Brooder Advice as Ducklings Grow

patrickftobin

Chirping
Jul 7, 2022
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76
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Hi everyone, I’m new to the site and have been reading a lot and posting a bit.

I have 5 Rouen ducklings, 10 days old. They are in a kiddie pool with some hardware cloth around it so they can’t jump out. I am using rubber shelf liner for the floor pads with newspaper under it to collect moisture. I change and clean the paper and shelf liners every morning, and clean the pool.

I have the chuck waterer and add another water dish so they can clean nostrils. They are all active and eating and drinking normally.

They make a mess quickly as you know and I want them safe and healthy. I’m a new duck dad and am trying to read as much as I can to make them comfortable. Not sure if I should be cleaning the pool twice a day. I’ve attached a pic of my setup

As they are growing, I wonder if anyone has advice for a bigger brooder? As you can see the room available is shrinking. I thought about getting a toddler playpen and putting a tarp under it with the newspaper and then shelf liner on top of that. Don’t worry they are not walking on newspaper.

Another question, I have them in a room that has a base temperature usually in the 70s and I sometimes see them open and close their mouths, I am giving them fresh water many times a day. Can I leave a window open in the room during the day so it doesn’t get too stuffy?

I want the best for them, sorry for the long post, any advice appreciated! Thank you,
 

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When I had 4 ducks, I changed that brooder 3x-4x a day. Clean that sucker as often as you need to live comfortably - lol!

A playpen would be great! Just be aware that they fling water everywhere! It will go through the sides of the playpen and get the surrounding area wet, so be aware of placement or put a barrier around the bottom part of it.

Leaving a window open is fine! That won't create a draft that will harm them. The only time I might worry is if it gets very cold, but it's summertime (assuming you're in the northern hemisphere). They'll be fine!

And the sooner you can get them outside, the happier you will be! Love ducks, but not in my house! Haha!
 
For a bigger brooder, I like to use chloroplast and cube racks to make a brooder. It is commonly used for guinea pigs, and I found it works really well for ducklings. Here is an example of it below. I use it in different sizes depending on how many I raise. I also like to get them outside for part of the day as early as possible. It really helps make things more manageable.

PXL_20210221_183656158.jpg


I often use shavings. After using washable puppy pads for an injured duck, I would probably just use those in the future for ducklings.
 
For a bigger brooder, I like to use chloroplast and cube racks to make a brooder. It is commonly used for guinea pigs, and I found it works really well for ducklings. Here is an example of it below. I use it in different sizes depending on how many I raise. I also like to get them outside for part of the day as early as possible. It really helps make things more manageable.

View attachment 3180298

I often use shavings. After using washable puppy pads for an injured duck, I would probably just use those in the future for ducklings.
Thanks! I got a puppy tent for them for outside but I’m reading online 3 weeks is the benchmark before outside time. I have a pen built for them for when they are feathered out, but with them being so small still I don’t wanna put them in there. Any good smaller outdoor pens you’d recommend for their young periods?
 
When I had 4 ducks, I changed that brooder 3x-4x a day. Clean that sucker as often as you need to live comfortably - lol!

A playpen would be great! Just be aware that they fling water everywhere! It will go through the sides of the playpen and get the surrounding area wet, so be aware of placement or put a barrier around the bottom part of it.

Leaving a window open is fine! That won't create a draft that will harm them. The only time I might worry is if it gets very cold, but it's summertime (assuming you're in the northern hemisphere). They'll be fine!

And the sooner you can get them outside, the happier you will be! Love ducks, but not in my house! Haha!
Ok I’ll clean more often, and yes I’m in Maine so it’s low 60s at night. Thank you!
 
Thanks! I got a puppy tent for them for outside but I’m reading online 3 weeks is the benchmark before outside time. I have a pen built for them for when they are feathered out, but with them being so small still I don’t wanna put them in there. Any good smaller outdoor pens you’d recommend for their young periods?
For outdoors, it depends on the weather. When it is in the 90s and above, I would start taking week old ducklings outside. Everything for pens I have built. For short outings, I have put them just in a small fenced area under some cover. Dog kennels can work great if they are modified.
 
I think your ducklings are big enough to have pine shavings ontop of the shelf lining. I would size up to a larger kiddie pool brooder and introduce them to pine shavings -- you can just add more on top of the wet patches, but scoop out any poopy messes.

I have a dog exercise pen that I use for new ducks I need to keep separate [see but no touch] from my flock outside. These can be used indoors -- there are rubber protectors that go under the sides to prevent scratched floors. I have seen pictures on this forum of the same pens used inside for ducklings with puppy pads. I, personally, think that puppy pads are expensive.

Another alternative would be old towels, if you have enough, that can be rinsed and then put through the washing machine cycle.

I love the photo of your ducks in their brooder: lots of places for them to run around and explore!!!
 
Can you size up to the next biggest plastic pool? That is what I have done.
The one I have now is 4 or 5 feet in diameter and they are outgrowing it. I’d need a pool that I can easily get through a doorway to clean it outside :/

They will still be inside for another 4 or 5 weeks. Not sure if I’ll be able to find another pool I can get outside easily, and also all the pools I find are like 12” high maximum and the ducklings will maybe be able to jump out soon enough.
I think your ducklings are big enough to have pine shavings ontop of the shelf lining. I would size up to a larger kiddie pool brooder and introduce them to pine shavings -- you can just add more on top of the wet patches, but scoop out any poopy messes.

I have a dog exercise pen that I use for new ducks I need to keep separate [see but no touch] from my flock outside. These can be used indoors -- there are rubber protectors that go under the sides to prevent scratched floors. I have seen pictures on this forum of the same pens used inside for ducklings with puppy pads. I, personally, think that puppy pads are expensive.

Another alternative would be old towels, if you have enough, that can be rinsed and then put through the washing machine cycle.

I love the photo of your ducks in their brooder: lots of places for them to run around and explore!!!
thank you! Yes I switched to pine shavings on Tuesday and they are doing well, nibbling and eating it a little
But but I’ve heard that’s normal and they seem to be kinda getting over it. I bought a toddler playpen gate enclosure so they will have more space and will put a tarp on the floor with the pine shavings on top for them :)
 

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