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HELP. NEW DUCKLING OWNER

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by MrEaton, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. MrEaton

    MrEaton Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2015
    Metcalfe County, KY
    Accidentally mentioned to the wife that the local feed store had ducks (we've already got 20 chicks at the house). So immediately we left the house and purchased 4 mallard ducklings. I have them in their own brooder and am feeding them the chick starter I've been feeding the chicks and providing water in the same one gallon gravity waterer that I use with chicks. Chicks range from 2 weeks to 5 weeks so they are all older than the ducklings (which I've heard is good because ducklings grow quickly?). Just wondering if I can treat them like the chickens mostly once older? I know they require some water to splash around in. But will I be able to keep them in the run and let them free range with the chickens later as well? Or will they not come back in at roosting time? I guess I'm more concerned with what to expect when they get older. As I've heard that ducklings and chicks aren't all that different I'm treating them the same as I have my chicks while in the brooder. Any advice or tips from other chicken and duck owners would be appreciated and anything else I should know while at duckling stage. I appreciate any information I can get!
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  2. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    They do grow really fast! They keep their fluff longer than chicks though. Ducklings require unmediated feed, and some niacin, but otherwise they're the same as chicks.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. sarahee

    sarahee Just Hatched

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    Aug 25, 2016
    Definitely add niacin our brewer's yeast to their diet. It can prevent leg injuries. They need a lot more bedding changes to stay clean.
    They can be with the chickens and will come back at night. They need a kiddie pool or something to splash in daily as they grow. They also need a spot to nest not under the chickens or they will be covered with droppings.
    If they have to go up a ramp to get into their house, it can take them several days to learn to go UP. I've found having a wall in one side of the ramp is really helpful for them. They don't get startled and fall off the rampas easily.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  4. MrEaton

    MrEaton Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2015
    Metcalfe County, KY
    Will they have niacin at the feed store? I know they'll have brewers yeast. I've heard some give it and some don't.
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Western N.C.
    @MrEaton they will not have niacin at the feed store, pharmacies will carry it or you can order on line Make sure it it plain niacin and they will need 150 mgs a day till 10 weeks old. mixed in 1 gal of water. Brewers yeast maybe at the feed store I haven't ever found it around here I had to order on line to get it.

    Here is some great info for first time duckling owners. Enjoy those babies and Welcome to BYC!

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750869/raising-and-caring-for-ducklings#post_10611711
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  6. Duckymomlol

    Duckymomlol Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2017
    Texas


    Is adding the niacin in their feed ok? I haven't haven't been adding it to my ducklings water but I have been dusting their feed and crushing dried mealworms in them.
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Western N.C.
    If they will eat it that way don't see any reason why you shouldn't. If feeding anything other than their starter though they should have chick grit Not in their feed either in a small bowl close by or sprinkled on the bottom of their brooder. They will use it as needed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  8. sarahee

    sarahee Just Hatched

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    Aug 25, 2016

    I buy my niacin anywhere you can buy regular vitamins. I open the capsules and sprinkle it on their food. Occasionally, I will treat them with mashed up bananas sprinkled with niacin or put it in a bowl of chopped up spinach floating in water. They love the extra healthy treats!
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  9. MrEaton

    MrEaton Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2015
    Metcalfe County, KY
    This is all extremely helpful. Had no clue ducks really needed it. An old man told me he never gave them anything but chick feed. But then again, I've never seen his ducks so they may be in bad shape.
     
  10. sarahee

    sarahee Just Hatched

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    He might not have used it with the kind be got, but I've found the peking ducks MUST have it as they grow so fast that it causes leg injuries and you have to put them down if that happens. The niacin and brewer's yeast can help prevent some of these serious injuries so it's good to try too avoid unwanted injuries with such a simple fix.
     
    1 person likes this.

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