getting my first ducks, no idea what to expect

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

  1. MNmommy

    MNmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2009
    central MN
    I am getting 3-4 call ducklings in a little over a week from now and I have a few questions.

    what should the brooder temp be set for with day old chicks?

    when will they be ready for a swim?

    can they eat chick starter? they will be sharing the brooder at first with my new chicks, the chicks will be a little over 2 weeks old when the ducks come

    Do they need to swim everyday when they are older? Our pond freezes over in our cold MN winters. Will I need something else for them at that point?

    I am going to see how well the chicks and ducks can live together in the coop if it works great if not I will build them their own love shack

    will they fly away? our pond/yard just has a 4 foot cedar fence around it. I plan on taking them out of the coop/run and let them swim and free range when I'm out there but wondered if they would leave? Would i just keep their wings trimmed??

    so many questions thanks for putting up with this duck rookie!!!! there seems to be so much more info on raising chicks and not much for ducks. One of you veterans need to write a book..... [​IMG]
  2. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    Can't answer all the questions because we are new to ducks too. I will tell you this.........they are messy with the water!! I would still keep them though and do it again but have them when they can be outside.
  3. Luvducks

    Luvducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    Welcome! This site will help you lots and google Call Ducks. There is alot of info on the internet. I have two books but the internet had so much more info. Good Luck! Where are you getting the Call Ducks from? (If you do not mind telling)
  4. MDC

    MDC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2008
    Quote:I like to let the ducklings tell me what the correct temperature is. You can increase heat by changing the watt of the bulb or by raising & lowering the heat lamp. If the ducklings are content and running around eating/drinking normally then they're fine. If they huddle together - they're chilled. If they're sprawled out with their wings/heads outstretched they could be too warm.

    Quote:It depends on your set up. They can swim from first day but if you're brooding them in a cardboard box or in the house you might not want to allow them free choice water because they'll create such a mess. I prefer to raise all of my ducklings on the ground and they're given water to swim in as soon as I put them in the brooder.

    Quote:Yes. A lot of breeders feed strictly chick starter.

    Quote:They always need water deep enough that they can dip their bills up to their eyes. That is how they keep their nostrils clean & they use water to eat quite often. Bathing water helps keep feathers in good condition so it is a good idea to offer it as often as possible keeping in mind the other factors that you have to watch out for such as pen cleanliness and bird's desire to swim. My Muscovy don't care to swim that often during cold spells so they won't get in a pool. Calls are mallard derivatives so they'll be more inclined to swim in inclement weather but there may be times that they just don't want to in which case I wouldn't offer more than they need at that particular point in time.

    Quote:You will have to give the chickens a place for water where the ducks can't get to it or the ducks will have their water nasty & splashed out all the time. Elevated pans work well in this instance. Keeping the water for the ducks outside helps keep indoor shelters drier and less stinky.

    Quote:They most likely will be able to fly, as far as flying away it's possible, but usually they will stick around the place they consider home provided their needs are being met. They need to feel secure (no dogs or kids chasing them constantly or predators threatening them), they need to be well fed & have sufficient water. Clipping a wing keeps them from flying too far from home but it also limits their ability to get away from predators. Just something to consider when making the decision to clip or not.

    There is a book, Raising Ducks, by Dave Holderread as well as a newer book by Cherie Langlois published under the Hobby Farms brand that are well written.

    Hope this helps...


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