Duckling Care

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by sowellj, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. sowellj

    sowellj Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 29, 2009
    I was the home room mom who brought the duck eggs in for the class and since the two have hatched my husband and daughter would like to try and keep them. I have a bunch of questions. I have the Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks but I still have a few items I am not clear on.

    When can ducklings start having lettuce etc? (They are on starter now)
    Do they need grit when started on these?
    When can they be housed on an outside screened porch? (In a pen) North Florida

    We live in a neighborhood and have a creek that goes to the river behind our house. I know you can't let them loose there but can I keep them in our yard when they get older. The picutures show the backyard. You can't see it in the picture but the fence has a three foot or a little higher mesh around it to keep in our little dog. We do have hawks, owls and some racoons there are about 100 feet of wetland area behind the fence. Will they mess with the adult ducks during the day? I would have something to put them in at night. Sorry about the long post.


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  2. sowellj

    sowellj Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 29, 2009
    I called a feed store and they said ducks don't need grit. Is that true?
     
  3. ohsnapitscharity

    ohsnapitscharity Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2009
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    its is true they dont need grit. cant help with the other stuff sorry.
     
  4. sowellj

    sowellj Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 29, 2009
    thank you. I have seen conflicting views.
     
  5. Willowbrook

    Willowbrook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 7, 2008
    western PA
    In a controlled environment (your yard) and being fed only a processed pellet or crumble, ducks don't 'need' grit. If you provide them with grain in addition to their processed diet, grit certainly wouldn't hurt them.
    Oyster shell is beneficial to them, both male and female, and is 'digestible.' It breaks down and provides some minerals and calcium.
    If your duck had access to the stream and wooded area behind the fencing, they wouldn't need grit at all as they would be able to pick and choose what they want to eat.
    Speaking of that, you will be amazed how they will, for lack of a better word, destroy your lovely manicured yard. They love to eat plants and green and will dig with their beaks especially in loose soil or after a good rain.
    As a side note, my ducks are very aware of the stream on my property and I allow them to do there daily where they spend the day and return in the late afternoon/evening and put themselves in the barn. You would be surprised how ducks know what to do if given the chance. Don't rule out the possibilities.
     
  6. sowellj

    sowellj Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 29, 2009
    Thank you for your response. When they are still kept inside and given lettuce will they need grit? You think that if they were let out of the yard they would come back? I also worried about them getting in the neighbor's yard. Will 2 ducks cause alot of damage? We really only have grass in the yard.
     
  7. chickensducks&agoose

    chickensducks&agoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    mine like to dig up chunks of grass, and then wiggle the clump in their water.. then sort of spit water into the hole in the lawn, then dig up the chunk right next door.... repeat.... over and over...
     
  8. Willowbrook

    Willowbrook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 7, 2008
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    Lettuce will pose no problem for them, whatsoever. If you are going to feed something of that nature, kale, collards or turnip greens would be much more nutritious than lettuce.
    If you were considering letting them go to the stream, keep them in the yard for a period of time so they know where they live and where they sleep and eat. There is a good chance that they will find the stream and then return home later. Of course, I would never want to be the one to guarantee that they will, it's just that ducks are creatures of habit and know how to get home if they get themselves to the stream.
    As far as "damage" goes, you have to decide how much you are willing to overlook. Ducks are dirty. There, I said it! They love to dig and make mud water with what they dig. They are not just going to be lawn ornaments that do nothing all day. They have a plan and they want to have fun doing it.
    Even if you don't allow them to go to the stream, they should have, at least, a small child's wading pool in order to clean themselves and paddle around. Ducks without water do not stay clean and they don't really enjoy life.
    I think if I had to bottom line this for you, if you are fastidious and cannot have a bit of upset in your yard and garden, ducks may not be the best choice for you. I won't even get into the poop issues!
     
  9. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    Well you only have two ducks and a very big yard. Yes, there will be duck poop, but you're not going to see the damage that some of us with smaller yards/pens and larger flocks see. Not even close. I would worry a little about the dog, and wouldn't trust the dog around the ducks alone for quite a while.

    Nettie has compiled the The ULTIMATE list of DUCK Treats and Supplements...
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=242460

    She and Joe have also have a website about the culinary journey of their two pet ducks. It's a great read!
    http://www.indoorducks.com/

    They are on facebook as well.
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/Indoor-Ducks/159158993212

    I think you will love having your two new friends. [​IMG]
     
  10. sowellj

    sowellj Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 29, 2009
    These two little guys are barely 4 days old but they keep chirping and running around wild in their brooder bin. It is hot out today so we took them out to the patio. They were running all around. They kept playing with their waterer so I put a lid out with water in it and they went crazy in it. I only let them play for about 15" then I dried them off and put them back inside in their bin.
    Is it ok for them to splash around as long as they don't get chilled?
    At this age how long can they run around outside their brooder?

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    Last edited: Oct 31, 2009

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