Ducklings eating shavings?

Candice's Peeps

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jul 29, 2010
35
2
32
Northeast PA
Hello!

I have my first set of ducklings right now. I am watching them and it seems as if they are eating their pine shavings? They have food and water, which they do eat and drink, but I am watching them now and it seems as though they are eating their shavings? I just want to make sure they are not going to get hurt by doing so.

Thanks for your feedback!!

Candice
 

duck_shepherdess

In the Brooder
9 Years
Nov 7, 2010
81
4
29
I know how you feel. I just switched mine to shavings and they've been nibbling at the shavings. I keep telling myself that they're not swallowing them, they're just tasting them. They have me nervous though.
 

duckyfromoz

Quackaholic
10 Years
Jan 11, 2010
5,583
118
241
Australia
Ducklings are very inquisitive by nature- and even when raised outside with their mother- they will nibble on things that are not " food". They are unlikely to eat enough shaving to cause them any problems. I have used shavings for years- as with larger groups of ducklings ( most at one time is 42 under 4 weeks of age all in brooders ) it is the only realistic option I have. I have been using them for years with 7 to 8 hundred ducklings from the age of 3 days up - and never ones encountered an issue caused by a duckling swallowing large sized or too many shavings. I have just cleaned out the night pens where my 5- 6 week olds are currently housed. A layer of clean shaving- topped off with some hay and they are in duckie heaven rooting around in the clean bedding. Kind of remind my of putting a baby in one of those gyms filled with balls
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duck_shepherdess

In the Brooder
9 Years
Nov 7, 2010
81
4
29
duckyfromoz, I kept repeating to myself exactly what you said. Lo and behold they lived through the night and through today and looks like they still haven't managed to kill themselves with wood shavings despite spending half their waking moments chewing on them. Thanks for your help.
 

mominoz

Crowing
12 Years
Feb 17, 2009
1,037
135
296
North Georgia
How old are they? Most books say to use towels or wire the first couple days so they don't confuse bedding with food. I covered mine with a towel for the first week....
 

duck_shepherdess

In the Brooder
9 Years
Nov 7, 2010
81
4
29
They were on paper towels for the first week, in a small enclosure. I got the biggest, least appetizing wood shavings I could get. Fir, not cedar. (They were out of pine.) Now they are chewing on the stuff less and less, or maybe I've just stopped freaking out every time they do. Plus they are loving all the extra space in the new larger kiddie-pool brooder.
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duckyfromoz

Quackaholic
10 Years
Jan 11, 2010
5,583
118
241
Australia
Gorgeous babies!!!! They really do grow quick.. Fawn and white Runners are gorgeous. I was supposed to do an egg swap with a guy who has them late last year- but I ended up having too many of my own to hatch others as well at the time.

You may find that each time you change the brooder bedding they will go at the shavings more again - but they quickly loose interest when they work out its the same old shavings and not something yummy all over the ground.
 

duckking

Songster
9 Years
Sep 2, 2010
644
11
131
Cascade Foothills, WA
Gorgeous babies!!! Every time I put in new shavings, they would nibble at them, but never enough to harm them. They are just so curious!!! Even now at 7 months, I put new shavings in their house and they still go in immediately and nibble at it. I wouldn't worry about it....enjoy those cuddle butts!!!!
 

D'Angelo N Va.

Songster
10 Years
Dec 28, 2009
2,551
13
181
This is good information..Thanks so much. I am getting some baby geese this spring and hopefully my ducks will produce their own babies once they get started....Lord knows when that will be though.
 

loves2smile65

In the Brooder
5 Years
May 21, 2014
10
0
24
My first ducklings arrived about an hour ago and I had prepared the brooder tub with wood shavings and they started eating them right away. To say the least I freaked out like any new mom would
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. I quickly replaced it with an old towel for now. I am so thankful for this forum and this thread made me feel so much better! Should I try going back to shavings in a couple of day?
 

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