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Awesome Duckling and Gosling care info...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Cetawin, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    I received my shipping date from Holderread and they sent me a fabulous and very informative care sheet...So, as he wrote the storey's guide to ducks etc etc etc I thought I would share that information here.

    I thought it was a fabulous idea to send it with the email and very thoughtful, makes you feel that they really care. Great people. Here is the info sheet contents: (BTW my 10 babies ship the week of May 4th if all goes well)

    A Dozen Suggestions for Starting Your Ducklings and Goslings

    l. Expect your hatchlings to arrive 12-36 hours after shipment. Notify your post office of the expected shipment of day-olds, and ask to be called upon their arrival. It's advisable to pick up your birds at the post office.

    2. Upon the birds' arrival, be sure to keep them warm until they are placed in the brooding area. Open the shipping box only in a warm environment. Check the underside of the box lid for order content information.

    3. As you take the birds from the box and place them in the pre-warmed brooding area, immediately dip each of their bills in the waterer to make sure that they drink promptly. Initially give lukewarm water with 1 tsp. honey or corn syrup per quart and chopped greens (described in #6). Do not give feed for as least an hour after giving birds water and greens. Thereafter, we recommend adding a water-soluble vitamin mix formulated for baby poultry to the water for the first 5 to 7 days. Because waterfowl drink more than twice as much water as chickens, use vitamin mixes at 1/2 the recommended rate for baby chicks. Never use REN-O SAL on ducks and geese.

    4. ONLY use waterers that the birds can drink from easily BUT WHICH THEY CANNOT GET INTO AND GET SOAKED!

    5. Supply the birds with fresh feed that has been formulated specifically for young poultry. In the order of preference, we recommend starting hatchlings on one of these feeds: duck starter or broiler starter (we highly recommend Purina's Flock Raiser ration when a duck/goose starter is unavailable). By themselves, chick starter is low in niacin, and turkey and gamebird starters are excessively high in protein (forcing young waterfowl to grow too fast). However, using a mix of 1 part chick starter and 1 part turkey of gamebird starter normally makes a good ration for baby waterfowl.

    Use only fresh feed and NEVER give laying rations to young waterfowl. In our experience, so-called "all purpose" or "triple duty" feeds normally are unsatisfactory if used as the sole ration for waterfowl during the first 8 weeks. We highly recommend the additional information on feeding and nutrition covered in Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, The Book of Geese and Wing Disorders in Waterfowl.

    6. Green feed (lettuce, spinach, tender young grass, etc.) chopped to 1/4-inch lengths and sprinkled in the water and on the feed helps get goslings as well as ducklings to eat quickly, and off to a fast start.

    7. The correct brooding temperature is 90-92o F the first 3 days and 85-90o F for days 4 to7. Thereafter, drop the brooding temperature approximately 5o F per week. Birds must always be able to get away from the heat source to avoid the damaging effects of overheating.

    8. Allow a minimum of 1/2 square foot of floor space for each duckling the first week, 1 square foot the second week, and 2 square feet to 4 weeks of age. Double these figures for goslings.

    9. Do not start waterfowl on smooth floors (such as newspaper) which can cause spraddled legs. Wire mesh floor is ideal. If bedding is used, cover it with burlap or coarse cloth for the first day to prevent the birds from eating the litter while they learn what feed is.

    10. Make sure the brooding area is draft-free and provides protection from predators, including rats, cats and dogs.

    11. After arriving at their new home, your baby waterfowl need warmth, drinking water, fresh food and rest. Check on them regularly to make sure they are comfortable, but avoid handling them the first several days.

    12. And most of all, enjoy your new charges. Ducklings and goslings are exceptionally hardy and fast growing, and watching their adolescent antics is entertaining. Happy duck and goose raising!
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009

  2. froggie71

    froggie71 Songster

    Apr 18, 2009
    Shamong, NJ
    ONLY use waterers that the birds can drink from easily BUT WHICH THEY CANNOT GET INTO AND GET SOAKED!

    The duckling we had got soaked no matter what as long as they wanted to. We had to constantly check on them. They alway managed to empty their waterer into the brooder we kept them in. We did have 1 that died because she got soaked over night and though we did have heat lamp on, she couldn't get warm. They rest of them did fine though.
  3. Calebs Acre

    Calebs Acre Songster

    May 17, 2008
    Long Island
    Thanks for the information! Most of it I have read over and over, but the greens.....didn't know about the greens! I thought I had to wait to give them greens, so this is great news!

    I really have the greatest respect for Dave Holderread.
  4. eggchel

    eggchel Crowing Premium Member

    Dec 26, 2006
    Both Coasts
    Great tip sheet!
  5. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Quote:Yes, me too. His wife his absolutely lovely to talk to. I was just very impressed to get the email saying the babies would come the week of the 4th, alternative dates week of 11th or week of 18th. Then to have that information sheet attached, it just shows they care and took the time to put it together. I have never seen anything like that from any other hatchery.

    It also made me re-think their brooder. I had no idea that wire mesh was better for them. I may still use shavings and add the burlap though.

    Anyway, I am anxiously awaiting the babies. [​IMG]

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