Easter Surprise

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Mariahdf7, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. Mariahdf7

    Mariahdf7 New Egg

    Apr 14, 2017
    Heller! I am Mariah, you could call me Dawn if you like.

    So, my mother just brought me a pair of ducklings home. An Easter present lol. I suppose I just have a lot of questions.
    Firstly, I know how you all probably feel about this, I agree already. They do not really make a good present XD
    I love them they are precious, but it's a bit of a shock to have to suddenly dive into duckling care lol. Like when you first jump in the pool. Any who, I have lots of dumb beginner questions. I assure you, I am an avid animal lover and they will not be abandoned by me.

    Well, feed. I've been perusing the forums here for awhile, I know how split the opinion on chick feed is. I have Manna Pro medicated chick starter, it was what the store had, and this was before I looked anything up lol. To save them and myself the trouble and worry, I am just going to order a duckling starter feed and take the chick feed back upon arrival. The store had duck food, but it was for adults. So, any advice/suggestions for a good brand of duckling starter? I just want them to have everything they need in the right balance.

    Uhm, I also have noooo clue how to tell their breed lol. Maybe it's impossible? I don't know XD Or their genders. Or age....help?? :L

    I bought them warmth lamp, I think with a 50 watt bulb. I had given them a little dish of water and they had a little bath. I know now that was kind of a no-no, I left them alone for a bit >,> One of them, sure enough got soaked lol. So she was cold, but I made sure that she got dried with some warm towels, and they are fine, and much cleaner now XD I'll be more careful in the future. It was not very deep.

    They are in a little 5 gallon tank, it was all I really had. I know they'll need good exercise and stuff too, so I'll just have to keep them away from the kitties XD

    So, any advice? :3 Thank youuu <3

  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under Dawn [​IMG] Welcome & Congratulations!

    Turns out you are more experienced with ducks than I am, you have some! LOL. My duck experience extends as far as ‘they are cute and go quack’. However, the folks on the Duck Forum know their stuff and should be able to help you out: https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/42/ducks

    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun.

    You might want to also pop in and say hello on your local thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/26/where-am-i-where-are-you ‘Find your State’s thread.

    If you would like to share more pictures and stories of your ducks, you have come to the right place. BYC’ers never tire of these and do not back away slowly or commence eye rolling when the photo album or home videos come out [​IMG]
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hello Dawn and welcome to our community. I'm sure that the duck peeps will help you out in any way they can. We all started with no knowledge at one point, so don't be afraid to ask!

    Best wishes
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to BYC Dawn, it's nice to meet you. The duck folks will be the best to pose questions to but, I do believe ducks don't get medicated feed.
  5. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

    Nov 30, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    They definitely don't need medicated chick starter, but it won't hurt them either... biggest thing with duckling food is proper amounts of Niacin for ducklings... ducks have a Niacin deficiency and chick starter is not formulated with enough Niacin for ducks, no matter what the bag says or feed store employees say, trust me...

    If you give them chick starter, then you need to get brewers yeast (NOT baking yeast) to sprinkle on their food until they are 10-12 weeks old... OR if your store has Purina Flock Raiser, get that... it has higher Niacin and can be given as their food until they lay eggs, then you can give them layer or just oyster shell on the side...

    Look like they're no more than a few days old, less than a week, I'd say... hard to tell from pics, would need to see better, but my guess from what I can see is the yellow one is a Welsh Harlequin and the striped one is Rouen or Mallard...

    Make sure the water dish is deep enough to dunk their heads, they need to be able to flush out their nares and eyes at all times... a sour cream tub with a U shaped cutout of the lid so hole is just bigger than their head works fine, and they can't climb in it to get wet and chilled... you can give them a bath anytime, as long as water is shallow enough they can stand in, is warm water and room is warm... dry them off with towel and blowdryer on very low, don't burn their skin...

    You'll also want to get either a shallow baking dish, pie pan, or something similar, put screen across it and keep their water dish on it as they will spread the water around...

    Hope this helps for a start... :)
  6. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, Mariah, and :welcome! Pleased you joined our community! You've already received a bunch of great advice and links so I'll just say best wishes and thanks for joining BYC! :woot
  7. HeidelberrFarms

    HeidelberrFarms Just Hatched

    Apr 11, 2017
    Welcome, welcome!

    I'm sorry that you've had to jump in so fast unprepared. And yet, I'm also not sorry :)

    Besides, it looks like you're having a fantastic time ;)

    I have a flock of ducks myself (and a plastic tub full of ducklings on my dining room table...still trying to figure out how to work Easter dinner with that bit of info) and they are so much fun.

    You've received some great advice.

    It has only been in the last few months that I've had access to feed formulated for ducks. I've always just had to do the best that I could with what I've had. And if that's all you can do, that's all you can do. But in the years that I couldn't get duck starter, I purchased Niacin drops from my local health food store and added that to their water.

    Whatever you can do, try to stack the odds in your favor. If you can get ahead of Niacin deficiencies, it is so much easier than trying to catch up once they start showing symptoms.

    Best of luck to you and enjoy the daylights out of your adorable little flock!!


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