Do naturally hatched ducklings need supplementary food?

Bellamausi

In the Brooder
Mar 20, 2017
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13
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So this is my first time naturally hatching ducks. First time for the momma duck too, but apparently she knew what she was doing, lol.

We have five acres, and our ducks are totally free range, except at night, when I lock them into their coop.

Her nest is in a blackberry bush, and she has successfully hatched two ducklings so far out of six eggs. I've only let her keep 3 out of 14 she laid, but somehow she ended up with 6, lol.

Anyways, my question is, are the ducklings going to get enough food? I may separate them from the flock when she comes out with the babies, depending on how everyone, my other 5 muscovies and my 7 anoncas, receive them. I don't think their will be a problem, because I'm pretty sure, all the muscovies already know there are baby ducklings born, since they've been hanging around the blackberry bush a lot. Kind of cute to watch.

Anybody have experience with raising free range ducklings?
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
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If you feed them they will grow faster and be healthier.

It is hard for those little guys to catch enough bugs for a full tummy.

However, if you decide to feed them, you will have to feed enough for EVERYONE to get some, or separate them out.
 

Bellamausi

In the Brooder
Mar 20, 2017
16
13
47
I do feed my adult ducks organic feed daily, but the grains are probably too big for the babies. I did get baby food today, but like you said, I would have to separate them so they are able to eat, or the others will just eat it all. Baby food or not.
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
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yep... true.

With my muscovy flock the mama duck will USUALLY keep the rest of the flock away from her babies and the baby waterer and feeder that I put directly at the nest.

But... if the mama is too low on the totem pole, that doesn't work.

Do note that I have to be super careful with water bowls for about the first 3 weeks.
 

Bellamausi

In the Brooder
Mar 20, 2017
16
13
47
Does the mama keep using the nest even after the babies have hatched and are walking around?

Or will she try and go back to the coop at night with the other ducks? I do have another area I could keep her and her ducklings separated from the others at night, and even during the day, if need be.
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
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Jul 26, 2008
33,508
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Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
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mine usually like to stay at the nest spot for the first week.

I do find that first time mom's (and bad moms) will sometimes start walking around before that first week is up.... and that is how I usually loose ducklings. :(
 

Bellamausi

In the Brooder
Mar 20, 2017
16
13
47
She's been so good so far. Almost every day, twice a day, she left the nest like clockwork. Doing her little routine of cleaning, and preening, swimming, and eating. I would hear when she'd come out, by her high pitched squeak. Then I would feed her.

I will keep an eye on her and see what happens.

Thank you for answering my questions. How many Muscovies do you have?
 

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