Been there, done it.. but really scared!! New ducklings coming tomorrow for my little Eve.

Jul 3, 2020
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Hi everyone- well as many of you know- three of the four ducks i got in September passed away in the last three months.. i was left with my sweet Eve, who although she seems to be loving the attention, she would probably do better with friends... she is getting new sibs tomorrow.. from Metzer.

I have some new questions..
i am not using pine shavings this time for the first week bc i ended up reading on here that it could be dangerous.. is this true?

After a week can they come and sit on the lawn if it is 90 degrees ? or is this too hot bc they cannot regulate temperature yet? I start the heat lamp in the brooder at 90 degrees correct?

I am really anxious.. i can't t have what happened before happen again.. my heart is still hurting so much.. i see all the posts here and my heart rate starts going up! So many things can go wrong.. i am really hoping things go better this time mw around.

I want to say thank you all from all your kind and helpful responses over the last year.. it helped more than you could know.

I will take pics of them tomorrow and send them to you!!
 

Everose

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Premium Feather Member
Jan 16, 2021
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Hi everyone- well as many of you know- three of the four ducks i got in September passed away in the last three months.. i was left with my sweet Eve, who although she seems to be loving the attention, she would probably do better with friends... she is getting new sibs tomorrow.. from Metzer.

I have some new questions..
i am not using pine shavings this time for the first week bc i ended up reading on here that it could be dangerous.. is this true?

After a week can they come and sit on the lawn if it is 90 degrees ? or is this too hot bc they cannot regulate temperature yet? I start the heat lamp in the brooder at 90 degrees correct?

I am really anxious.. i can't t have what happened before happen again.. my heart is still hurting so much.. i see all the posts here and my heart rate starts going up! So many things can go wrong.. i am really hoping things go better this time mw around.

I want to say thank you all from all your kind and helpful responses over the last year.. it helped more than you could know.

I will take pics of them tomorrow and send them to you!!
I loved using hay for bedding, I used pine shavings and had no problem but I would go with hay every time. It forks right out of the brooder super easy and if they make a mess with water the hay drains and dries super easy, the shavings get wet and super matted down and slimy.

Ducks have wonderful heat and cold tolerance so as long as they have tons of shade, ventilation, water and maybe cool treats like frozen peas, watermelon, and tomatoes they should be fine (with treats chick grit is recommended). You might consider a little pool for them, just a shallow shaded pan with clean water would make them happy. My ducklings were outside swimming when they were only a few weeks old, as long as they can climb out they'll be fine.

Can't wait to see those pics!
 

Quatie

Free Ranging
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Oct 16, 2020
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Majority of the times no one has any issues with shavings. On rare occasions, ducklings eat a piece of shavings and get it stuck in their throat. It is not very common but can happen. Some people put them on towels the first few days or so of their life. If you are worried, put them on towels for the first few days of their life.

If it is warm outside, the ducklings can definitely spend time outside. The upside when it is warmer, you don't need to provide heat as much. I also take my ducklings out as early as possible as an opportunity to start introducing them to my ducks through fencing.
 
Jul 3, 2020
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Thank you both!!
yes.. i used pine shavings last time and had no issues.. but given what i just went through.. i thought i would use a whelping dog blanket, with some towels just for the first few days.
For my adult duck in my covered pen i use straw-n i pick it up daily and refresh and it is nice, she loves it ! I bring her in at night and in her playpen she has straw as well.
i will probably use pine shavings after the first week- since im more familiar with it- but YES i totally agree with you- it gets nasty!!

So, 90 degrees, then take down by 1 each day?
 

Everose

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, 90 degrees, then take down by 1 each day?
I have to confess...I've never used a thermometer and I've never adjusted heat. I rig the heat lamp to one side of the brooder and they get close if they need it and they walk away if they don't, kinda like in the wild with a mom. I pamper them until they have adult plumage, then they gotta do without fancy heat lamps.
 

Quatie

Free Ranging
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Oct 16, 2020
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So, 90 degrees, then take down by 1 each day?
I am the same way. It doesn't need to be precise. As long as they seem comfy, I don't worry. If I see them panting when they are away from the heat source, I turn off the heat. For me in the summer, I usually find by 3 weeks they no longer need added heat.

I agree giving them a heated and non-heated side. And then just take cue from them. They will let you know if they are hot or cold.
 

KaleIAm

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 13, 2015
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Carnation, Wa
Congratulations on the big day tomorrow!!

I used towels until mine were about 3 weeks. It was a lot of work, but like you I wasn't willing to take any chances. Just make sure there aren't any towel strings they can eat. Towel impaction is a thing as well.

I used a thermometer and followed the heat guidelines, and provided a cooler side. I believe it is 90 for the first few days, then 85 and decrease by 5 degrees per week. It was 6.5 years ago, so look that up for me!

I started letting mine have supervised swimming time in slightly warmed water in my bathtub at about a week. I took them out when they started slowing down, and promptly warmed them up. I've heard some incidents where ducklings became ill from being chilled by being wet.

I can't wait to see your babies tomorrow!!
 

Newfowler1

Songster
Jul 8, 2019
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Purcellville Virginia
Please post up the pictures tomorrow!
I have used paper towels for several weeks while in the living room Tupperware brooder. They are great for lazy or time limited people. I like being able to pull out a few sheets and replacing them without having to swap into a replacement brooder or dealing with the duck shuffle. It’s too simple to ignore I think.

I keep them in the house as long as I can stand the poo smells 😆 Last year the COVID paper towel shortage forced me to use pine shavings after two weeks. Shavings can get soiled quickly especially when they get water all over the place. I think the medium-sized flake is good. The finer smaller flake seems too small and boy O‘ boy it gets everywhere!!!

I prefer an overhead heat plate like a Brinesea on legs. I think their equipment is very well made, expensive Maybe but very high quality gear. I rarely brood more than 5 or 6 at a time unless they are keet.

On a cement floor there is much less fire risk. I had a bulb die overnight once and was lucky I didn’t loose any keets at the time, it was very cold in my barn that night. I did keep a spare on hand until I bought the heat plate, it’s so safe I am completely comfortable with using it in my home. I won’t leave a bulb like that on in my house unless I’m there.
 
Jul 3, 2020
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ok!! This was wonderful information. Thank You!
Well they are here!! got a call 5:30 this am- we went out to go ge them! God bless- they look lovely. So far so good. I have them in a playpen- with whelping dog blanket and other pet absorbing cover and a towel.
They are running and even trying to fly! I gave them, some sav-a-chick and they are eating and drinking and loving life!
i will send some pics- give me a few moments!!
 

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