Am I correct? Call Duckling Supplies

quackkquack_

Songster
Jun 30, 2022
376
398
141
Hello!
So I've done some research on supplies and everything I'll need for my Call ducklings when they hatch (fingers crossed they do! First time hatching!) and I just wanted to make sure I'm correct and everything I'll be getting will work fine with the Call ducklings.
Am only asking because I know Call ducks are difficult to hatch and take care of (so I've heard) and I've only had Pekin and Mallards (although that was a while ago).

(Also I will be getting all my stuff from Tractor Supply, may get the bedding from Walmart or PetSmart)

Food,
I heard people say they used non-medicated Nutrena Chick Starter (20% protein) for the first 2-3 weeks but my Tractor Supply doesn't have Nutrena but they do have Purina Start and Grow, non-medicated and 20% protein (only found one bag with 20%, the rest was 19% and 18%) so would that be fine for the first 2 weeks?
After the 2nd week, I'd mix Dumor Grower/Finisher (non-medicated, 15% protein) with the Purina Start and Grow and on the 4th week completely switch them to the Dumor Grower/Finisher.
I heard some people gave their Call ducks some greens such as lettuce. What types of vegetables would be fine for Call ducks and not give them Angel Wing? (and I think there are other issues they can get with their wings, just forget what they are called at the moment)

Enclosure and Heat,
So for the first week or two I'm going to have them set up in a big Kitty Pool we got for ducklings about a year or two ago (though never got the ducklings sadly) and then we are going to make a bigger enclosure for them.
As for the heat, from what I've read, start with 90 degrees and reduce 5 degrees each week until it hits 70 degrees and just stay on 70. Is that correct?

Bedding,
Now for bedding. I've heard about tons and tons of bedding for ducklings but the one I heard was most safe and the one I see a lot on websites was Pine Shavings. Is Pine Shavings safe for Call ducklings? I know they may try to eat/mouth it but if they do end up eating a piece or two, would it be okay?
Since the Kitty Pool is pretty big I was going to make half of it Pine Shavings and the other half paper towels or a big towel so the Pine Shavings side would have the food and water (to drink) and the paper towel/big towel side would have a small container/bowl with water for them to swim in.
Would that be okay? Should I introduce them to swimming after they dry off or after a few days?

I think that's all the questions I have! If you have any other advice for me I'd love to hear!
<3
 
I have a rather large Call duck flock. Call ducklings can be a challenge to hatch, mostly due to their tiny bills. If you are using an incubator, plan on be able to assist during hatch. If this is not something you have done before, research the subject ahead of time so that you are prepared and have the needed supplies on hand.

Once hatch, the duckling are very hardy, very much the same as your mallards in how they develop and what they need to stay healthy.

Call duckling grow very fast; too fast on an improper diet. Be careful of using feeds with too much protein. A diet with too much protein speeds up growth and causes angel wing where feathers grow before the wings are strong enough to support the weight.

Be sure the feed you use has niacin. Without niacin, ducks have leg problems.

I have found that call ducks are quite hardy and disease resistant. Every health issue I've ever had in my flock has been dietary related.

Most of my birds free range. I keep new ducklings in a brooder for two weeks then they are penned outside for a few days. After that the duckling free range. Ducklings quickly put on a layer of fat and after a couple weeks do not require supplemental heat during warm weather; spring, summer, and fall. My winter ducklings are kept in the brooder for a month, then weather permitting, go outside.

I use large plastic tubs with a heat lamp. I do not go by any written schedule. The lamp is raised when I see the ducklings spending less time under it.
I've used pine shavings and found them to be safe, but I prefer using puppy pads. Since ducklings are messy with water soaking everything, I elevate the tub end where the heat lamp is in order to keep an area dry.

Your post says you've had Pekin and Mallard ducks. You will find raising Calls to be about the same.
 
I have a rather large Call duck flock. Call ducklings can be a challenge to hatch, mostly due to their tiny bills. If you are using an incubator, plan on be able to assist during hatch. If this is not something you have done before, research the subject ahead of time so that you are prepared and have the needed supplies on hand.

Once hatch, the duckling are very hardy, very much the same as your mallards in how they develop and what they need to stay healthy.

Call duckling grow very fast; too fast on an improper diet. Be careful of using feeds with too much protein. A diet with too much protein speeds up growth and causes angel wing where feathers grow before the wings are strong enough to support the weight.

Be sure the feed you use has niacin. Without niacin, ducks have leg problems.

I have found that call ducks are quite hardy and disease resistant. Every health issue I've ever had in my flock has been dietary related.

Most of my birds free range. I keep new ducklings in a brooder for two weeks then they are penned outside for a few days. After that the duckling free range. Ducklings quickly put on a layer of fat and after a couple weeks do not require supplemental heat during warm weather; spring, summer, and fall. My winter ducklings are kept in the brooder for a month, then weather permitting, go outside.

