Feeding ducklings?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by LilRalphieRoosmama, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Mine are due to hatch Monday and I'm very nervous. DBF's runner ducks are two weeks old and as fast as he puts the food and water in the brooder, they suck it down. He is home all day to care for them and gives them food and water constantly. My problem is I work all day. If I fill the feeder and waterer before I leave in the morning and they empty it that fast, then what? [​IMG] How much food/water/what sizes should I get for 8 (hopefully) ducklings to make sure they don't run out? And if they run out, will they be ok until I get home? I'm so nervous.
  2. TheDuckCrew

    TheDuckCrew Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2009
    i ended up having two one gallon waterers for four babies last year. the food we would just fill to the top and it would last them for awhile. good luck on your hatch!
  3. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    How much food are you putting out? I too worried about the water situation. I put my waterer inside of a bigger pan (pie pan) depending on your waterer size. That would help catch all the water they splashed out and there would still be water in the pie pan when I got home. Just make sure that they cant drown.
    Good luck.
  4. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    DBF put two small bowls of feed out when I was there yesterday. One he added water to and made a mash. They didn't eat all of it, but most. The water, on the other hand - I filled the waterer (the smaller one with the red base) halfway and they drained it in MINUTES. He said they will drink as much as you give them, so I'm worried about filling a gallon waterer and having them drain it an hour or two after I leave. He refills at least once an hour if not more.
  5. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    I had 21 Blue Swedish babies in the playpen brooder, and they went through a gallon waterer about three times a day.

    While you're at work, I'd say two gallon waterers will probably hold you til ya get home. For food, well, I was using a pie pan (one of those aluminum ones) and filled it about two or three times a day, too (up until they were two weeks old - then they went out to the coop with a wooden trough feeder). I would fill it twice during the day, then right before I went to bed, in case they ran out before I got up the next morning.

    A lot of the water was thrown around - not sure how much they actually drank [​IMG]

    I would say if you filled a gallon sized plastic feeder with food it'd last them while you were gone, too.

    Now, my call duck babies aren't nearly as piggy as the swedish were. Squishy (he's about three weeks old) makes a mess of the water and drinks a lot more, but the two babies (Spiffy and Sloopy) combined (about a week old) drink and eat less than he does.

    Once the swedish were a week old, I gave up on the chicken waterers and got a big dog water dish - the kind with the bottle as a reservoir.
    It was messy, but it seemed to last them longer. Problem with it was they could get into the dish (and they LOVED that). But it held a lot more water in reserve.

    Alternatively - have your BF come over and "duck sit" for ya [​IMG]

    Oh - not sure what size brooder ya got, but ducks double in size each week - just warning you in case you hadn't read that one yet [​IMG]

  6. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    Our duckling eats like a crazed maniac. They just grow SO much faster and fatter than chicks.

    I'd get more feeders, or larger ones.

    They wont die without food for a few hours- I mean think about ducklings in the wild. Theres not ALWAYS a mass of food sitting before their happy little faces, and they do just fine.
  7. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Wow - gallon sized..!!!! I had no idea ducklings ate this much! (have DBF duck sit - too funny!!! [​IMG]) Usually DD is home at some point during the day so I know she will check and feed/water them at least once a day. I hope.

    We're also shocked at how fast they grow. DBF built a brooder box and I think the sides are roughly 12-18" high. His 2 week old runners can already peek over the side! We're moving his to his garage/barn at some point this weekend and the brooder box will come to my house (timed that pretty good, huh?! [​IMG])

    And you're right Amos - I guess I'm just being a worry wort [​IMG]
  8. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    [​IMG] they probably won't eat the total gallon of feed while you're gone, but it'll help ya feel better knowing it's there if they want it.


  9. Brickman House

    Brickman House Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2009
    I have twelve 2-week olds in my bathtub.

    I have a casserole dish that I fill with food morning and night, and they rarely get to the bottom of it. I also have two milk jug waterers (gallon jugs, but the holes are cut about 2/3 of the way up, so probably a gallon and a 1/3), and I also rinse and fill them morning and night.

    The feeders and waterers will occasionally be eaten or drained down, but none of the ducklings act famished or dehydrated when I refill them, so clearly they weren't empty long.

    For eight ducklings, I'd bet a gallon feeder and two gallon waterers, refilled morning and night, would take them quite comfortably through the entire time you're brooding them, until they're ready to go out.

    No worries about changing them every hour!
  10. ridgefire

    ridgefire Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 8, 2008
    Northern Michigan
    I tried the pie pan under the water to help with the mess....it doesnt work. [​IMG]

    They bill the water out of the waterer till they fill the pan so they can then splash the water all through the brooder. [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.

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