2019 Spring Ducklings

The story of 15 ducklings, ordered in January 2019 from two different hatcheries.
By WannaBeHillBilly · Jan 29, 2019 · Updated Jan 31, 2019 · ·
  1. WannaBeHillBilly

    Brooder Preparation

    After being a bit frustrated by my five Indian Runner ducklings, who have developed into »Touch me NOT!« ducks i wanted to raise the new ducklings in a way that they would not be so afraid of us, would trust us and be more like pets. So the idea was to have them in a brooder in my home-office for the first couple of weeks so that they can see me working during the day.
    I also want to avoid using a heat-lamp for two reasons: First it is a fire hazard, regardless how well it is secured, second and more important to me, i want the ducklings to be able sleep during the night without a harsh light shining at them. I read a lot about the Mama Heating Pad (MHP) and decided to build a duckling version of that, the »Momma Heat Cave« (MHP).
    Raiding the local $-store i managed to get my hands on a beautiful metal basket which, if turned upside down, has a nice cave-entrance:

    Some duct-tape later the heat-pad was installed and the Momma Heat Cave was ready for a test-run:

    After just five minutes, the thermometer inside showed a cozy 32.5°C (90.5F) at the bottom with the room at 21.4°C (70.5F) and the heat-pad just on medium. That should be warm enough for any duckling!

    Also at the $-store i found flimsy white plastic bins and very sturdy plastic baskets:

    The idea was to cut out an opening into one of those white bins, cut a basket in half and put it upside down into the bin as a platform for the waterer, like this:
    That should help keeping the bedding material in the brooder dry!

    Speaking of the brooder, it will be a plastic kiddy-pool, 1.2 meter (4') in diameter and 25cm (10") high. I hope that will keep the little ones contained for the first two weeks. Once they are tall enough to escape, i will add some height to the kiddie-pool, either a cardboard-strip or some chicken-wire. This is the final setup:

    As you can see, there is a kitchen scale beside the brooder, my plan is to mark the ducklings with spiral leg-bands in different colors and track their weight gain on a daily base using a spread-sheet.

    Once again: There are many more pictures related to this thread in
    the »2019 Spring Ducklings« album.

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    About Author

    A German, living in the U.S.A. since 2007, first for 10 years in the suburbs of Houston (TX), then moved to Charleston (WV) to experience the much quieter and relaxed country life. I am working for a large company in the IT-business and taking care of our ducks is a very welcome diversion from the office-work and the traveling.
    DiYMama540, N F C, Raenh and 5 others like this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. Shadrach
    "An Interesting Account."
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Sep 13, 2019
    I enjoyed this article. :) A rolling account of the lives of any creature if carefully observed can be very informative. A cut above the usual.
  2. MallardMomx2
    "Great article!!"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Mar 9, 2019
    AWESOME article! Those are some very lucky duckies to have an owner like you!:love
  3. Kiki
    "Great job!"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Feb 15, 2019


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  1. casportpony
    Hey, can you add that chart?
      WannaBeHillBilly likes this.
    1. WannaBeHillBilly
      The chart will be on the Daily Progress page tonight, after i have weighted the little rascals…
      casportpony likes this.
  2. onaharley
    Love it!!! What great ideas, I am looking forward to your updates!
      casportpony and WannaBeHillBilly like this.
  3. N F C
    Looking forward to the updates!
      casportpony and WannaBeHillBilly like this.
    1. WannaBeHillBilly
      The new duckling progress page is online…
      casportpony and N F C like this.

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