1st time duck momma, many questions

Cassiblu

Chirping
May 24, 2021
39
106
76
I find happy hen pond treats work great! Also, dont oveffeed them with treats like that, then they can start to learn to ONLY come for treats, and that can make them be picky eaters, just limit it a bit :)
When it's time to feed them or treat time, you could try to get them to eat from your hand. Don't try to pet them. You can try that later as they become more used to being around you. That might or might not help.

I've got 2 out of 6 that are still little wary of me, one of those 2 will sometimes keep his distance but they ALL will eat from my hand, especially when I have treats.
We actually hold and pet them often. For some reason they just don’t come to us on their own. Feather had recently shown a different behavior. She was swimming and Isabella had her hands in the water. Feather walked over to aggressively “bite” at my granddaughters hands. She would just grab her fingers repeatedly until I firmly told her not to allow that and move her hand away. I said if she allows that now, it will actually hurt once they get bigger. 😔
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
6,557
16,829
832
Nevada County, CA
My ducks go bonkers for peas. Like a shark feeding frenzy but with flappy feet and duckie bills instead of jaws.

And they do grow crazy fast!
Here are mine the day they arrived:
20210209_074930.jpg


Here they are just 4 weeks later:
20210307_135132.jpg


I was NOT prepared for that! Went through 3 brooders in that time, and I had to clean it 2x daily. Love my duckies, but - oh - they are messy!
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
6,557
16,829
832
Nevada County, CA
We actually hold and pet them often. For some reason they just don’t come to us on their own. Feather had recently shown a different behavior. She was swimming and Isabella had her hands in the water. Feather walked over to aggressively “bite” at my granddaughters hands. She would just grab her fingers repeatedly until I firmly told her not to allow that and move her hand away. I said if she allows that now, it will actually hurt once they get bigger. 😔
Ducks investigate with their bills. It's almost compulsory for them to nibble and bite. Once they figure out that fingers aren't food, they'll be fine.
 

Chicken poppy

Crowing
May 9, 2021
1,436
4,797
271
Connecticut
We have only tried giving treats a couple times, but we don’t give anything regularly other then their daily feed. I was hoping the treats might work for training them to come when they see us. But if that’s a bad idea then I’m glad I found out now.
Its not a bad idea, but just like with any animal if you train them TO much with it, theyll get used to it, then get a bit picky, but occasionally is fine! Just make sure to call them pver even when you dont have food, to ease them off.
 

sowNreap

Songster
Aug 16, 2021
112
272
116
TN
Ooh I heard about watermelon! I’ll grab a couple and freeze some too 😁Thank you for the advice! We were told not to really give them lettuce but I might try broccoli heads chopped up.

I read best way to freeze watermelon was to cut it into bite size pieces or small strips, place them on a pan to freeze them. Then bag them up. I used my vacuum sucker/sealer machine.

I tested it out & it seemed to work pretty good but I didn't let it thaw enough so the watermelon was still bit frozen in middle. lol But it was still good to eat on hot day! I didn't want to thaw it all the way because I was afraid it would get mushy. I even cut the rind up into smaller pieces because they will eat the rind too.

You might want to see how they like it before freezing it. Just in case they don't like it. If they do love it like mine, give them a special treat of the butt end & watch the feeding frenzy. :D

I only tried green leaf lettuce. Iceberg lettuce is not recommended for ducks or humans because it doesn't have any or much nutritional value. I haven't tried broccoli yet. Dang I had some for dinner but didn't think to save some for ducks. I'm such a bad momma. lol

Here's video of mine devouring butt end of watermelon. Maybe because I'm new duck parent but it was fun to watch them and hear them slurping the juice. lol

but at what age should we start to wean them onto a meal time only schedule?

That I can't answer. Mine were already at least 4 weeks old when we got them & put them on starter pellets on a schedule.

Before I forget to ask again, what age can they go outside for the very first time? Isabella begs me to let her take them into the back yard for just a few mins because she read that they eat grass and bugs etc… she says her babies need their mother nature foods LOL

Another question I can't really answer but person we bought the ducks from had them outside already, again they were at least 4 weeks old. Depending on where you live and the weather you might need to watch for low temps.

Mine do like eating grass but really love crickets that's for sure. We have fun hunting them. Yes I participate too making it too easy for them. lol I walk around & stir up the crickets & they try to catch them. They almost always succeed.

