Ducklings are different sizes-sick?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by bantymum, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. Hi all,
    I have lost 3 ducklings so far and they were smaller than the rest, I also have some smaller ducklings which dont have the same energy and zest as the larger ones.
    Are boys larger? or maybe the smaller ones are also not thriving.
    Does anyone have any opinions, here they are:
  2. tx_dane_mom

    tx_dane_mom Songster

    Sep 23, 2007
    SE Texas
    I am on my 2nd batch of baby ducks, so I, by FAR, am no expert, but with my 1st batch (which are almost 2 mnths) all of the ones that were signifigantly smaller (like yours are) ended up passing. I pretty much left it up as 'natural selection' or 'strong will survive' type of thing. I started with 26 and ended with 18, which I thought was a drastic drop. I know some people have ALOT more time than I do and can keep a better watch & give the small ones individual attention and care & seperate them from the larger ones to help them cope & survive, but I just didn't catch it in time I guess. With this batch, if I have a group (5+) that are signifigantly smaller I will likely seperate them from every one & rear them apart so that the big ones don't hoard all the food (like I think happened last time) and the small ones will have a chance.
  3. Oh dear, Thankyou for that. I was afraid that may be the case. Has anyone else got any advice, are males larger than females???im guess im hoping its just a boy/girl thing.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Wow... with size like that I'd hand brood all the little ones as the bigger ones are the hogs! Like chickens, I don't think the size difference will tell anything about gender so young.
  5. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    Are they getting enough to eat? The larger ones may be keeping the smaller ones away from the feed. I agree with silkiechicken. Bring the little ones inside and brood them separately. Is Mama duck keeping them warm? I can't imagine she has much room under her. If ducks get chilled, they lose their appetite and fail to thrive. You can see that those little ones just don't feel good. [​IMG]

    Please bring those littlies in right away!
  6. Hello, thankyou very much, I lost another smaller one this afternoon so Ive brought the 2 remaining little ones inside. They were happy to handfeed from my lap and right now they are sitting on top of a warm water bottle!!! they love it!
    They arent cheeping for mum either. Im keeping them in and away from a swimming pool until I feel they need it.
    By the way, mum is happier out with the drake as soon as I let her out with him she jumped into his pool put her head down and waited for him to mate her.
    I would say that she has had enough of this bunch and wants to start again.
    I have put some avian vitamin drops in the water that I dip the small pieces of bread into and turkey starter , hopefully that will give them a boost.
    Any futher advice on a boost for them will be helpful right now.
    Thankyou again
  7. zatsdeb

    zatsdeb Songster

    Oct 2, 2007
    Lincoln, Illinois
    you should put them under a light, even a 60 watt bulb is ok if it is not too cold yet. I use 100 watt bulb just adjust it to not be too close. they need warmth and food and water. Thats what I did with mine. I kept getting them hatching out every day or so, cause another duck was laying in the same nest, thats why my ducks were different sizes.
    I brought them inside until they were a little bigger. they are so cute!!
  8. Thankyou, I have put in a red light for them and they seem really happy and snug. Yes im looking forward to having 2 tame ducklings, I hope they make it, I really do. I really wish that i had realised this was the case earlier with the other 3 that didnt survive. Ive had so much going on at home with school holidays and sleepovers. But thats another subject which has distracted me from my duckies.
    My son happily comes first, though at times during emergencies in the coop he comes second!!
  9. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I've never noticed a size difference between the sexes at this age.....certainly not as much as what your picture shows. I'd say it's probably from the smaller ones getting crowded away from the food which probably started earlier on when they got chilled. That's one of the reasons I always take mine's just easier to keep an eye on them. Makes more work for me, but in the long run I continue to care for them....while their mother rarely does. I've yet to see a mother duck (except maybe a muscovy) that would win a mothering award.
  10. Thanks Katy, yes mine isnt a mollycoddling mum at all.
    She did well at first but now doesnt seem to care at all.
    She took them for a swim in the pond at midnight the other night!! Ive taken the pond out now so she cant do it again.
    My other 2 littlies were sitting on my chest last night all snuggled up in a baby blanket, they are bonding to me rather quickly.
    Ill be keeping just the 2 of them, I hope they arent drakelings!!!
    The mother duck is ready to start laying again, she waits for the drake to mate her so ill be keeping an eye out on her and ill grab some babies as they hatch too when they do.
    Anyhow. any suggestions as to nice healthy food for them all.
    They are on turkey starter and cracked corn, thin pasta chopped up and lettuce, grass, tomato.

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