How do I feed/ water these babies?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by mickeymousears, May 14, 2011.

  1. mickeymousears

    mickeymousears Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2011
    SLO; CA
    so I jumped into ducks, thinking it would be just like the chickens I jumped into a few weeks ago, but I have quickly realized they are way different! I noticed the ducks like to dip their beak (or bill?) full of food in the water then eat it - so i added water to their food, which semi- solved the problem. The MAIN problem is they drink, or play, in the water until it runs out; not only does that make a gross food/poo soup for me to clean but it leaves them in the soup and without clean water (or any water if it absorbs into their towel bedding). I'm scared to leave them all day without water and in a cold gross mess, so I've been taking them to work with me and giving them water and food every few hours - like a newborn baby - which can't be natural and I feel like a jerk limiting their food/water.
    I've tried everything I can think of: different types of water containers, letting them swim in the bath and putting the water in as they are preening the water off their bodies, different locations of the water, etc etc etc.

    anyone have the solution??

    I doubt it matters but they are about 2 weeks old a peking, rouen, and mallard.

    thanks for your help!!!
     
  2. DurhamDuck

    DurhamDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2011
    Durham, Connecticut
    Congrats on deciding to raise ducks!!

    Ducks need water 24/7. They are messy, it just goes with owning ducks. They must be able to dunk their bills into the water to fully cleanse their nostrils. I would never leave my ducks without water, even for a few hours.

    I use a 2 gallon water fountain, that I clean and refill about 4 times a day for 10 ducklings and 2 geese. They get a bath each morning for about an hour, then I dump it out and put on the heat lamp so they can warm up and dry off.

    You just get used to to the mess and cleaning the brooder several times a day. But don't worry, they grow super fast and hopefully you have a nice safe fenced spot outside for them.
     
  3. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady Premium Member

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    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    For raising my ducklings I start with a butter bowl and cut a hole out of the lid so they can dip their face in it but not their body. Most often they get on top of it and dunk a foot or two but still with a butter bowl I am able to dump, rinse and refill several times a day.
    As they grow I use a milk jug or apple cider jug and cut a hole in the side to where their chest would be but only big enough for their head to fit in and am able to rinse out and refill a few times a day.

    When they are about 4 weeks old I put them outside in a day pen and give them a shallow cat litter pan to splash and play in. They stay out in that through rain storms, too and are fine but they are covered.
     
  4. mickeymousears

    mickeymousears Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2011
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    Oh I like the milk jug idea. Thank you!! To bad I don't drink milk lol -ill have to dig thru my friends recycle bin. I was less concerned about the mess -although it is annoying. I was more concerned about the ducks sitting in the mess all day
     
  5. tia

    tia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2009
    Valdez, Alaska
    Welcome to the world of ducks - You have to love them a lot because they are messy!!! I have twelve in the brooder right now and I have to clean it about 3 or 4 times a day. I use a plastic tub for a water container. I cut out one side of the lid just enough for them to get their heads in and get a drink. Others use a water jug and cut a hole in the side. I put some large marbles in to weigh it down so it doesn't tip over. They will sit on top of it and drink. It is still messy, but not nearly as bad as it was. I put towels in the bottom of their brooder, rinse them out and then wash them. They grow up quick and when they are feathered out you can move them outside to a pen. Make sure they are well protected, because there are a lot of critters that can do them harm. This book is a must have - Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, 2nd Edition by Dave Holderread
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2011

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