You might not want to listen to what I do, I'm probably doing it all wrong & really spoiling them. :eek:I'm retired so spend a LOT of time with my ducks. Probably too much but they just bring me so much joy I can't help it.

EDIT: Oops, I should have read rest of posts before replying.

@Cassiblu:
We actually hold and pet them often. For some reason they just don’t come to us on their own.

Oh, I think I misunderstood. I wish mine would let me hold & pet them. Consider yourself lucky.

Mine do come to me though even when I don't have treats probably because they may think I have treat. And sometimes I can get them to follow me. Like when I take them to the good spot for cricket hunting. Or when they feel like it. lol
 
Last edited:

Cassiblu

Chirping
May 24, 2021
39
106
76
My ducks go bonkers for peas. Like a shark feeding frenzy but with flappy feet and duckie bills instead of jaws.

And they do grow crazy fast!
Here are mine the day they arrived:
View attachment 2847883

Here they are just 4 weeks later:
View attachment 2847884

I was NOT prepared for that! Went through 3 brooders in that time, and I had to clean it 2x daily. Love my duckies, but - oh - they are messy!
Omg they are beautiful! Thanks for sharing the pics 🥰
 

Cassiblu

Chirping
May 24, 2021
39
106
76
I read best way to freeze watermelon was to cut it into bite size pieces or small strips, place them on a pan to freeze them. Then bag them up. I used my vacuum sucker/sealer machine.

I tested it out & it seemed to work pretty good but I didn't let it thaw enough so the watermelon was still bit frozen in middle. lol But it was still good to eat on hot day! I didn't want to thaw it all the way because I was afraid it would get mushy. I even cut the rind up into smaller pieces because they will eat the rind too.

You might want to see how they like it before freezing it. Just in case they don't like it. If they do love it like mine, give them a special treat of the butt end & watch the feeding frenzy. :D

I only tried green leaf lettuce. Iceberg lettuce is not recommended for ducks or humans because it doesn't have any or much nutritional value. I haven't tried broccoli yet. Dang I had some for dinner but didn't think to save some for ducks. I'm such a bad momma. lol

Here's video of mine devouring butt end of watermelon. Maybe because I'm new duck parent but it was fun to watch them and hear them slurping the juice. lol



That I can't answer. Mine were already at least 4 weeks old when we got them & put them on starter pellets on a schedule.



Another question I can't really answer but person we bought the ducks from had them outside already, again they were at least 4 weeks old. Depending on where you live and the weather you might need to watch for low temps.

Mine do like eating grass but really love crickets that's for sure. We have fun hunting them. Yes I participate too making it too easy for them. lol I walk around & stir up the crickets & they try to catch them. They almost always succeed.

You might not want to listen to what I do, I'm probably doing it all wrong & really spoiling them. :eek:I'm retired so spend a LOT of time with my ducks. Probably too much but they just bring me so much joy I can't help it.

EDIT: Oops, I should have read rest of posts before replying.



Oh, I think I misunderstood. I wish mine would let me hold & pet them. Consider yourself lucky.

Mine do come to me though even when I don't have treats probably because they may think I have treat. And sometimes I can get them to follow me. Like when I take them to the good spot for cricket hunting. Or when they feel like it. lol
Well, I am always thankful to get advice and helpful hints. Your ducks are so cute and I love the variety of colors! They went to town on that watermelon 😆 Thanks for sharing 💞
 

Crazy Maizie

Crowing
Jul 3, 2020
2,947
5,190
411
As far as cutting back on food and water, water should be offered any time food is. I cut mine back once fully feathered and out in their own house. I think I started cutting them back a little each night with less food offered. They never complained. 😊 They have always been healthy.
With treats, you do want to remember less is better the same with humans. But, don't worry about a small offering each time you go to see them. If you are offering treats, they should also have access to grit or soil to aid with digestion.
 

Cassiblu

Chirping
May 24, 2021
39
106
76
As far as cutting back on food and water, water should be offered any time food is. I cut mine back once fully feathered and out in their own house. I think I started cutting them back a little each night with less food offered. They never complained. 😊 They have always been healthy.
With treats, you do want to remember less is better the same with humans. But, don't worry about a small offering each time you go to see them. If you are offering treats, they should also have access to grit or soil to aid with digestion.
Thank you so much for your advice 🥰
 

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