Feed and smelly ducklings

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by cmcourt, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. cmcourt

    cmcourt Out Of The Brooder

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    I was wondering if anyone thinks that the brand/type of feed given to ducklings can affect the smelliness of the little darlings? I know it makes a HUGE difference with my chicks. The ducklings are precious but oh. my. goodness [​IMG] are they stinky little critters.

    Actually, my mallard babies don't seem to smell at all, but my runner ducklings (acquired tonight actually!) are another story.

    Thanks for your input!
     
  2. Baralak

    Baralak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Have you tried green peas yet? [​IMG] LOL.. Yes.. they do have a nice little bite in the air. Mine during the night time, live in a rabbit hutch with a poop pan under it... OMG.. cleaning that thing out in the morning. The smell should be bottled and used to induce vomiting. It's the smell of the poo mixed with water, mixed with gamebird feed... kinda sweet smelling sour stinch.
     
  3. gofasterstripe

    gofasterstripe Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] Thats the only thing I had about ducklings [​IMG] The chickstarter mixed with water and then the poop [​IMG] a rank sweet sickly smell [​IMG] I know exactly how you feel.
    I find that after a few days of being out on the grass then bringing them in at the end of the day, it cuts down on the sickly smell after all the grass and dirt they have eaten.
     
  4. dumb_cluck

    dumb_cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do they free range?

    I adopted a Rouen last year and he stunk! After I had him a week or so, and feeding him the game bird pellets, the stink went away. I also did not allow all day free range where they can get into anything like frogs and worms, etc.

    They lady who owned him previously let him go any place he wanted........ so......in theory........free ranging made the stink bomb.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Well, my nose may not be as sensitive as others (I actually seem to have a good sense of smell), and my runner ducklings did not stink.

    I fed them Turkey/Waterfowl crumbles then grower (from Agway), then switched to Nutrena grower, then to Blue Seal grower/maintenance. No stink.

    I also added just a little chick grit, and ground rolled oats (not instant) to their feed pretty much from the beginning, as Holderread suggests.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011
  6. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another good trick is to sprinkle baking soda UNDER the bedding. It absorbs an amazing amount of odor, but be careful not to make the ducklings walk in it. It won't hurt if they get a little on them, but over time it can burn their little feet. It also won't hurt if they consume some of it--it's just baking soda after all--but you don't want them making a regular meal of it.

    Good luck! They can be stinky little boogers.
     
  7. Eggnonymous

    Eggnonymous Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2009
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    Wheweee - yep, I had forgotten how malodorous these babies can be. I'm gonna try the baking soda suggestion, iamcurousitycat. My WHs are 5 days old and I was wondering if I could offer a little cut up fresh spinach (or other) for some chlorophyll? I have some chick grit, so could I sprinkle them both around or is it too soon? We live in the country, is there some type of grass or tender weed they might like?
     
  8. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have a way to contain them outside, they might enjoy some daytime ranging in the weeds to catch bugs and pluck grass. If you're home with them all day, you can just take them out and let them run around. They won't go far and will follow you around if you go slowly. If you don't have time to be outside with them, you can take the top of a dog crate, or hamster cage, or anything similar and set it down in the grass and put the babies inside. Of course, you don't want to leave while they're unprotected like that, but it will contain them so you can do chores while keeping an eye on them. If you have a pen set up for when they are grown, you can put the smaller cage inside the pen and let them run around that way. They'll love eating grass and weeds and digging for bugs and it's SOOOooo cute to watch them try to snatch flies and gnats out of the air.

    At five days, if your weather is warm, they can go out without supplemental heat for an hour or so. If the weather is cool, you'll need to make sure there is a heat source available, or just take them out for very short trips and bring them in when they start to act cold.

    If those are not options for you, then peas, algae (if you have access to a lake or other source), spinach, lettuce, even weeds from the yard are great chopped up in their water (the water keeps them fresh, and they love dabbling for treats). Clover, grass, dandelions, and plantain are good choices. If you're not sure about identification, look it up or avoid it--the ducks are unlikely to eat things that are poisonous to them, but it's better to be safe than sorry on that score. Nightshade, for instance, might harm them just from steeping in their water (though you're unlikely to mistakenly use it--the plant is covered in spiky fur and hurts to touch, plus it looks kind of sickly and dangerous--spidery potato-like leaves on a spindly frame--it's just an unpleasant plant altogether, though I've heard that the bright purple berries taste quite sweet right before they kill you).

    Anyway, I've never noticed a difference from diet, but then I mostly raise mine outdoors in wire brooders now after the first couple of days. I live in a climate that allows that, and I'm grateful for it! I have noticed that the baking soda during those first couple days makes a HUGE difference. I still have to clean it out twice a day, but at least the stench is minimized.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Komaki

    Komaki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Protine in the diet will cause the waste to smell far worse. The more protine, oh well you get it. lol
     
  10. Eggnonymous

    Eggnonymous Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Thank you curiousitycat!! It has unfortunately turned off cool here today, but maybe tomorrow afternoon we can venture out. Our yard is a wild array of mostly weeds- much to my DHs chagrin - the chickens free range with no ill effects so maybe we are safe.

    I cut up the spinach and put it in a bowlful of water, but the babies have decided there must be something lurking under the surface and are giving the bowl a wide berth for now. [​IMG] Silly duckies!!
     

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