Ducklings drinking excessivly???

nanaluvsgps

Songster
7 Years
Apr 5, 2012
287
3
108
Australia
Hi peoples, I recently bought some sweedish blue and possibly crossed with a saxony ducklings. We have had them about 4 days, and they are the most skitish little ducklings, they won't let you go any where near you and they run so fast I spent 10 mins trying to catch them when they ran off the property! But the problem is I think they are drinking way to much water. They will do anything for water even stick there heads through the bars when you are bring the water dish over. We have a 1 1/2 L waterer and every morning it is empty (it doesn't leak) or with only a few spoons of water left. Are they ok and is it a breed thing for them to be shy. Any help appreciated.
 

mandelyn

Crowing
11 Years
Aug 30, 2009
2,488
1,155
391
Mt Repose, OH
My Coop
My Coop
Most ducklings are skittish, they're not known for being cuddly pets. The more you try to catch and hold them, the worse they can get. They tame down better and will come closer if you stop trying to hold them. It can take several weeks.

Water.. they play in it as well as drink it. They mix food in it, and just generally make a mess of it and go through it quickly. There are a couple of designs floating around for drinking stations that catch the mess and keep the bedding dry.

Depending on how many ducklings you have, you might need a larger waterer. The chick sized one only lasts until the 2nd week here, even if I only have 3 babies. They outgrow it fast. Week 3 I switch to a large sized automatic dog waterer.

Make sure they aren't too warm, they shouldn't be over 95F the first 2 weeks, then they need a decrease in heat after that. Dropping 5 degrees a week until they no longer need heat.
 

nanaluvsgps

Songster
7 Years
Apr 5, 2012
287
3
108
Australia
Thanks for the advice, I have 4 ducklings and a 100cm by 40cm cage is that big enough? and the majority of their poop is water, is that normal
 

jtbrown

Songster
8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
1,795
25
179
Southeastern Ohio
I am also new to ducks. We have 4 Pekins. I have had fun with them,but only after I got a larger space for them, and allowed them more access to water and made a screen for them under their water so bedding wasn't wet. Yes in my case the very watery poo was normal. I was shocked to say the least at the a,mount of water those 4 ducklings could go through. I think they will outgrow a cage your size quickly, mine did, but depends on breed and how fast they grow. Good luck.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16-17
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Oct 3, 2009
122,449
148,619
2,032
Mountains of Western N.C.
Hi peoples, I recently bought some sweedish blue and possibly crossed with a saxony ducklings. We have had them about 4 days, and they are the most skitish little ducklings, they won't let you go any where near you and they run so fast I spent 10 mins trying to catch them when they ran off the property! But the problem is I think they are drinking way to much water. They will do anything for water even stick there heads through the bars when you are bring the water dish over. We have a 1 1/2 L waterer and every morning it is empty (it doesn't leak) or with only a few spoons of water left. Are they ok and is it a breed thing for them to be shy. Any help appreciated.
Oh my gosh don't let them run loose when you first get them, as you found out they have no idea where they belong and you can lose them pretty fast. The way to a ducks heart is through his tummy, so spend lots of time with them not trying to hold them or even touch them but just sitting with them. Have dried meal worms or peas and start giving them out first aways from you and gradually putting the treats closer and closure to you this will take a while so don't get impatient. Never trying to get them to come so you can grab them. Most ducks don't like to be picked up or held. But they will get use to you and soon will enjoy your company. Ducks love water so they will go through it fast. Give them plenty of space because they are messy and will gum up their brooder quick. when you can and the weather is warm take them outside in an enclosed are and let them run around with you right there with them. Try to keep in mind ducks are considered prey so it takes a while for them to trust that when you come around your not going to eat them. And how about some pics of your new charges.
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
12 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,223
2,870
571
Southern New England
Welcome to Duckdom!

It is obvious you care about your ducklings, and that is encouraging! They are waterfowl, and will need more water. They do splash, so take a look at 70%cocoa and tweetysvoice ideas for watering stations and brooders.

They grow quickly as you can see, and I would triple the size of your brooder a.s.a.p.

Ditto Miss Lydia on getting them to calm down and relax. Running out of water is a nightmare for ducklings, which could add to their skittishness.

Keep them close, get into overprotective parent mode with them, they need that kind of care as they grow up, or, sadly, their chances of growing up may be low. Once grown, they can be more independent, but will always need protection from predators and other dangers. That list includes people´s feet, overly zealous children who don't know how to be gentle, family pets, raptors, wild animals, things that could fall on them, thirst, hunger, heat, cold, dead plant or animal material (botulism), insufficient nutrition (especially niacin for ducklings).

We would all love to see photo's if you can upload some! Do they have names yet? I had to wait a little while to name mine, as there were a number of them who looked identical until they grew up a little and developed their personalities.

My runners are all friendly, and some like to be cuddled a little bit. So spending time with them and demonstrating your care for them (treats) works.
 

wildpeas

Songster
7 Years
Mar 18, 2012
560
19
123
Port Orchard, Wa
Hi Nanaluvsgps
I posted on your goose thread a while back. Ducks can also get quite loud at times. Mine are pretty quiet at night but by 6.30 they are making a ruckus wanting to go outside since the sun is coming up earlier here now. Hopefully you wont have the same neighbor problems with the ducks.

Your ducklings are very quickly going to outgrow their cage. According to one of our duck experts each duckling needs a minimum of 0.7sq meters for the first 2 weeks, 0.15sq meters until 4 weeks of age, 0.25sq meters until 6 weeks, 0.3-0.5sq meters thereafter. These are minimums and its better to go bigger. I would say you are going to need to double the size of your water container. The first few weeks I could get away with a gallon size (about 3 liters?) but quickly had to move up to a 3 gallon one. Your ducklings also need food in front of them at all times at this age.

I hope everything works out this time!
 

nanaluvsgps

Songster
7 Years
Apr 5, 2012
287
3
108
Australia
Thanks for your advise. We had two muscovy ducklings and they let you pick them up and cuddle them and anything, they walk up to you and follow you. They have grown so much quicker thn the muscovies. We got a new waterer the other day and they seem happier. (its 5 L)
 

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