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Baby Duck Brooders - Need Suggestions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Enchanted Sunrise Farms, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    i raised two baby ducks this summer, using the same brooder method i did for chicks. i have a flight cage, wrapped in blankets, newspaper on the bottom covered in paper towels, heat lamp on one side, food and water on the other. This worked for two ducks. But yesterday i just received 11 baby ducks. This brooder method isn't working as they are totally soaking everything every couple of hours. So i'm not quite sure how to at least keep the one side dry for any length of time.

    Hoping some duck experts can provide some insight or pictures on how they house their babies. Thanks in advance for the help.
     
  2. Mrs. Turbo

    Mrs. Turbo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2009
    ky
    this is one way we keep our ducklings..... just a plastic bin from walmart and make a wire floor out of hardware cloth. If you use the heavy duty wire just fold the wire down around the outside to make legs and put a piece of folded wire in the middle for support. We also use the rabbit hutches from TSC and replace the bottom wire with hardware cloth. Hang bulbs and you have brooders.
    If this is not a option you can put the water container on a plate it helps keep the brooder dry for a longer period.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
  3. mrslb333

    mrslb333 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    The litter trays for rabbit cages work well to keep the mess from the water out of the main area and fit neatly into the corner or you could use a small cat litter tray then all you need to do is wipe it dry a few times a day so much easier than changing the whole thing.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Broodica

    Broodica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 20, 2010
    Cascade Foothills, WA
    We have two 16 day old (one female Mallard, one Rouen, he/she is much bigger) and two 8 day old female mallard ducklings. This set up has worked great so far, but I am sure it will need to be replaced as they get larger and messier!

    We have a cookie sheet with a puppy trainer mat placed inside of it. This is then placed upon a soft rubber mat that is cut larger than the cookie sheet, which is placed on top of the pine shavings at one end of the brooder. My brooder is about 2.5' x 3.5' at this point. Waterer/s (2 for overnight) go in the center of it. With the 4 ducklings, the mat gets soaked, but the shavings stay dry except for a bit along the outside of the rubber mat. I dump the cookie sheet, replace the absorbent mat, and rinse off the rubber mat 3 times a day. It really only takes a couple of minutes. I give them their treats (greens) once a day in their water just before I change the mat, usually in the mid afternoon, as they go nuts and the water is spraying everywhere!!! I have 5 absorbent mats and I wash them in the laundry and recirculate them. I have 2 teenage boys so laundry is done at least once a day. I stir up the rest of the shavings at the same time and totally replace them a couple of times a week. My pine shaving consumption has decreased dramatically!!!
     
  5. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2010
    Minnesota
    I had the 31 ducklings in a big tub for the first week with cookie sheets under the water and the food as I wet the food into a mash. I think with this set up I cleaned it out every other day and put in extra shavings every few hours.

    Then after that week I made up a room in the barn for them, where at week 5 they still are. Right now they are going through 7 gallons of water a day + any swimming water I put in. I end up doing spot cleaning every day and week to less than a week I clean out the whole room.
     
  6. Caprice_Acres

    Caprice_Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2010
    Michigan
    This year we made large brooders (2'x5') that have hex mesh walls and 1/2"x1/2" hardware cloth as the floor. I'm brooding my imprinted duckling in one right now, and it works GREAT for ducklings. We just throw a tarp under, which works best for chicks, obviously. If i was brooding more ducks I'd probably put a cut off barrel underneath the end with the waterer, to catch the spilled wate. Otherwise, handfuls of shavings and lime below the brooder keeps it dry and smell-free... and only needing changing sporadically.

    Since I don't think sitting on the wire is all that great for their feet 24/7, I've been exchanging handfuls of hay in there every other day or so. My goats waste a bunch of hay no matter what I do, and I just reuse it as bedding for one kind of critter or another.
     
  7. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    These are some great ideas. i really appreciate all the input. Relatively new to ducks, other than the two i raised before. Another question i have is, how soon would they want water to swim in?
     
  8. Broodica

    Broodica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 20, 2010
    Cascade Foothills, WA
    I put mine in the bathtub after they were about a week old for about 5 mins to begin with, if not less. Once they are just standing around, out they come. Now that the older ones are so much larger, they go in for about 10 mins until they are just standing around. I am assuming they are tired at that point and you don't want them water logged. They LOVE it. Water is 90F and I only fill it up to the point where they can still stand. They paddle around and dive under and look like little torpedoes....in fact if you saw them under the water, you'd think they were penguins until they pop up to the surface again. Afterwards, I dry them off in a fluffy towel and then we walk back to the brooder and in under the heat light they go. They spend the next 10-15 mins preening, then eating and drinking and then they are all asleep. Love bath time!
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
  9. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    I brooded mine in a rabbit cage (the kind with the plastic bottom and wire top) for the first two weeks, with potty pads under them to absorb the water, and I would change the pads out daily. Around two weeks, when they would get messier, I would move them to the bathtub. It's soooooooo much easier to clean the tub out. Whatever mess they make I would wash it down the drain, spray the babies a little, and then give them an inch or two of water to splash around in to get them used to water. I've raised 13 ducklings this way and not lost a single one, and they all thrived/are thriving. One pair is a year old now, 4 are 7 months, and 7 are about 7 weeks old. Everyone is outside now and doing quite well. I moved the first two outside when they were full feathered, I moved the 4 that are 7 months old outside when they were about 3 months old, and since the summer days were so nice, I moved the last batch outside when they were about 4 weeks old. They're not fully feathered yet, but they are doing quite well. My ducklings would poop at the end of the tub closest to the drain and then sleep at the other end, and we rinsed the tub out two to three times a day. It was so much faster and with no risk of mold growing from all the moisture. If chickens swam and their poop washed down easier, I'd brood them in the tub too, lol!
     
  10. Broodica

    Broodica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cascade Foothills, WA
    Chicken-China-Mom - What did you use on the bottom of the tub so they weren't slipping around and what were they sleeping on? Did you still use the heat lamp? Your set-up sounds so easy, a little more detail would be greatly appreciated! I have 4 ducklings together, 2 of them are getting on 3 weeks old and 2 of them are almost 2 weeks old.
     

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