Ducks + water

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by 2Sesslers, May 3, 2017.

  1. 2Sesslers

    2Sesslers Chillin' With My Peeps

    We got 7 ducklings on 4/12. I'm assuming they were a few days - a week old, they came from TSC.

    They are so much fun and are getting BIG! They're kind of in the ugly stage and getting feathers in place of down.

    I am aware, and was aware that they're MESSY! They LOVE the water! This is my first hoorah with ducks as we've always had chickens in the past. I have a few questions::

    1. Do I need to leave food/water in their "brooder" 24 hours a day?

    2. They get everything soaking wet and then it doesn't seem like they want to lay down. Their water is in a tote with a cut out for them to climb in and drink and they still manage to soak EVERYTHING! Help me find a solution for their water so we can try to curb the wet - it was going fine until about a week ago. It's still a little chilly here and I don't want them to get chilled. I don't think they're ready to go outside yet...

    3. Our chickens free range. Will the ducks be ok doing that as well? Or will they wander off?

    4. Should they still be on Chick starter feed?

    Thanks for reading this far :) [​IMG]
  2. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    Keep the on starter till they lay, I've never had much luck with water problems so I don't know about that. Water needs to be in the brooder at all times, food can just be during the day if you like. My ducks free-range, after being kept in the chicken yard only for a few months
  3. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    You have a start with the water in a separate bin, but raise it up off the floor with hardware cloth or something so water they splash around goes into the bottom of that bin. Skip the shavings. Just empty the bin of splashed water.
    Now that they are larger, you might want to swap to something different for water anyway so they can get their bills and eyes into the water to keep clean. Try a plastic container of some sort with a hole or two cut in the lid that is big enough for them to dunk their heads in, but not climb into.
    I found the chick waterer to be fine for them as long as they had a trip or two a day to water to be able to get themselves cleaned up. They were still able to get their nares into the base of the chick waterer. If they don't get swim visits, then they will need something to dunk their head.

    If you have food available, they need water. I'd leave 24/7 access until they are 4-6 weeks old and then you can pull at night if you feel necessary, but if you can get some control on the water, it should be fine overnight.

    If you are taking them out for field trips to the yard, they should stick close to you. They will get an idea of what areas are safe with you and then on their own, explore a bit more until they have their area they are comfortable with.
    My back 4 acres are fenced. The ducks probably only use about an acre of it. Our chickens too.

    You can keep them on starter, or after a month or so, swap them to a grower or flock raiser. Just pay attention to the protein levels. I used flock raiser when I have ducklings with no issues and just added niacin to their water.
  4. Waddlein

    Waddlein Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 26, 2017
    Olympia, Washington
    1. Try to
  5. 2Sesslers

    2Sesslers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes... a raised bin with hardware cloth... I can't think of anything?!!!! The only reason there are shavings in the water tote is because they seem so slippery. I'll toss them! They hold the stink!!
  6. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2013
    your brooder looks good, but i dont know why you need 2 heat lamps, i would remove one
    also yes water should be available 24/7, you should be feeding and all-flock raiser crumble, it has the added niacin and protein that ducks need
    make sure to add niacin to their feed or they could end up with leg troubles
    i would leave the waterer where it is and put the food outside that box in that empty corner, then they cant fill the food with water
    also make sure that you are decreasing the temp in the brooder by 5*/week
    ducks are hardier than chicks in the temperature sense
  7. purslanegarden

    purslanegarden Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2016
    While the ducklings can deal with water, you might still want to keep the brooder dry for your sake of not having to clean it so often. Chick starter is fine as long as it is not medicated chick starter. The reason is that ducklings eat more / more often than chicks and they might overdose on the medicine.

    You'll need to know if your duck variety can fly. If they can, you may have to find a way to keep them in your property area. If not, then they can graze along with the chickens without any special care or attention to stopping them from flying out of their surroundings.
  8. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2013
    medicated and non medicated doesnt really matter, the overdosing myth has been disproven, but they do need more protein than the chick starter contains as well as other nutrients that are not included
    especially niacin,
    they really need an all-flock type feed
  9. 2Sesslers

    2Sesslers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Only one light is on - the other is still there from when they were tiny. We should probably take that down, huh? The feed is not pictured in this photo but is kept on the opposite end from the water.

    I add niacin - Can you share an exact ratio? I've seen several for large bags of feed but what if I'm putting it in their waterer! Or sprinkling it in their food? How much per gallon?!
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  10. 2Sesslers

    2Sesslers Chillin' With My Peeps

    No idea if they fly - Rouen, Pekin, Khaki Campbell, Black Sweedish

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