Help! New to ducks...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by BekahsChicks, Nov 9, 2016.

  1. BekahsChicks

    BekahsChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 15, 2016
    Speedwell Virginia
    Hello! We got 2 ducklings about a month ago as a last minute addition to our chicken flock. I want to make sure we give them the best life we can but having never had ducks before I have a few questions and concerns...

    About 3-4 days ago we noticed the smaller one started what sounded like coughing I held her (we think) and there was a wheezing sound very faintly but there. The other ( pretty sure she) sounds fine. Both are eating and drinking and playing in their pond just fine. SO my initial question is I've read/heard to add apple cider vinegar "with mother" first off how important is the "with mother" part vs regular acv? Or is it even ok at all?? ( yes I know not in metal ) secondly the lady we got them from ( we went for chickens and she had them and couldn't resist!) said she fed all her birds the same chicken layer mix (age appropriately of course) so that's what we've been feeding them and scratch grains as treats. I read how important niacin is and have been giving them treats of green peas ( reported top ten niacin value) as well. They have a converted dog house to sleep in but they prefer sleeping under their chicken friends... right next to the dog house ( the 6 we bought at the same time; it's kind of sad if the chickens wander away from the ducks view they flip out and will run around looking for them! The hens on the other hand could careless about the ducks lol) they are all housed in a converted metal shed one side in closed the other a lean to with 2.5 sides in closed but being its an ancient shed it has a few gaps on both sides so well ventilated. We're still building it/fixing it (just moved to sw Virginia). The floor I have put pine shavings down primarily under where the chickens roost and in the dog house to help absorb and make it a bit easier to clean out. So based on all this... any suggestions as to what I might need to change or modify that would help the ducks thrive and make my sweet Dewey duck better? [​IMG] this is the day we brought them home in their impromptu pool. Dewey is the grey one , Lewey is the white one :) [​IMG] this is yesterday in their 2nd pool that's a significant step bigger/deeper.
    [​IMG]

    We're in the process of building a bigger pond with a liner vs the preformed one here.

    Oh! And there are some feeder goldfish in the pond how likely are they to eat them and is it good for them to do so??


    Anyway I know this was long and I rambled on so thank you for reading and any advice would be great!!

    *edit: during the day all the birds have full run of our yard which is approximately an acre fenced in and lots of grass and bugs to dine on to their hearts desire
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2016
  2. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Since you mentioned being new to having ducks, this thread provides an overview of raising and caring for ducklings: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750869/raising-and-caring-for-ducklings#post_10611711.

    There a number of conditions that can cause coughing and wheezing in ducks. Here's a thread that may be helpful: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/686091/coughing-and-wheezing-duckling.

    Layer feed is too high in calcium for non-laying birds, and can be detrimental to their health. Since waterfowl feed can be difficult to find in some areas, an alternative is to feed chick starter (with brewer's yeast added) to ducklings until about 8 weeks old, then lower the protein level to prevent angel wing. The previous post addresses appropriate protein levels by age.

    ACV can be added to ducks' water for the immune system benefits. You want raw ACV - with the "mother" - because it contains probiotics. There are several threads addressing the topic on BYC, here's one: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/150280/apple-cider-vinegar-okay-for-ducks.

    The ducks will probably eat the goldfish, which should be fine as a snack as long as they are small enough to swallow without trouble. Be sure they have access to grit so they can properly digest anything they eat in addition to feed.

    Welcome to raising ducks...hope you enjoy it as much as I (and many other BYCers) do!
     
  3. BekahsChicks

    BekahsChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 15, 2016
    Speedwell Virginia
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    Thank you!
     
  4. Bills vs Beaks

    Bills vs Beaks Overrun With Chickens

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    :goodpost:
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2016
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  5. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    This is how I feed Ducklings........Duck starter feed or Chick starter if you can not get it? Non medicated.....Scratch grains mixed and oat and barley crumble ...I make it a soupy mix so they dunk their head in....Yummy......Peas, Roman lettuce tomatoes all cut up and mixed in water....That is supper.....Free choice dry.....Never ACV for Ducks........Deep dishes with water for them to dunk their heads........Free range twice a day supervised......


    Enjoy those little cuties!!!!


    Cheers!
     
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  6. Bills vs Beaks

    Bills vs Beaks Overrun With Chickens

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    chickens really,I think acv is fine, obviously in small amounts. Why do you say its bad?
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Just what I was taught....Ducks dip their heads in it...Goes in the nostrils.....Chickens only drink it.........For little Ducklings that first arrive here I give a Drink of Sugar water only once and clear water at all times after.....

    We learn one way.....?


    Cheers!
     
  8. Bills vs Beaks

    Bills vs Beaks Overrun With Chickens

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    Ha yeah right?

    I dont see a problem, ducks blow out their nostrils and have outer eye lids to close. My ducks turned out fine I think :)
     
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  9. BekahsChicks

    BekahsChicks Out Of The Brooder

    66
    5
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    Oct 15, 2016
    Speedwell Virginia
    So not sure if my previous post went through so trying again my wheezer is getting better and all I've done is deep clean the coop again and we completed their new much bigger pond that they love and hardly get out! Not sure at what point they are no longer considered ducklings their big wing feathers are starting to show well the tubes are and we can see that Dewey is going to have pretty colors unlike Lewey who is just white :) I'm guessing they are 2-3 months old?


    This is the new pond just working on making it pretty and adding a waterfall :). What do y'all think?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
  10. Bills vs Beaks

    Bills vs Beaks Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 31, 2016
    NJ USA
    Is that a truck in the background?! What kind is it??


    Oh yeah nice pool too[​IMG]

    ps. I no longer consider them ducklings when all the fluff is gone.
     

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