Ducks eating shavings

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by kodiakchicken, May 6, 2008.

  1. kodiakchicken

    kodiakchicken Songster

    Apr 18, 2008
    Kodiak, Alaska
    I've had my ducklings for a week now. I would say they were 2-3 days old (at least, they were a head taller than the chicks) when I got them. I've been keeping them on towels on top of newspaper, but the sopping, stinky towels was more than I could take. I used straw for bedding in their brooder/tote for a little bit, but it didn't do anything to soak up all the water they string all over. So, I finally broke down and put pine shavings in their tote, on top of newspaper. I figured everything would be fine because they already knew where their food was. Not so! They are total garbage guts and the first thing they started doing was eating the shavings. Are they going to be okay? I noticed later in the evening that they also ate their food and then they settled down. Was it just that the shavings were new and fun to play in?

    I was more worried about the chicks - I put shavings in their tote too - but they were perfectly well behaved ladies and went right for their food, ignoring the shavings.

    I'm getting really attached to my little ducks (even though they are messy little buggers!) and would hate to have anything happen to them. Any advice is appreciated!
  2. BikerBabeRules

    BikerBabeRules Songster

    Feb 13, 2008
    Vermont, USA
    my ducklings nibbled on their pine shavings also. I read on one of the "how to care for your ducklings" posts on the web, that we shouldn't give them shavings as they think they're food. At like 6 weeks I recall it said it was okay.
  3. I put shavings in about 1/2 their rubbermaid tub (where the light is) but only after a couple weeks of age. In the other 1/2, I have newspapers with a layer of paper towels on it. That way, their food / water is far away from the shavings and they tend to eat less of it that way. In addtion, I have a small water bowl (a heavy one that they don't knock over). This also helps keep down the mess. After about 3 weeks, they moved to the coop (and locked in with a hanging heat lamp). They just get too stinky/messy to be in the house & the Muscovies leap/climb out of their tubs and hang upside down on the wire--which can lead to broken toes & burnt feet! [​IMG]

    Ducklings/ducks are filthy, stinky little piglets and even with the best of care, they smell and make horrid messes. If you think it's bad now, just wait until they are 20 times bigger and have projectile poops, LOL
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2008
  4. raindrop

    raindrop Songster

    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    Mine have been on shavings all along. The first week or so I made sure to ALWAYS have grass in the brooder, and added grass to the surface of the water as often as possible. It made a bigger mess, but they had something to do with their constantly busy beaks. They did play with/eat the shavings occasionally, I also had chick grit available free choice in a little dish. They are 4 weeks old and are still doing well- they LOVE spending the day outside! I started that last week, they handled 60 degree days just fine.

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