Can ducklings drink from chicken nipples?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Gypsy07, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Like the header says, can ducklings drink from nipples?

    I've never hatched them before and I'm wondering about those big bills...
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I recall someone saying that they could be trained to use them for drinking, but if they can, they still need water deep enough to dip their little heads in, all the way up to their ears, for hygeine.

    Now, I know using the word "ducks" and "hygiene" in the same sentence may seem counterintuitive.[​IMG] But ducks and ducklings must be able to clean their eyes and ears and nares daily to prevent serious infections.

    So for me, even if I wanted to use the nipple waterers, I'd need to have a container for head washing in the brooder as well. In fact, I used a chick waterer, with a face washer on the side because the chick waterer was deep enough to drink from, but not deep enough for washing.
     
  3. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So the thing about pebbles in the waterers and drowning doesn't apply to ducklings then? I did wonder a bit after I saw pics of someone's two day old ducklings swimming in a tub. And also when I saw tiny wild goslings swimming in water that was so cold it hurt me to put my hands in it...

    I don't keep ducks - I'm just hatching some for a friend - so I have no idea what to expect from them. Thanks for your info.

    I shall make sure to give them a head-dipping sized [​IMG] tub in their brooder...
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I've read about pebbles in water, too. And I reckon there are cases of the tiniest ducklings drowning in too-deep water. See if you can find the pictures of gryeyes' duckling water station - she takes a clean empty margarine tub and cuts a hole in the lid just big enough for duckling heads to dip in there, but not so large they can get into the tub and get into trouble.

    If you want to be cautious, you could just let them use a chick waterer (nice and shallow), and then provide deeper water with supervision several times a day.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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  6. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ducklings can most definitely drown, because they are not yet waterproof. However, they will float for a long time before they drown. But without an easy (and I mean EASY because they are not usually gifted with strong problem-solving skills) exit and, better yet, an attentive mama, they will stay in past the point of waterlog. Most people don't recommend swimming-depth water for ducklings until they are fully feathered except under direct supervision (this is what you're usually seeing in pictures of bath tub ducklings). In the wild, the mother duck carefully regulates swim time, and ensures the ducklings can get out safely. And anyway, the wild is hardly a good model if you want to raise most of your babies as wild ducklings have a survival percentage somewhere in the low teens. So the best bet is a waterer like those already suggested. I just wanted to be clear that giving them *more* water is not necessarily better. This is definitely a case of "just enough is perfect."
     
  7. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Amiga and Curiosity for giving me that info. My ducklings are definitely not tiny and weak - they're great big monsters compared with the breed of chicks I normally hatch out! It's amazing how much more alert and aware they seem to be compared with day old chicks. And while I'm not planning on giving them access to my bathtub, I will definitely be giving them a face washing tub. Thanks again!
     
  8. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They can drink out of nipple waterers. Metzer Farms has these installed you can see pics on their website. I have nipple waterers for my chickens and have made one out of a 2 liter bottle for my ducklings. So far a few have played with it but its hard for me to be sure because when I get close, mom panics, which causes babies to panic. So, we'll see.
     

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