I am soooo confused! Need help with all things duck, PLEASE!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by megg902, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. megg902

    megg902 Out Of The Brooder

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    OK, short version: I now have 2 baby ducks and no idea what to do with them.

    Long version: The office building next to ours watched these 2 ducklings out in our back parking lot all day today, then they eventually moved towards the front lot and headed towards the road. There was never any mother seen and the ducklings seemed to be very hot (its about 97 outside right now) So when they got too close to the road for comfort they were caught.

    There is no local water. Not even a wet ditch. We are in the middle of town for goodness sake. So where did they come from?? Possible mom was killed and they just wound up here?

    I ended up with them because its known that I have chickens. I purchased my chicks at a day old and have raised them since but I have zero knowledge about ducks, other than that my husband hunts them. From reading some of the threads on here I see that it is not legal to have certian species in certian areas. And also I am sure there are some differences in raising ducks from chicks.

    I dont mind keeping the ducklings if I am allowed but could use some guidence to get them through the first few days while I do some research about how to best care for them and if i can even keep them or not. Im including some pics to see if any of yall have any ideas about age or breed.... shot in the dark im sure....

    Thanks in advance for any and all help!!!!!

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  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Aww,

    probably mallards, but I'm not the best at breed i.d.

    Keep them at around 80F temperature, dropping five degrees or so each week - probably similar to chicks. You probably already know to watch them, give them a way to move away from or closer to the heat source. These littles may prefer it a little cooler. See what works.

    They can eat chick feed HOWEVER they need three times the niacin and some recommend against medicated feed (apparently amprolium is okay, according to many people). Niacin can be in the form of a sprinkling of powdered brewer's yeast on their food, or 100 mg of niacin per gallon of water.

    They need access to water (not deep enough to drown in) and food 24/7 the first six to ten weeks.

    They need different brooder management than chicks because they are waterfowl. See if you can get their water in a section of the brooder that won't soak their sleeping area. Wifezilla has a neat brooder setup for a few ducklings.

    Bless your heart! Let's see who might offer you some more suggestions. By the way - Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks is a great starter book. My runners don't do exactly everything the book says they do, but it was a terrific help.

    Do some searches on BYC for "duckling brooder" "duckling food" "duckling water" and check out the list of duck treats. Also "duckling niacin" might turn up some good suggestions.

    We don't all agree on each detail - go with your motherly instincts, and watch the little ones to see what's working.

    Enjoy! They may steal your heart, though!
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  3. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

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    Oh my they're SOOO tiny. Poor babies. I would guess a couple of days old and probably Mallard/Mallard Cross of some kind.
    First, they do need to be kept warm for a few weeks. I don't brood my ducklings at as high of a temp as chicks.
    They can eat Flock Raiser or Gamebird Starter and will need access to water deep enough to dip their bills in to rinse out their nares, but they CAN drown, so make sure the bowl isn't too deep.
    They tend to splash a lot, so be prepared for cleaning brooders pretty frequently. Oh, and they poop...a lot. Use paper towels for the first few days in the brooder and then you can use shavings. You'll find all kinds of creative brooder ideas before they're out of it. [​IMG]
    They will also steal your heart before you know it.
    Good for you for rescuing the poor little things.
     
  4. megg902

    megg902 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the replys... Im currently at my desk cuddling both of them in one hand against my shirt. Just gonna go ahead and sacrifice this shirt to the duckies, lol. Cant leave for a while so thought this was the best way to keep them warm. I put a small bowl of water down and they jumped in but didnt stay long, im sure they got cold. It is pretty chilly in here. Im looking up ways to modify my chicken brooder once i get home. Just not sure how to best handle the water situation. Apparently yall are serious when you say they splash!! Any other ideas that come to mind just let me know! I will be checking this thread often!
     
  5. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

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    Hey, you're not too far from me-just up the road a piece(I'm in Hardin County).
    Believe me, that will not be the only piece of clothing you'll be sacrificing to them-I speak from the voice of experience. [​IMG]
     
  6. megg902

    megg902 Out Of The Brooder

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    Im in Bastrop, LA not TX. LOL.
     
  7. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

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    Quote:Oh, still neighbors. [​IMG]
    PM me if you need any duck help.
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I'm up in New England, but with you in spirit! Love that you're taking them under your wing!

    Gryeyes also has a nice idea for giving them washie water that doesn't splash so much. She uses a margarine or whipped cream tub with the lid that has a just-bigger-than-head-sized hole in it. They can drink, wash eyes and nares (vital to ducklings to prevent serious infections), but not soak the bedding.

    You may want to subdivide the brooder. Also, ducklings grow OH SO QUICKLY. I think my runners' legs grew half an inch one night. I only slightly exaggerate.
     
  9. megg902

    megg902 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for all the warm wishes!! Planning ahead... they grow quickly? About how old should they be before i put them with my chickens? I have 2 month old RIRs and Barred Rocks.... Should I even put them in with them? Will they get beat up?

    Edit: my avatar is a current pic of my BR roo.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  10. bt03

    bt03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Over the rainbow...
    When you wake up tomorrow they will be the same size as your chickens [​IMG] When we say they grow fast we mean fast. We had to wait a little more than 3 months for the chickens to be ready to go into the teenager pen and my ducks only took a little over a month. Most don't put their ducks out until they are fully feathered but it is hot enough here that mine go out at about 4-6 weeks. When they lose their fuzz and their teenage feathers your yard will look like there was a huge pillow fight outside so don't be alarmed [​IMG] As for putting them with chickens that is a hit and miss thing. Some people have success some don't. I'm in the middle. I have a couple of chickens that just do not like the ducks at all and will pick on them (freezer camp is coming up for those) but the rest of them are perfectly ok with them being around. If there is a way that you can let them be together but with a divider of some sort untill they are accustomed to eachother that would probably be best for everyone. Cute babies by the way!!!
     

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