1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Am I doing things right for my duckling?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by leeuh, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. leeuh

    leeuh New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Apr 26, 2009
    Ghost Town America
    I have a little mallard who is 5-6 weeks old. I was wondering if anyone on here could tell me if I'm doing things 'right' for my lil duckling.

    When we first got Sam-Soup it was spur of the moment. I was joking with my husband and told him that since our daughter is going to pre-school in the fall I was going to have an empty nest. That meant that we either had to
    1- have another baby, (which I was joking about)
    2- get a little 'yappy dog' (which my husband can't stand)
    or 3- get a duck. (I was already planning on getting chicks anyway lol)
    The 3rd option was thrown out there just as a joke. Little did I know that when we got the chicks, I was going to come home with a duck too. For the 1st day we had Sam-Soup, the lil one was in with the chicks. As soon as I found out that the chick food could cause deformities, and cause sickness we put Sam-Soup in a wire cage. (the one that sits in the living room now)

    Sam-Soup (duckling) has pretty much full run of the house during the day. One of Sam-Soup's favorite places to hang out is under the computer chair by my feet. (I'm going to school online, so we have lots of 'computer time' together) We have 4 springs that feed our property. We took the one that was closest to the house and built an earthen dam so that it would create a little pond for Sam-Soup to play in. We make a few trips a day to the crik so that Sam-Soup can play in the water, and look for bugs. (and play in the shallow part of the pond) I've been careful about what kind of treats we give Sam-Soup. (worms, green lettuce, boiled egg whites,and scrambled eggs)

    Everywhere I go, Sam-Soup goes with me. I live in a very (very) small town, which means that I can take my lil duckling to the post office, library, store, etc.... While riding in the car, I have a small open topped storage container (one of the rectangle ones that's about 6 inches deep) that Sam-Soup gets to ride in. I also have food/water that Sam-Soup gets to have when we stop somewhere. If we stop at a friend's house and are outside, I set up the food/water under the car in the shade and Sam-Soup will usually hang out under the car in the shade and just watch everyone. Then when I walk away... I get followed. (lol)

    At night Sam-Soup has a cage to sleep in that sit right next to my bed. During the day we have another (open) cage that sits in the living room with Sam-Soup's lil puppy friend, (stuffed) water and food. In the mornings my husband lets Sam-Soup out of the bedtime cage, and after eating some breakfast Sam-Soup usually finds the way back into bed with me for a few more hours. (hubby gets up too early for me lol)

    Now it's time for some questions.... (if someone doesn't mind helping me out a little bit)

    All of Sam-Soup's feathers haven't come in yet, but the ones on the top of the wings, in the sunlight have a green tint to part of them. Does that mean it's a male? Or is that common with young females too?

    When Sam-Soup tries to quack it's more of a 'merk' or 'derk' There are times when it's really raspy sounding too.... That means a male right? (I read that somewhere I think)

    How do I know when 'enough is enough' when it comes to food for Sam-Soup? I'll cut up lettuce, and after it's all gone the lil bugger wants more. I limit Sam-Soup to one complete boiled egg white a day. (I'm afraid of over feeding)Yesterday we were digging in the garden and found a ton of worms. Sam-Soup ate 10 of them before I finally took them away, and told the lil bugger no more worms. (I was in ducky trouble for that one lol)

    I know that this is a really long (and boring) read, but if anyone can tell me if I'm doing the right thing for Sam-Soup, and possibly answer my questions it'd be appreciated. I kinda jumped into owning a duck, and now I want to make sure that the lil bugger stays safe and happy. (cause well... I love Sam-Soup and I think the duck loves me too)[​IMG]
     
  2. xfilesnumber1fan

    xfilesnumber1fan Chillin' With My Peeps

    532
    1
    141
    Nov 24, 2008
    Missouri
    I let my ducks have all the food and water they can drink/eat..All the worms and bugs they find and alot of time I buy them worms....When feeding more than just starter or grower feed they require grit...Is Sam-Soup wearing a diaper? Since he lives in the house? I know my babies are poop machines...He really needs to have a friend ducks are very social and like to be around other ducks...Sounds like he has a good life just maybe a friend would be good...I have 5 adults outside who go everywhere together and 6, 2 week old ones in the brooder who cheep like crazy if one is missing because the kids are holding them.....My babies are also mallards....
     
  3. leeuh

    leeuh New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Apr 26, 2009
    Ghost Town America
    Sam-Soup does wear a diaper. (my sil made some for us) That's the only way that I can take Sam-Soup around town with me. (our town might be small, but can't have poop in the post office lol)

    I thought about getting another little mallard for a friend, but I was concerned with the age differences between them. (and the size difference right now) But now that I've read your reply, it might be time to get another lil duckling for Sam-Soup to have a lil playmate.

    I joke that Sam-Soup thinks that my husband and daughter are ducklings too. If we're all together, Sam-Soup waits until everyone starts to walk off before following us. (and then somehow ends up in front of everyone lol) Right now most of the time Sam-Soup is in the house, but as the lil one gets bigger we're going to let Sam-Soup spend more time outside. We live in the country, and have had a lot of hawks and eagles this Spring. Sam-Soup gets a ton of outside play time, but it's supervised.

    Thanks for your response. Like I said, I kinda jumped into owning a duck but I want to make sure I'm doing things right. Also, in the cages there is a heating pad in both of them that are set on low. For the bedding in the cages we use old towels. It's easier to clean, (2 times a day they go in the washer) and Sam-Soup doesn't spend much time in either of the cages anyway. (except at night while sleeping)
     
  4. headred

    headred Chillin' With My Peeps

    500
    0
    139
    Feb 28, 2009
    Lawrence
    I just love your Sam-Soup story! Quite a duck!

    I don't think you can feed them too much. I also let mine eat all they want. They are recently foraging my yard and seem to do that for HOURS! I also keep grain in their little house (see website).

    I added 2 younger ducks to my ducks who were about 4 weeks old at the time. My older ones pecked at them for a few days and then they quit. Adding a new one at this young point probably wouldn't be a big deal for Sam-Soup. Sounds like you are doing everything right and MORE! Have fun! They are SO much fun!
     
  5. aleciasayshii

    aleciasayshii Chillin' With My Peeps

    157
    0
    119
    Apr 17, 2009
    The Colony
    That is so cute
    I wish I could let my little duck come with me around town, but they are illegal where I live so he stays inside. (and outside when no one is home, I dont think poop in the house is a good idea)
    I swear ducks are the best pets when they actually love you as much as you love them :)
     
  6. NewHopePoultry

    NewHopePoultry Overrun With Chickens

    5,038
    12
    281
    Apr 9, 2007
    Troy,Missouri
    Sounds like spoiled duckling to me [​IMG]
    I woud let him eat as much as he wants, mine are little pigs.

    I've heard that if you keep one duckling, it does better as a pet, but I dont know how true that is. I know they like to have friend's,but since you spend so much time with yours, he may be fine.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2009
  7. xfilesnumber1fan

    xfilesnumber1fan Chillin' With My Peeps

    532
    1
    141
    Nov 24, 2008
    Missouri
    I 100% agree getting one now is better than waiting...It took a good week or more for mine at 6 months of age to except 2 more they were mean and fought and to keep removing them slowely they did come around but it was hard watching the fighting and me pulling them apart...Littles dont really seem to notice or think about fighting...A little pecking but thats a duck for ya...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by