Getting ready for my first ducklings! Brooder feedback.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by chelseawa, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. chelseawa

    chelseawa New Egg

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    Mar 21, 2012
    I am expecting ducklings to arrive on Wednesday of the coming week, three Welsh Harlequins. This is my first time brooding ducklings. I hatched 9 of 12 chicken eggs successfully last year with my students. Now I am getting ducks of my home as day old ducklings from Metzer farms. Below are some photos of my brooder set up. It is made from a 2'x3' plastic bin. I cut out sections from the lid and duck taped (get it, DUCK tape, sorry) and zip tied on some hardware cloth to let some air in and keep our house cats and dog out. I put some shelf liner on the bottom but I also have some pine shavings to go on top of it. The roll of shelf liner was large enough that I have another spare piece.

    I got a broiler pan to put the food and water on top of. Food bowl is a terra saucer. Water dish is currently a shallow plastic container but I am not sure if that is going to work very well so I am open to suggestions. Any tips/tricks/suggestions to make this work well and easier to keep clean? There will also be an Ecoglow radiant heater for warmth at the other end.

    I have some unmedicated turkey grower feed (20% protein), some brewer's yeast to add niacin and I figured I would cut the turkey grower feed with oats when they were ready for less protein.

    I want to make this as easy and stress free as possible because my sister will have to babysit them Thursday-Sunday, I will be out of town for a funeral.

    Thanks!

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  2. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    What is your next brooder going to be? Three ducklings will outgrow that setup very quickly - it might work for a week.
    what are you using for a heat source? With a plastic solid walled bin, just remember that while heat rises, there isn't a lot of circulation in there and you don't want the entire bin at 90, you want them to have plenty of space to get out of the heat.

    I use a regular chick waterer for ducklings the first week or so - they are little, so it is deep enough for them to get their face clean but keeps them from sitting in the water and getting cold.

    You can use a plastic tub with lid and cut a hole in the lid so they can get their little heads in there, but not their body.
     
  3. chelseawa

    chelseawa New Egg

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    Mar 21, 2012
    We are using a Brinsea Ecoglow for heat. The brooder will also be in the house.

    About how many square feet do I need to plan for per duckling? There will be 2 sq ft per duckling so I was hoping that would last at least 3-4 weeks. It is a very large bin.

    How big of a hole is big enough for their head but not for the rest of them? I was planning to do that but couldn't find the information. I have no idea how big a brand new baby duck's head is. :) Maybe I will just cut the hole when they arrive.

    Thank you
     
  4. chelseawa

    chelseawa New Egg

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    Mar 21, 2012
    The container lid was a disaster to cut so I made a lid from duct tape and cut it. They have it figured out now and like to walk around on it. Right now they can get their faces in but they don't put their whole head in.

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