don't think I will ever brood ducks again! please help!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by sunket77, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. sunket77

    sunket77 Songster

    May 21, 2009
    Texas Hill Country!
    Oh my ok, they are adorable and absolutely fun to watch. BUT it seems like no matter what I try they are a terrible mess all the time. They are staying wet and gross because of what they do with their food and pooping. They can't stay wet all the time right? NOW one of them has a leg problem, I am so worried and I don't know what to do. It is a 4 week old cayuga or east indies (haven't figured out which yet) and one of his legs is sticking out up around his thigh and the lower part of his leg is going in, like he is stepping on his other foot. so he keeps shuffling sideways. All this after loosing one a couple of weeks ago:hit I just don't know what to do, I have raised many chickens with very few problems, but this seems to be my year for problems! [​IMG] even with chicks! We finally hatched baby call ducklings and one died so I got the other one a companion. And NOW it's having issues. OH and it's belly is looking bare, like, the feathers are gone but I can't tell if it's little pin feathers growing in or if it's loosing feathers from being wet all the time. PLEASE HELP! [​IMG] I am so worried about little Skittles I just thought I knew enough about ducks, and figured they couldn't be any worse than chickens. [​IMG] I clean out their brooder every day, and usually that really isn't often enough! [​IMG] by the time it's done it's STINKS and the ducks are nasty and I let them swim in the tub while I clean out their brooder.

  2. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    Yes, they are harder in the sense they make a much bigger mess.

    If you can't keep up with cleaning it, thats a sign they're ready for something a lot bigger, and probably outdoors. 4 weeks is definitely old enough unless you're in a really cool climate like high altitude.

    Try seeing if this site helps with the leg issues:
  3. SaraFL

    SaraFL Songster

    Apr 7, 2011
    Jacksonville, FL
    Oh yes, ducklings are so messy! I had no idea how smelly and wet they would be, much worse than chicks. I've only raised 1 batch of ducklings, and I didn't have any health issues with them, so hopefully someone with more experience will read about the leg and suggest something. In the meantime, you can try the chick/duckling vitamin and electrolyte supplement. It has niacin and other stuff in it, maybe it would help the leg with a few days of treatment. You just put it in their water.
  4. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Songster

    Apr 26, 2011
    orange county
    I raised two broods of ducks and geese this year and I'm ready for it to end! Just when the first brood was outside permanently and 8 weeks I got brood number 2 and started the mess and water problems all over... so at 3 weeks the young ones were in the big yard during the day all day in their own enclosure and now they have integrated with the big ducks... they still flock separately but its less work for me!

    Try to keep them outside during the day and you will stress out less. Just get 20 feet of hardware cloth and wire the two ends makes a huge circle yard and if you put that on your lawn with a tub of water and some food plus a board or two over the middle with a rug or towel spread across for shade they are good on their own all day. Make sure they have shade, especially the darker breeds. I'm telling you, you won't regret minimizing the day to day mess they make if they aren't always in their brooder. Each night you can hose down their poop and move the fence to a new place for the next day. So easy.
  5. cbohn80

    cbohn80 Songster

    May 2, 2011
    mine went outside with my chickens at 4 weeks old. i spent a few hours supervising so the chickens wouldnt peck them to death but it all worked out well. that night they all slept together in the coop and got along great. i just added more duckling at 3 weeks old. it was the ducks this thim that i had to supervise but after a few hours the ducks were inseperable.
  6. cracking up

    cracking up Songster

    Jul 29, 2009
    So Cal
    If you decide they're too young or too cold to go out all night you can put them in a brooder with no food or water for the night. I let them swim while I clean their brooder right before bed and then I put them on a 'dedicated' towel (I have several) in a rubbermaid tub for the night and then on the grass with food and water first thing in the morning. It keeps them pretty dry all night. Mine don't have a light all night, you can leave it on until they dry and get up in the middle of the night to turn it off.
  7. Birdcrazy

    Birdcrazy Songster

    Dec 21, 2009
    At four weeks old mine were living outside and only coming in to brood at night - they might be too big for your brooder now? Or maybe just have a little too much energy

  8. sunket77

    sunket77 Songster

    May 21, 2009
    Texas Hill Country!
    Thanks everyone! I just moved them to a bigger brooder, they are doing better, I am also trying a different kind of container with water. It's plenty warm outside for them we are hittting 100 degrees in the day time. I am just running out of places to put them, I guess my next project will be a duck pen ASAP my older pair of calls live with the chickens and I don't want to put them in there, it's chain link fence so they could get through it. I just needed to get started on a ducky palace to fit all their ducky needs! I am worried the adult ducks would hurt them also at this point.

    I splinted Skittles' leg with a popcicle stick and he seems to move around easier. I am pushing vitamins, so hopefully it will fix the problem!
  9. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    Good, that sounds like progress. I hope the treatment helps the leg problem.
  10. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    When you build, try to incorporate an area for water to fall through. A partial wire bottom with a catch pan (like a black concrete mixing pan, about $20 at Lowes) under it. That way the bedding and inside flooring stays dry but you don't have to deprive them of water.

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