I need some confirmation that I'm doing ok !

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by AprilFurey, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. AprilFurey

    AprilFurey Out Of The Brooder

    31
    0
    24
    Jul 26, 2012
    08096 new jersey
    I just got 2 Blue Swedish Ducklings 2 days ago. I am a city girl and there isn't much information online about keeping them as pets . I am currently keeping them in a cog crate with the sides built up so they can't fit through the sides and to contain the mess . At first we had them with hay and cedar, but I just read that they were big no no's...so today I put a large towel down...I don't have a brooder lamp... So we have a large heating pad under a towel that they lay on all the time and seem quite happy ! I know I don't have the right feed but I'm working on it ! I know i need to buy niacin too ... Unless it has it in the food ?? And is that a supplement forever ??? I have a Tupperware container with a corner cut off with water in it , in a dog bowl for their water . Is that ok ? Today I mashed banana and mixed a little food in that as a "treat"... Today I let them swim a bit in a container in the tub, I think they lived it, but I can't tell. They dove and dipped and splashed and made noise ... And then they looked really wet so I called it a day and wrapped them up and held them close to me and snuggled for a while. They settled a little and began to look fuzzy again . I made sure the pad was on high and got a space heater and put that near the crate for extra heat. Now they're chirping about eating and drinking ....so am I a good mamma ? What can I add ? Delete? Change ? Alter ? I don't have a whole lot of money ( other then for the right food) suggestions would be helpful .
    Thanks
     
  2. HoneyDreameMom

    HoneyDreameMom Out Of The Brooder

    82
    4
    31
    Aug 5, 2013
    I'm no duck expert, but sounds like they're happy to me. Getting rid of the cedar was a good plan. I hope someone with more experience can offer you some better advice, but best of luck with your new babies! Be sure to post pictures of the little fuzz-balls!
     
  3. AprilFurey

    AprilFurey Out Of The Brooder

    31
    0
    24
    Jul 26, 2012
    08096 new jersey
    [​IMG]Thank you !! I'm worried,but they seem ok !! It's just like human children jeez !!! I'm worried when I'm away from them and when I'm sleeping at night ... Who knew ??!! Lol
     
  4. HoneyDreameMom

    HoneyDreameMom Out Of The Brooder

    82
    4
    31
    Aug 5, 2013
    They are so adorable! Yes, the concern is very similar to taking care of any kind of a baby. When we had our chick brooder in the house this spring and some of the chicks got sick, my husband thought I was crazy for checking on the chicks in the middle of the night, but I couldn't help myself. There's just an innate responsibility and affection for them. [​IMG]
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,929
    5,659
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  6. MallardOnni127

    MallardOnni127 Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Sep 24, 2013
    Sounds like you are doing an excellent job! My ducklings were raised in a plastic container box and now are very happy and living outside! You should feed them un-medicated growers pellets when they get older and chick crumb now. At 10 weeks out them out in a run and house! Well done and good Luck!
     
  7. deserthotwings

    deserthotwings Chillin' With My Peeps

    389
    15
    111
    Jul 1, 2011
    Queen Creek AZ
    If at all possible you really need to get them a heat lamp and keep the temp at about 85. Not only does that give them a good constant temp it also lets them have access to food and water at night. All growing chicks need to be able to eat 24-7 to maintain their growth. The temperature on ducks and geese is not as important as on other birds. I currently have 24 two week old mallards that I'm keeping outside day and night. Our temp here now ranges from near 100 in the afternoons and drops to around 68-70 at night and they are doing fine. Like Ms Lydia said don't let that heating pad get too hot on them. Ducklings take a little coolness a lot better than extreme heat. But it is important that you try and get them some sort of round the clock lighting. Good Luck with your little quacks.
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,983
    1,953
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Niacin is a supplement for ducklings on chick starter, it helps their nervous systems develop. They need three times the niacin chicks do. Some ducklings seem okay, but some develop leg problems and seizures without extra niacin for their first ten weeks or so. After that, and especially once outdoors where they can eat bugs, you ought not to need to supplement.

    I would also get them off the heating pad and near a heat lamp. I really liked having a safety thermometer (no mercury or breakable parts) in the brooder so I could be sure of the temperatures.

    It is obvious you care very much for your littles. Have you read the sticky on raising ducklings?
     
  9. AprilFurey

    AprilFurey Out Of The Brooder

    31
    0
    24
    Jul 26, 2012
    08096 new jersey
    Ok so thank you to everyone for the information ! It's really helpful ! As an update I went to the feed store and was only able to get them chick starter, I told the lady I was going to buy niacin as well and she insisted I didn't need to ! She said she's raised millions of chickens , ducks, turkeys , quail etc and the food she had and sold me was excellent for chicks and ducks and is non medicated and has proper protein and doesn't need to be supplemented .... But I'm still unsure !! Can they die from too much niacin ?? I also bought them the cool feeder water bottle thing and food thing which is less
    Messy and I'm filling it less often ( thank goodness )
    The space heater is going 24/7 next to the crate... But did intend rhey need light 24/7??? I figured they needed dark to sleep ....
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,983
    1,953
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    As you know, be very careful with heaters. They don't need light 24/7. I agree it is good to let them have dark at night.

    I am very glad that the clerk has done well with her ducks on chick starter. I have seen dozens of members here with ducklings having leg problems or seizures that go away some number of days after starting niacin supplementation.

    I would err on the side of caution, and give niacin - 100 mg per gallon of water for the first 8 to 10 weeks.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by