HELP- Came home from Chicken Swap with Runners and Mallards !!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by FrenchToast, May 15, 2010.

  1. FrenchToast

    FrenchToast "Draft Apple Ridge" a Bit from Heaven

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    Jan 10, 2010
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    HELP !!! We went to a Poultry 4-H Swap today and came home with chicks of course but also 14 Runner Ducks and 2 Mallards and 1 I can't remember Breed.

    I know how to care for chicks but not 2 week old ducks !!!!
    They told me to buy gamestarter food but after reading a few posts looks like I should feed the medicated Chick starter???
    Do they need extra Niacin then?
    What kind of brooder temps, brooder setups etc. I put them in a huge tub and they have already emptied all of their water and spashed it all over the place !!!!
    What have I gotten myself into !!! LOL

    I need Duckling Care 101 please !![​IMG]
     
  2. chasing ducks

    chasing ducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2010
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    LMAO [​IMG] I brought home a rouen, a runner and 2 muscovies myself today, lol. Luckily I already have 29 other ducklings so it's not my first round [​IMG]

    They told me to buy gamestarter food but after reading a few posts looks like I should feed the medicated Chick starter???

    I wouldn't feed game starter, I was told the same thing and my Pekin got too big too quick and started having leg issues. We've worked out the issue but his leg is still a little weak. I use NON-medicated chick starter/grower (Dumor brand sold at TSC) and it works great. Ducks eat more than chicks so they can easily get over medicated. I also supplement with frozen peas (warmed up) and scrambled eggs. 2 weeks is a bit early but it worked well for mine. Out of the 28 ducklings I got, all were less that a week old and all are still alive and healthy at 5,6, & 7 weeks.

    Do they need extra Niacin then?

    If they are not getting food specific for ducks then they do. I buy brewers yeast and mix a little in with their food, it's what helped reverse my pekins leg issues. Some people buy tabs of niacin at walmart and crush them up for the food. I buy brewers yeast online by the pound, I find with larger flocks it's more convenient.

    What kind of brooder temps, brooder setups etc. I put them in a huge tub and they have already emptied all of their water and spashed it all over the place !!!

    Ducks are horribly messy and because they drink so much water their poop is horribly messy. I brooded mine in my bedroom (never again!) and I built a wood frame, covered it with 1/4" wire and then added foot long posts that I then wrapped in plastic chicken wire. It worked great because ducks can't really jump or fly (well runners can't anyway, mallards can) and being on the wire allowed everything to fall through to the tarp below. Now my ducklings have a section to themselves in the duck house outside with a heat lamp. They can't get out, nothing can get to them but they can see and hear my other ducks with out them being able to get at each other yet. It works great so far.

    Ducks are very hardy creatures, even as babies. Mine all went out around 3/4 weeks old into a predator safe house with attached wire box enclosure that holds their food and water. In general people say start at 90 degrees and lower it 5 degrees every week afterward. So you'd be at 80 degrees now. Like I said, ducks are hardy creatures though and they can handle a lot more than that. I live in New Hampshire and we still have 50 degree nights here, my ducks curl up together and sleep great. It's all about what your comfort level is with what your ducks. Mine aren't pets, so I don't baby them too much. Their handled enough that they don't bite and freak out though.

    Ducks are horrible with drinking water, they need to be able to submerge their bills to clean their sinuses and they love to play in it. At 2 weeks yours should be old enough to take baths with your supervision, they love it and their funny to watch! The only method I found was to build the brooder and place it on a tarp with shavings, other wise the mess was terrible and I filled their waterer 6 times a day. I had 18 in the pen at once though too.

    It may seem like your in over your head but honestly, once they get outside on their own, ducks are awesome! Mine know the routine and herd sooooo easily. Mine love scrambled eggs and peas, I haven't tried too much else. I did try plain yogurt once and applesauce another time, they liked the yogurt more then the applesauce. They grow so fast too, week 3/4 they seem to shoot up. My runners are 5 weeks old and compared to the one week old I bought today, their enormous! Best of luck with your ducky adventure!​
     
  3. chikky

    chikky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2009
    Glenmont, Ohio
    Good luck with your crew. I was at a swap meet today too- wow- sooo many chicks and ducklings. I came home with a dog leash- that's it. [​IMG]
     
  4. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Oct 2, 2008
    Colorado
    I wouldn't feed game starter, I was told the same thing and my Pekin got too big too quick and started having leg issues.

    The leg problems are a niacin issue. That will happen if you feed them chick starter too. I feed gamebird starter to my ducklings.​
     

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