Hi everyone, I ordered 4 ducklings and they should be coming in next week! (Yes I know winter is coming) For the past 2 weeks I have been scouring BYC and Google for "raising duckling guides." I've read them all and for the most part am pretty confident that my ducks will live both happily and healthy. This is now just a final checklist to make sure I have everything in check and to answer a few questions I am feeling a little doubt towards. Hopefully everyone here (with more experience ) can help out! **** That's currently our brooder design (please comment any suggestions etc). My only concerns really with it are the temps under the bulb and the size--as it is holding 4 ducklings haha. I imagine I'll how to invest in a new one in a few weeks or so. Next weekend I will put in the bedding and try to elevate the food/water dishes. Of course also putting in the bulb guard. I have a 125 W bulb, 85 W Flood Light, and 60 W incandescent. As of right now, after testing, the temps DIRECTLY UNDER the bulb can go up to 100 degrees but the surrounding areas like maybe an inch over or so is like 10-15 degrees cooler. Would this be alright for the ducklings? Especially since they will have the house heat as well on top of this? Should I just go with a 40W bulb? Do I also leave the heat lamp on 24/7? When can I start turning it off? **** (Okay just some general questions as they come to mind) 1. When they arrive I wanted to feed them GroGel. I was kinda hoping to feed them this off my hand or so to bond with the duck right away. Is that a good idea? Or should I just put it on top of the starter feed? 2. When I start feeding the ducklings the starter feed (day 2+) should I put water in it to make it mushier? So they can eat it easier? Or does the water bowl kinda answer this issue? 3. When do you think they can go on their first swim? I ordered the ducklings with a few friends and they are eager to have them swim. I've read A LOT of different opinions on this and was going to wait a day or two before a supervised short swim. What do you guys think? 4. Will the dust from the wood shavings be a health issue to the ducks? Should I just put a bedding down and then cover over it with puppy-training pads? 5. I've read that ducks naturally bathe and clean themselves in water. I have purchased some pet-baby-wipes so as to clean them off every once in a while. If they are pooping as often as everyone says how often should you clean them off? 6. Besides obviously loving them and taking good care of them, what are some good methods to bonding with the ducks? I've heard singing to them, and giving them treats. I'm a little anxious that my duck won't be as bonded to me as I'd like haha *** That's really all the questions I can think of now, perhaps I will think of more once everyone gives a little input. I'm sorry if there are already posts like this, as I mentioned, I have read most of them and now just want these last little comments/advice. This is my first time with ducklings and I'd rather not lose any in this trial raising process. So if anyone has advice or comments or answers that'd be greatly appreciated Please understand my naivety on fowl care! Thanks!