How do you raise happy ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by chicka_chicka_boom_boom, May 15, 2009.

  1. chicka_chicka_boom_boom

    chicka_chicka_boom_boom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2008
    Eaton County, MI
    Hello,

    I don't have a lot of time to search through posts and read tons of old threads, but was hoping that someone had a resource where I can get an easier way to find what I'm looking for.

    I have 4 fawn & white runner ducks that I was trying to re-home. I really don't have the resources or time to do anything elaborate, and they are just getting stinky, wet and dirty in their brooder box in the garage. They are now 4 weeks old, and love to splash in their drinking water, but it's been a little too cold outside to bring them outdoors. They are also kind of hard to catch because of my poor brooder design (it's too tall and too big... they keep getting away, and they are slippery and slimy right now).

    I hate to see them so dirty and yucky, and was hoping that I could find someone who wanted them. It looks like they might be stuck with me.

    Without spending a ton of money, I need to know what ducks need for secure housing. Is it the same as chickens? Will they come in at night, or will I have to chase them? Do you lock them in at night? What kind of treats and fun things can you give them? I don't have a pond or lake, but we do have a little kiddy pool for them. They haven't tried it yet.

    If I build a pen for them, what size does it need to be? I was thinking of doing a tractor-type thing, that can be moved around the yard, and letting them out during the daytime. There will be a few occasions this summer when I will be gone for a few days at a time. Can they stay in a small pen for a few days without suffering too much?

    Please help. I feel overwhelmed and want to be a good mom to these cute babies. Thanks!
     
  2. Homesteading_Bound

    Homesteading_Bound Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2008
    Madison,Ohio
    If your looking to re home them I'm sure you will find someone on BYC then can help.

    There are messy....

    I guess I'm fortunate with mine. Of all my animals...they are the easiest because of the pond in the back. Without a pond....they will need somewhere to go at night...
    The best To You....
     
  3. jrleader99

    jrleader99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I also am new to this but from what I have read and understood, ducks do not really take a whole lot of time or resources.

    What they need as far as housing/run is protection from predators. Their housing can be as simple as an old dog house (search Craigslist) and a lot of people let them free range. I keep mine in a 20x30 ft run that is covered because we have hawks and other predators around that would have easy access to take them away.

    They do make a mess especially when they are in their brooder. I used a large dog crate with a sliding base that I could easily change out the bedding since it got wet every day. I also put their waterer on a tray of its own to limit the amount of water running throughout the brooder area (maybe a cookie sheet).

    Keep hanging in there and once they are outside you will be able to sit back and watch them waddle and run through your yard. We get a kick out of them. Enjoy!!
     
  4. ging3rhoffman

    ging3rhoffman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2009
    I have had experience only with the mallard ducklings and they would just die without water to play and swim in. If you can, get a plastic swimming pool from a walmart or kmart and dig a hole the size of the swimming pool so they can just step right in it and just keep changing the water out. As far as space to have in the run im not sure.

    My little ducks just love scrambled eggs. Each morning i scramble 3 eggs and take them down to the pond and here come 6 little ducklings quacking their heads off for their morning treat treat.
     
  5. Stormdog

    Stormdog Out Of The Brooder

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    May 1, 2009
    Central Indiana
    Quote:Fully agree, except 2 points... I use the wading pool, but just piled a few bricks inside and out as stairs. Ducks very quickly learned to use the stairs, and after 2 weeks were big enough not to need them. (Pool in a hole has got to be harder to empty!)

    2nd point... Your more sophisticated and cultured ducklings prefer boiled eggs! And your lazy duck owner prefers boiling 2 dozen at a time, then just keeping them in the fridge for treats all week!
     
  6. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Oct 2, 2008
    Colorado
    Duck housing is easier than chickens. You don't have to build roosts. A hut in the pen can be as simple as 3 sides and a roof. I only have one duck that goes in the hut and that is just to lay her eggs.

    I have a small backyard. My pen is about 6'x11'. They go in at night, but they need a little herding. Once they get the idea that pen = bed, they may even go in on their own.

    You don't have to give them a pond. A kiddie pool is fine. My ducks spent the winter using an under the bed rubbermaid tub as a bath. They loved it [​IMG] I did eventually build them a pond though.

    A few days in a pen if you have a good waterer and feeder wont kill em.
     
  7. chicka_chicka_boom_boom

    chicka_chicka_boom_boom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2008
    Eaton County, MI
    Thanks for your replies. I am so torn now. I REALLY want to keep these ducks, especially since I have already given up my African Geese and all my baby chicks. But now I've had 2 replies to my ad for them on craigslist, so I guess they will be able to find a better home after all. I can't lie to my husband and tell him that we're stuck with them, if there are people that can take care of them NOW.

    I know I will be able to do this again later, but I really have grown to like THESE ducks, even if they are disgustingly dirty and stinky right now. [​IMG] I guess I'll just have to do the right thing and get it over with. [​IMG] But now I am determined to get better prepared and get more ducks and geese.

    The day that the geese went to their new home, we brought them outside to play in the pool. They hated it... but they loved the grass and they were following my 12 month old son around and around, hanging out with my 2 year old... it really made me question the decision to let them go. I know they went to a good home, and we will go see them when they are all grown up at the fair.

    I just can't WAIT to get more now... I just have to be better prepared. I guess if we get them later, in the warmer part of summer, then they can get outside right away too.

    Oh well, what a bummer... I'm going to miss these babies. [​IMG]
     
  8. NancyDz

    NancyDz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Dutch Flat, CA
    you are at 4 weeks and are giving them away now?! you are through the most difficult part.

    i just bought 4 week olds and they are outside all the time now, no light. Of course it's fairly warm here now but it cools off at night. try to keep them, or you'll be starting all over. Nothing says you have to sell them just because you got responses now.... You put a lot of work into them just to start over again in the summer! Reconsider... [​IMG]



    Nancy
     
  9. chicka_chicka_boom_boom

    chicka_chicka_boom_boom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2008
    Eaton County, MI
    I AM reconsidering! This really is hard. Today is community yard sales, so maybe I can find something that might work as a shelter for the time being while I figure out the best solution. I need to get my husband on board too.

    You are right, I really don't want to start over. Thanks for the encouragement.
     
  10. NancyDz

    NancyDz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Dutch Flat, CA
    [​IMG] Hope you found something today! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Nancy
     

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