Brooding ducklings in winter

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by samuelsonfarm, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. samuelsonfarm

    samuelsonfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2013
    Hi all, I have a couple of 3 week old ducklings (who I'm absolutely in love with) and as you all know, at this age they are very messy! My current set up is this:

    They spend the night in a Rubbermaid with a towel in the bottom. No food or water at night (I know, they are a bit young for that,but I can't handle th mess!)

    Early in the am,usually before 5, I get them out and into the tub with lots of food and water.

    They have about 3hrs of that, then I fill up the tub so they can bathe an I rinse all food and poop down.

    They go back into the box until about 4pm where we do the same routine again. For, then bath. I let them hang out in the tub for a while, then they get some fresh food snacks around 10pm(still in the tub)

    One more bath before bed, and they are in the box for the night.

    This is a very labor intensive system, bit it does cut down on the mess/smell. And I'm still washing 2 poppy towels a day. They are growing ell and are very happy and friendly. What do you all think? Is there a better way? I anticipate these two will be indoors until.fully grown given it is winter,.so I need to get a good system here. What else have you all done? Any suggestions? Would wood shavings be easier? Will th b ok to go outside once they have true feathers?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    This link has good info including some mess control options, while i know all to well the mess, 3wk old ducklings are too young to go without feed.water overnight..

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750869/raising-and-caring-for-ducklings#post_10611711

    as for moving into the coop, depends on your temps. I did have a winter clutch last Mar but they had a mama duck, it was a long while before the depths of our winter finally let go.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. samuelsonfarm

    samuelsonfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2013
    The link you sent said they need food and water 24/7 until 2 weeks old, mine are nearly 4. I'm ok with keeping them in for quite a while. What we are doing is "managable" since it is only 2 of them. I cant imagine doing it with more than that! We had our first brood outside full time by 4 weeks old, but that's because it was summer at that point. I was sooo ready to get them out of here! I love them so much, but dear Lord, they smell horrible.
     
  4. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    I prefer older, i follow Storey's guide to ducks where he starts several weeks old.. i guess i like a better foundation, to me 2wks is far to soon, especially if raising banty ducks i know all to well about the mess, this past year i had 3 different batches of ducklings in my house lol 2 premature scovies, 2 buff orpinngtons and two pairs of calls, plus we did some silkies twice(but those were chickens, way easier~)

    Do you have access to Storey's guide? i find it had good info on temps and so forth.. winter is harsh, makes it much harder to transition.
     

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