Duck Questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by QuackSpeak, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. QuackSpeak

    QuackSpeak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay. So I'm a new user on BYC, but not new to the site...Sort of a lurker [​IMG]. But I got bored today, and finally joined which I should have done a long time ago lol. So, I had two ducks but they passed six moths ago.. It's amazing how much u can miss two little ducks they were family ...We think a predator got them, but it was weird, no blood and very minimal feather count... Plus, they went one by one, with Aye disappearing one day and Orrun disappearing the next (We looked everywhere for those ducks, they were very slow waddlers and couldn't fly).

    But after six months, my parents and brother and I decided to get ducklings again...I was wondering something. So, in our pen, there's this area where the ducks would hang out/eat/drink or swim in their water. They were there a lot, whenever we weren't home to let them free range outside or inside their duck house. What substrate should I use for this area? We used mulch, but it just clumped w the poop...So what should we use? Straw, hay, shavings, dirt? I wanted to grow grass, but quickly realized that would be impossible...Pls help!
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Hi!

    Backing up a bit . . . it's best to have the pen on a very slight slope so that water runs off and out of the pen. I have ours on a 2% slope (2 inches drop per 100 inches horizontal). Works great. I add some chopped straw as needed, sometimes once a week or once a month - depends on the weather. We have 13 ducks, average weight about 3 pounds, in about 100 square feet of pen. I take them out for walks also so they are not in the pen all day every day.

    You need to fix the security in the pen to make sure the predator does not get the new ducks.
     
  3. QuackSpeak

    QuackSpeak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah we are working on predator proofing their home before we get new ducklings... This wont happen again. Thank u for the info it has been helpful. I know where we can get some straw so this is very convenient [​IMG]
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. QuackSpeak

    QuackSpeak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. QuackSpeak

    QuackSpeak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay.. Here's another question. So, I got my old ducks in the summer, as little two day old ducklings in the mail. Because we got them in the summer, our schedule was a lot more flexible. I mean, I had camp, but it started at nine and ended at three. Plus, if I wanted to, I could skip camp to hang out with my two tiny ducklings in the basement [​IMG].

    But, this year, we will be getting ducklings when school is still on. So, I wake up at 6:30, leave for school at 7:10 and come back home at around 2:50 or 3:00. So, I was wondering.. How much time should I be spending with the feather puppies as ducklings and juvenile ducks to ensure that they are tame and trusting as adults? A number of hours would be appreciated...Like, I spent X hours with my ducklings every day, and they grew up to trust me.

    I mean, I will spend all available time with the ducklings, but the issue I have is how much time I have. So, another question is, should I wait ( [​IMG] ) until the first week of April to get my ducks, because that is when we have Spring Break? That way, I can spend a lot more time with them in that first week than I normally would. Or, can I just get them whenever and spend the time that I can with them?

    Another thing: When we had Aye and Orrun (Pronounced I-A (Like you are saying the letter I and then A) and O-Roo) (Sorry for the names, they are in a different language I love them anyways) their brooder was in the basement...It worked well, I would bring them upstairs a lot..But do u think that it would be better for the brooder to be upstairs, where all the people are? I'd love for their brooder to be upstairs, but my parents (More specifically, my mom - I love her anyways she just says theyll stink up the place lol) say no...Not much a twelve year old girl can do..

    And do duck leashes work? We're thinking of buying, so we can take them to the pond - we know where to get some (Not a diaper harness, just a regular harness - sort of what you'd see on a small dog but modified for birds).

    And, also - last question, I promise [​IMG] - what can I do to entertain them? I've heard a lot of ideas: Parrot toys, veggies in their water so they can dabble, mirrors, stuffed animals - but which of these worked for you? And if you can add anything to the list of entertainment, that would be appreciated..

    So:
    1) How many hours per day can I spend with the ducklings to ensure a bond (But not an imprint)
    2) Should I wait until Spring Break to get them, or not?
    3) Would it be better for their brooder to be upstairs (Maybe I can pull some strings lol)
    4) Do duck leashes work?
    5) Duckling entertainment - things that work

    Thank you for reading this long long post - sorry for that.. [​IMG]
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    No apologies necessary (c:

    Each duck, each flock is unique. So there is variation in what works. People are that way, too, wink!



    So:
    1) How many hours per day can I spend with the ducklings to ensure a bond (But not an imprint)

    If you can spend a few minutes in the morning, some time in the afternoon, and again in the evening, even if it's not a really long time every time, that will help. Some ducks will be a little shy no matter what, some will be friendly no matter what.

    Also many ducks go through a time when they are about 3 weeks old that they get scared of everything. It's just a phase - keep spending time near them but not so near you scare them.

    2) Should I wait until Spring Break to get them, or not? Might be more fun for you, go with your instincts

    3) Would it be better for their brooder to be upstairs (Maybe I can pull some strings lol) Our brooder was upstairs and we had - with eleven Runner ducklings - no smell issues. I also cleaned out the brooder between 3 and 5 times a day. And - I did not have the water management handled very well. I would probably do better if we ever brood ducklings again, because I know what I need to do to control water. What smells the most, in my opinion, is wet food. Water actually makes everything smell worse because it pushes the air out, and food and poo without air are the stinkiest.



    4) Do duck leashes work? Several people I know of use the duck leashes and are happy with them. The Indoor Duck thread probably will have people you can ask.


    5) Duckling entertainment - things that work - treats (make sure you feed them chick grit according to instructions (I used Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks for information on how to do it right), a string that will not fall apart and will not come loose from the edge of the brooder (if they eat string that is very bad for them) - Einz loved tugging on string just above her head. Unbreakable mirrors seem to be fun for them - it looks like more ducks.

    Treats include chopped greens (not spinach to be on the safe side), sprouted wheat, thawed frozen peas, dried meal worms. These things served in a shallow pan of water are loads of fun - and involve some cleanup, so I would give treats right before cleaning out the brooder.
     
  8. QuackSpeak

    QuackSpeak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! All of these answers are really helpful!

    I'm relieved that I can spend enough time with the ducklings, regardless of my schedule.. I want them to be as tame as Aye and Orrun - tamer, if possible! And yeah, they did go through that 3 week phase - almost overnight, they just started running from e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g! The hose, us, scattered food, the gate! Lol but they grew out of it. And. about waiting until Spring Break - it will be a very long wait for me. I'm really impatient - but maybe it will be worth the wait, if the ducklings can spend more time with us. Guess I'll just have to distract myself with something else so I don't go crazy with Duck Wanting lol. And, as for the leash, I think I'll just buy it (Well, three, one for each duck) Just to see if it works. If it does, itd be rlly cool though! [​IMG] Thx for the advice
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    When I have to wait, I throw myself into preparing. I design the coop, the brooder, the run, find things I'll need (like unbreakable thermometer, unbreakable mirror, old towels, whatever). I test out my brooder setup....it reduces anxiety when the littles arrive.
     
  10. QuackSpeak

    QuackSpeak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Same! I spent this afternoon cleaning the coop, which was hard, because the hose is in for the winter... So I was lugging buckets of warm water and a sponge from Point A to Point B all afternoon! [​IMG] I'm glad I got it done though, bc now my dad can help me fix it up - put up better wire, fix the door, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017

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