty much. except they don't need to be as warm as chicks, can't have medicated chick starter and must have water lots and lots of water all time they will chock on food w/o water and they will play and splash water out. They really benfit from little tub swims as well. When grown they need a pool or and bucket deep enough to dunk entire head to clean eyes and nostrils this is very important so no sinus issues arrive. I have not brooded both lots of people have and hopefully someone more experienced with combining the two will be along shortly.
post #4 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicken farmer2 View Post

im going to get ducklings from tsc on monday 25, along with chicks. i need to know how to care for these ducklings properly. is it just like a chick or what?  


I will just share my experience and what I know... in addition to everything Amiga said as she is much more experienced than I.

 

Many people raise ducks with their chickens, I don't. I found even when they were little that the ducks would pick on the chickens too much, so I separated them. Also, with their different water and nutritional needs, I found it easier. When the ducks were babies, I kept a shallow tupperware lid for their water for the first week as I had one that kept falling asleep in it. However, they need to dunk their beaks to clear out their nasal passages, so make sure you provide that for them if the water is too shallow.

I do not feed the ducks medicated chick starter - not good for ducks. My chicks and ducklings all got un-medicated chick starter and I didn't lose a single one.

As for the water and niacin, I found the easiest way was to mix a gallon of water with a 100mg capsule of niacin. It must be straight niacin, not the ones that say flush-free or time release. I just open the capsule, drop the powder into the gallon jug and shake it up. It dissolves best if the water isn't really cold. Once that ran out, I would simply make another gallon. I provided niacin daily for the first 12 weeks and after that, I didn't worry about missing some days here and there. In good weather when they can get a lot of bugs, you don't need to provide it as much.

Regarding the temperature, I found that our ducks got hot easier than the chicks, so we dropped the temperature a little more than 5 degrees per week once they started feathering out. If you have several, they will keep each other warm too. But definitely keep them warm for those first couple weeks. If you start to see them panting, then you know it's time to raise the heat lamp or get rid of it.

I believe we took ours swimming in the kitchen sink when they were about 2 weeks old. They loved it! However, you have to supervise all their swim time  until they get feathers. Their soft down gets waterlogged and they have the potential to drown. Of course, after swim time, make sure they get right back under that heat lamp so they don't get chilled.

Have fun with your ducks! They have so much personality and I just love 'em!

My Mini-Farm:
2 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Barred Plymouth Rocks,1 White Silkie, 1 Blue Silkie Roo, 2 EE's, 2 Naked Neck Turkens, 2 Speckled Sussex, 1 California White, 1 Blue Cochin Roo, 1 Buff Orpington, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 2 Australorps, 1 Gold Laced Wyandotte, 2 Rouen Ducks, 2 Pekin Ducks, 2 Mutt Dogs, 2 Guinea Pigs, assorted Hermit Crabs and Fish

Reply

My Mini-Farm:
2 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Barred Plymouth Rocks,1 White Silkie, 1 Blue Silkie Roo, 2 EE's, 2 Naked Neck Turkens, 2 Speckled Sussex, 1 California White, 1 Blue Cochin Roo, 1 Buff Orpington, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 2 Australorps, 1 Gold Laced Wyandotte, 2 Rouen Ducks, 2 Pekin Ducks, 2 Mutt Dogs, 2 Guinea Pigs, assorted Hermit Crabs and Fish

Reply
post #5 of 85
Thread Starter 

thank you guys. i have a few questions

* will a gallon waterer be good enough till they got older

* if so about how old sould they be to switch them to something if needed and what would be a good something else

* also do u feed straight up dry feed or make it alittle wet.

* also will it be good to have them in a 4x 4 brooder but split in half so that chicks on one side and ducklings on other

Breeder of show quality Blue lace red wyandotte, BBS ameraucana, bantam salmon faverolle
Reply
Breeder of show quality Blue lace red wyandotte, BBS ameraucana, bantam salmon faverolle
Reply
post #6 of 85

You're welcome big_smile.png

 

How many chicks and ducklings are we talking about?

 

A gallon waterer may be just fine for several weeks.  I went to a three-gallon because I had eleven ducklings (c:

 

Dry crumbles worked for us, there must be fresh water available 24/7 (yes, I write that often).  Some do dampen feed and you need to be willing to toss what is not eaten within several hours to avoid moldy food poisoning.

 

Separate chambers in the brooder sounds good.  The number of littles would affect my saying 4 x 4 is a good size or not.

 

I started fifteen in a 5 ft long 2 ft wide plastic tub.  That was good for maybe a week and a half, then the owner of four of the ducklings came and got hers, and I got a puppy playpen( I think it was 4 x 6 feet).  That was good for another couple of weeks then I added another puppy playpen.

