How do I care for ducklings?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by JLS, May 19, 2010.

  1. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

    517
    3
    131
    May 29, 2009
    Maine
    My Coop
    I went to the feed store to get chick starter feed (new chicks arriving on 6/7/10). I saw the new arrivals....ducklings!! I fell in love. The man at the feed store sold me non-medicated starter feed. He said they dont need a light. Is that true?? I need to know the best way to care for these new babies. Please help [​IMG]
     
  2. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    You will need a heat lamp. I use the red 250 watt bulbs. I use non medicated for all my birds (chicken and waterfowl), but you can use medicated as long as it has amprolium in it and nothing else.
     
  3. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

    517
    3
    131
    May 29, 2009
    Maine
    My Coop
    I thought I would need a lamp. In fact I set them under one just incase. They were on shavings. I think I've seen them eat the shaving as well as the food. Are they supposed to be on shavings this soon?
     
  4. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    You do not need a 250 watt red heat lamp. Ducks prefer blue or white light anyway. Red is usually used for chickens or quails. All you need it a 100 watt light bulb hung about 24 inches above the floor. The temp on the floor should be 90-95 degrees for newly hatched. That one will get reduced by 5 degrees per week until you reach 70%. Now you can raise the lamp on a weekly basis or reduce the bulb wattage. I have a box with the metal crate type lid on top so I just reduce the wattage.
    Katharina
     
  5. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

    517
    3
    131
    May 29, 2009
    Maine
    My Coop
    Should they be on wood shavings? I've read that they can, other places say no. Should I have them on paper towel for the first few days???
     
  6. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    I did not put mine onto pine shavings until they were 3 weeks old. I used pee wee type pads bought at walmart and a cotton towel to sleep on. This makes clean up really easy. Do not use newspaper because it is to slippery and cause joint damage. Paper towels are fine.
    Katharina
     
  7. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

    517
    3
    131
    May 29, 2009
    Maine
    My Coop
    Quote:Thank you. I am concerned because I saw one eat a piece of shaving.
     
  8. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    That is a big concern when they are tiny. It can clog them up and they can die, so I avoid it until they are 3 weeks old. Also stay away from cedar it is toxic to their airways.
    Katharina
     
  9. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

    517
    3
    131
    May 29, 2009
    Maine
    My Coop
    Quote:As soon as I read your post on wee pads and paper towels I put them on paper towels ( I dont have pads yet). I hope they'll be okay. Thank you for your help.
     
  10. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    They are fine if they walk normally. The injuries come when they slip on newspaper. Paper towels give them more grip. Here are some picks of my brooder setup. It is a crate I had to rise up a food, so it has an upper frame on the crate. I use dog crate doors on top to keep the cat out, plus the light can sit on it. The crate is lines with heavy plastic sheeting from the painter's isle at the hardware store. The blue painters tape keeps it in place. That way I can wash the crate. You see the pad and a cotton towel to lay on. Then you also see the feeding area. A cookie sheet lined with paper towel. The is a waterer in the corner and a dish with feed and another one with builder's sand (from the hardware store) so they can digest the food.

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    You may be able to get a free used crate at a moving company. Just call and ask for a small one.
    Katharina
     

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