Hatching Ducks for the First Time

aropp87

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 27, 2014
32
0
32
Hi there!

I searched through the threads, but am not quite finding the answers I need, but point me in the right direction if I've missed it.

We have hazelnut orchards with two ponds within close distance to our ponds. A tractor ran over and ruin a mallard nest, and we were able to rescue 5 of the eggs. They've been incubating and are due to hatch any day. All my knowledge (which is minimal) is based off of our chickens. So here are my questions:

1. Do ducks need to be in a brooder like chickens? If so should we be gradually decreasing the temperature in the brooder week by week? I did read that I need to have low shallow water in there for them-true?

2. Is their duck specific starter feed, or is the medicated feed my pullets have the same thing?

3. My husband wants them to be "free range" and we have a pond within a 1/4 mile from us, so they will have access to plenty of water as well as our old chicken coop which is predator proof.

Am I missing anything else?
 

aropp87

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 27, 2014
32
0
32
Annnd, I just now saw the sticky thread, which will probably answer most of these.
 

Duckopolis

Songster
5 Years
Mar 19, 2014
2,525
67
163
In the Wilderness of Colorado
My Coop
My Coop
Ducks should have a brooder that starts at around 90 degrees. You can decrease it about 5 degrees a week, but they don't really need it after 5 weeks. You do not need to provide water for them to bathe. Just a dish of water for them to drink and blow their nostrils in. Ducks should not be fed medicated chick starter. It could be harmful to them. You could start them with waterfowl starter or gamebird/showbird starter, which is what I give mine up to about 6 weeks old. I them switch them to gamebird grower. This is just a matter of personal preference basically of what time they should be switched. It kind of depends on whether you think your ducks are big enough to eat it. If they are free-ranging, are they safe from predators? Good luck with your ducks! Do you need advice on incubating or hatching?
 

aropp87

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 27, 2014
32
0
32
Thank you so much! I just read through the sticky thread, so I'm feeling a little more calm now! My husband has incubated before, I have not. Looks like our temps and humidity have been spot on. How long after they have fully hatched from their shells should I wait before I move them into their brooder?
 

aropp87

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 27, 2014
32
0
32
I've googled and searched, but I can't find a consistent answer. At what point do I move ducklings from the incubator to the brooder?
 
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