Brooder PreparationAfter 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.