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Brooding ducks in cold weather... HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Dylon, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Dylon

    Dylon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ordered some ducklings today. I know the season isn't ideal, but one thing lead to another and I had to delay buying them. This is my first time brooding ducks. I have done quail and chickens though.

    - They will be started out in a barn. With heat lamp in a storage bin.

    - I will feed them a general poultry starter that isn't medicated.

    - I plan to use wood shavings as a bedding



    I know they will grow out of this set up quickly. So wanted to put them in a little pen behind the barn. It is covered with a roof and is fenced in. They will be in a pen, inside this enclosure. I will still be able to give them a heat lamp and maybe spread some hay on the ground.



    This is my plan. Give me suggestions. All comments are welcome.

    My main concern is that it is starting to get cold. It never really gets colder than 45 at this time of year in south Alabama. That's why I will leave the light. When do you think they won't need it???
     
  2. erinszoo

    erinszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When they start getting feathers they'll be fine. We have a 7 week old that is outside full time already in northern oklahoma.

    We don't advocate using woodchips in the brooder as they will eat everything and the wood chips can impact. We use straw. Also they won't need starter food for more than a couple of weeks. Then you can drop the protein level.
     
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  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Before moving them outside they should be fully feathered.
     
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  4. Dylon

    Dylon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks guys!! I just bought hay too so that's perfect
     
  5. Dylon

    Dylon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can I start them on a general poultry starter? I read that it should be for broiler birds and not a general starter.

    When do I dial back the protein? Like 3 weeks??
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Yes they can eat chick starter but you'll need to supplement them with some niacin since chick feed doesn't give ducklings the amount of niacin they need you can buy "Plain" niacin at any store that carries vitamins, but will probably have to ask for the plain and that's the one you want, 100-150 mgs in a gallon of water daily till 10 weeks old. or you can buy Brewers yeast[not baking yeast] and sprinkle on top of feed daily 2 teas to 1 cup of feed. If you read this it will explain all you need to know about caring for your ducklings when they arrive..
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750869/raising-and-caring-for-ducklings#post_10611711
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  7. Dylon

    Dylon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. That helped so much
     
  8. erinszoo

    erinszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We've never used niacin with ours and we've been breeding them for a couple of years now without issue but we also feed fodder to them from almost the beginning. Don't use medicated feed with them.
     
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  9. Dylon

    Dylon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I may try it without later. But I have the worst luck so I'm going to use it this time
     
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  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I think that's wise, some ducklings seem to do fine on chick starter others need the extra niacin, it's inexpensive so best to use it on all and avoid any problems.
     

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