Please consider adopting rescued ducks.

 

David Holderread:  

People often ask if they should "put down" a bird that has suffered major injuries.  In my experience, birds appreciate the opportunity to recover.  Ducks have an amazing ability to heal, even from injuries that appear to be catastrophic.

 

Spring-Summer 2014 - please bear with me - plate very full - PM if you need to...

Reply

Please consider adopting rescued ducks.

 

David Holderread:  

People often ask if they should "put down" a bird that has suffered major injuries.  In my experience, birds appreciate the opportunity to recover.  Ducks have an amazing ability to heal, even from injuries that appear to be catastrophic.

 

Spring-Summer 2014 - please bear with me - plate very full - PM if you need to...

Reply
post #7 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicken farmer2 View Post

thank you guys. i have a few questions

* will a gallon waterer be good enough till they got older  No, they need to be able to dunk their entire head so that they can rinse their eyes and nares.  Also, they will have a BALL laying next to it splashing all of the water out in about 10 minutes (been there)

* if so about how old sould they be to switch them to something if needed and what would be a good something else

* also do u feed straight up dry feed or make it alittle wet.  You can do either (if it is a very fine crumb it's easier to wet it) but they need water available at all times when there is feed as they use it to swallow the feed.  If you wet it, it needs to be changed often.  Mold can kill.

* also will it be good to have them in a 4x 4 brooder but split in half so that chicks on one side and ducklings on other  How many of each?  ducklings need .75 sq ft each for 2 weeks then it needs to increase about 1 sq ft each every 2 weeks until about 2 months old.   Ducklings are cute little pigs :) they will trash their brooder very fast.

DOGS: 4 Shih Tzu, 1 Papillon, 1 Great Pyrenees

CHICKENS: 1 BO, 2 EE, 2 WLH, blue and splash JG, plus various aged JG, BO, JG/BO and JG/EE chicks.   

DUCKS: Muscovy ducks: Adults, juveniles and ducklings.  Pekin ducks

 

Some threads started with basic info.

Picking a duck breed, where to buy, what genders to get

Raising and caring for ducklings

 

Reply

DOGS: 4 Shih Tzu, 1 Papillon, 1 Great Pyrenees

CHICKENS: 1 BO, 2 EE, 2 WLH, blue and splash JG, plus various aged JG, BO, JG/BO and JG/EE chicks.   

DUCKS: Muscovy ducks: Adults, juveniles and ducklings.  Pekin ducks

 

Some threads started with basic info.

Picking a duck breed, where to buy, what genders to get

Raising and caring for ducklings

 

Reply
post #8 of 85
Thread Starter 

im going to have 6 chicks and 3 ducks . but when they are older should i switch them to like a turkey waterer so it has a wider base so they can dip their bills in

Breeder of show quality Blue lace red wyandotte, BBS ameraucana, bantam salmon faverolle
Reply
Breeder of show quality Blue lace red wyandotte, BBS ameraucana, bantam salmon faverolle
Reply
post #9 of 85
Thread Starter 

Farm-Tuff Top Fill... will something like this work for an adult duck.

Breeder of show quality Blue lace red wyandotte, BBS ameraucana, bantam salmon faverolle
Reply
Breeder of show quality Blue lace red wyandotte, BBS ameraucana, bantam salmon faverolle
Reply
post #10 of 85

They need to have something available to dunk their hole head.  I never use waterers for my ducklings.  They enjoy playing with the chickens though if they wander into their coop.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/426909/non-spill-duckling-waterer  This is similar to what I use, then I switch to buckets when they are a few weeks old and can reach. 

DOGS: 4 Shih Tzu, 1 Papillon, 1 Great Pyrenees

CHICKENS: 1 BO, 2 EE, 2 WLH, blue and splash JG, plus various aged JG, BO, JG/BO and JG/EE chicks.   

DUCKS: Muscovy ducks: Adults, juveniles and ducklings.  Pekin ducks

 

Some threads started with basic info.

Picking a duck breed, where to buy, what genders to get

Raising and caring for ducklings

 

Reply

DOGS: 4 Shih Tzu, 1 Papillon, 1 Great Pyrenees

CHICKENS: 1 BO, 2 EE, 2 WLH, blue and splash JG, plus various aged JG, BO, JG/BO and JG/EE chicks.   

DUCKS: Muscovy ducks: Adults, juveniles and ducklings.  Pekin ducks

 

Some threads started with basic info.

Picking a duck breed, where to buy, what genders to get

Raising and caring for ducklings

 

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ducks
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Other BackYard Poultry › Ducks › how to care for ducklings