I use large plastic tubs with a heat lamp. I do not go by any written schedule. The lamp is raised when I see the ducklings spending less time under it.
I've used pine shavings and found them to be safe, but I prefer using puppy pads. Since ducklings are messy with water soaking everything, I elevate the tub end where the heat lamp is in order to keep an area dry.

Your post says you've had Pekin and Mallard ducks. You will find raising Calls to be about the same.
Thank you so much!
I didn't know about the niacin and leg problems so I will definitely feed them that! I've done tons and tons of research on assisting even before I got the eggs since I've been so worried! Thank you again ^^
 
I have a rather large Call duck flock. Call ducklings can be a challenge to hatch, mostly due to their tiny bills. If you are using an incubator, plan on be able to assist during hatch. If this is not something you have done before, research the subject ahead of time so that you are prepared and have the needed supplies on hand.

Once hatch, the duckling are very hardy, very much the same as your mallards in how they develop and what they need to stay healthy.

Call duckling grow very fast; too fast on an improper diet. Be careful of using feeds with too much protein. A diet with too much protein speeds up growth and causes angel wing where feathers grow before the wings are strong enough to support the weight.

Be sure the feed you use has niacin. Without niacin, ducks have leg problems.

I have found that call ducks are quite hardy and disease resistant. Every health issue I've ever had in my flock has been dietary related.

Most of my birds free range. I keep new ducklings in a brooder for two weeks then they are penned outside for a few days. After that the duckling free range. Ducklings quickly put on a layer of fat and after a couple weeks do not require supplemental heat during warm weather; spring, summer, and fall. My winter ducklings are kept in the brooder for a month, then weather permitting, go outside.

I use large plastic tubs with a heat lamp. I do not go by any written schedule. The lamp is raised when I see the ducklings spending less time under it.
I've used pine shavings and found them to be safe, but I prefer using puppy pads. Since ducklings are messy with water soaking everything, I elevate the tub end where the heat lamp is in order to keep an area dry.

Your post says you've had Pekin and Mallard ducks. You will find raising Calls to be about the same.
Hey again!
I have one more question. Do they only need niacin as ducklings or when they are adults too?
 
So I have no knowledge of call ducks at all I own appleyard, muscovy, runner, and pekin but no call ducks. One thing I would very much advise for you too do is to spend time with them and make sure that they get use to there adult home. Call ducks are insanely good at flying so they can basically fly away easily when they are older. Whatever they are staying in as adults make sure they get use to it first. And if they get use to you it wont be that difficult to do more with them. That is all I know to do for call ducks, thought I'll just give you that tip. I dunno how long a friend who owned them just told that to me.
 
You've gotten great advice so far. Only a few things I'd like to add...

I use puppy pads for the first 2 weeks. Easier for them to walk on. Easier to clean up. Once they get big enough that they really start making a mess, I use pine shavings.

I personally add a little nutritional yeast to their feed while they are still growing. I also have friends that don't. As adults, mine get peas (decent source of niacin) a few times a week. Do not feed canned if you do this. Fresh or frozen Only.

Any non-medicated starter will work. Once they are around 6 weeks old, I start switching them to duck pellets.

I do not free range mine. If I did I'd have none left. I do however let them out every day while I'm outside. I keep wings clipped. They are very good fliers.

I will second and third familiarizing yourself with assisted hatching. Most Calls benefit from it or downright need it. If and when you get to that point, feel free to tag me and I'll bring in a few friends to help you through it.

Good luck and have fun! Post pics once they hatch!
 
You've gotten great advice so far. Only a few things I'd like to add...

I use puppy pads for the first 2 weeks. Easier for them to walk on. Easier to clean up. Once they get big enough that they really start making a mess, I use pine shavings.

I personally add a little nutritional yeast to their feed while they are still growing. I also have friends that don't. As adults, mine get peas (decent source of niacin) a few times a week. Do not feed canned if you do this. Fresh or frozen Only.

Any non-medicated starter will work. Once they are around 6 weeks old, I start switching them to duck pellets.

I do not free range mine. If I did I'd have none left. I do however let them out every day while I'm outside. I keep wings clipped. They are very good fliers.

I will second and third familiarizing yourself with assisted hatching. Most Calls benefit from it or downright need it. If and when you get to that point, feel free to tag me and I'll bring in a few friends to help you through it.

Good luck and have fun! Post pics once they hatch!
Thank you so much for the advice! Newt goes into lockdown tomorrow and I found an article on helping them hatch: https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/assisting-call-duck-hatches.76507/
I've prepared myself for assisting but if anything unexpectedly happens and I need help I'll definitely tag you!
 
I just have one little Call (the lone hatch from a friend's incubator). She's got angel wing starting even though we feed lower protein.... Go figure...

One other you need to prepare for is all the cuteness and sass! My little Cheddar has a huuuuge personality - moreso than my big girls.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Back
Top Bottom