Feeding ducklings!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Burgs, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. Burgs

    Burgs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2015
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    Quick question! I've just had my first ever brood hatch from ducks! I've had many MANY chicken before and I know what I'm doing there but I'm just wondering if you need to supply chick crumb for the ducklings?

    I will provide it anyway but I was Just thinking that in the wild the duck would forage for the ducklings etc so if your ducks are free range will not the mother do the work for you????
     
  2. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    Ah, but in the wild, wild ducks are just that... wild... and it is not uncommon for only a single or 2 ducklings to survive from a brood the first year of life, whether due to injury, predation, or starvation...

    Domestic ducks were bred to be dependent upon us to provide all their necessities for survival... proper housing, food and fresh water...

    So yes, you are correct in needing to provide crumbles for the ducklings... however, ducks have a niacin deficiency and most chick starter does not have enough for them... if you can get waterfowl starter or Purina Flock Raiser, those would better meet their needs... otherwise, it would be best to get either brewers yeast (not baking yeast) to mix in their food (1 tblspn per cup of feed) or Vitamin B complex tablets to crush and add to their water, enough to give them 150mg of niacin per gallon of water...

    Niacin deficiency can cause leg weakness and issues, so if they show signs of shaky legs or excessive stops to sit on their way to a destination then it could be inadequate niacin in their diet...
     
  3. Burgs

    Burgs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm I'll look into that! She has made her nest in a really stupid place! I'm going to have to move her today into an enclosure!

    Any techniques for moving her? I'm going to move her closer to dusk. Do I have to bring the nest in to?
     
  4. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    If you can, try gently 'herding' her and the ducklings into a pet carrier, rather than picking her up and the ducklings separately... separating them might stress her out and she could accidentally injure a duckling or more...

    If the nest is fairly clean and you can at least take some of it to put in the enclosure, I would... it might help her to have familiar nesting materials around her... otherwise, just make sure she has plenty of fresh bedding for her and the ducklings to be comfortable in... making her new nest area in a small enclosed or partially enclosed spot might help too... good luck and hope all goes well! :)
     
  5. Burgs

    Burgs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks :) she has her nest right in the middle of the duck house and all the other ducks trample all around her! I've had to protect the nest at night for the last month! I'll be glad to move her out! Some of the other eggs haven't hatched yet so I'll own her off for today and tmo and I'll move her tmo evening :)
     
  6. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    Glad to help! Good luck on the move! :)
     
  7. Burgs

    Burgs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The move did NOT go well :-/ I got her into her new pen but she would not brood the ducklings or really have much to do with them!! She was calling them and they were flowing her but she wasn't interested she spent the entire time trying to get out and get back to her original nest!! I have moved her back now and the chicks followed but she hasn't really left her nest in three days since they hatched is that normal????
     
  8. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    By 3 days she should be making sure they're getting food and water... I've never had to move any of my broody ducks, so not sure how she'll react, plus each one reacts differently... are there any eggs left in her nest? I'd remive them if there are, she may be trying to stay on them...

    You said she is in the middle of the duck house, can you get like a large plastic tote to set upside down over her to give her and the babies a safe spot? Just cut out an opening for them to go in and out... do you have fresh water and food near them?
     
  9. Burgs

    Burgs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2015
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    The ducklings have food and water and they are eating and drinking well and making one hell of a mess!!! Lol she has no eggs under her but she is so so reluctant to leave the nest! The ducklings go out from under her, eat, drink and then wander a bit and go back under her!

    Is it because she is a Muscovy and she has hatched runner and buff eggs? I know Muscovy eggs are 35 days rather than 28 maybe it is something to do with that?!?!

    I've sectioned them off so there safe but it's dam inconvenient!!!!!!!!!!
     
  10. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    Huh, I have no idea about that! lol... never dealt with Muscovies too much really... but no animal is gonna think of our convenience, unfortunately... just gonna have to do the best you can... as long as they're getting food and water, I'd give her a couple more days... some broody's tend to take a bit to snap out of the setting mode to mothering mode...
     

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