I'm a newbie to ducks! Tell me your ways oh wise ones!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Moochie, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Moochie

    Moochie Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,747
    11
    163
    Nov 8, 2010
    North Edwards
    Just got two crested babies today. They aren't fully feathered but are pretty big, I don't know the age though. I think I have both a girl and a boy... The larger one's voice is raspy compared to the smaller one's, which is a clean quack (chirp, actually). The rancher told my mom and I that ducks eat the same food as chickens... So I'm sure I got food covered. Plus they'll be getting plenty of snacks.
    I've already given them a temporary pond, soon I'll dig into the ground and have a large tub in their enclosure, so they'll have a somewhat "natural" water source, lol.
    In the enclosure are 3 young pullets, there were 2 cockerels... They were being mean to the ducks so I had to remove them. There is also a handicapped chicken in there, she doesn't do much so she's okay with them.

    So, tell me... The basics of raising ducks? Also, why are they so mushy? I noticed when I picked them up that they are mushy. Oh any info on breeding would be great too. I love raising poultry.


    Do they sleep in the water? They have a place to sleep that I set up for them but they haven't touched it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  2. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    8,427
    15
    263
    Aug 3, 2009
    It sounds like you have a male and a female.
    Ducks can eat Gamebird food or Flockraiser.
    I like your description-mushy. That's a good way to describe how soft they are. [​IMG]
    They always need clean water to rinse out their nares and plenty of water for swimming and dunking.
     
  3. Moochie

    Moochie Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,747
    11
    163
    Nov 8, 2010
    North Edwards
    Quote:Ohh I see.. Eh rancher...
    Nares?
    Oh and when I was petting them the female was doing some odd thing to my arm. Kinda like nibbling.. She stretched out her neck from my hand up my wrist, and nibbled kind of. The male doesn't seem to like me much.
     
  4. NoseyChickens

    NoseyChickens Feathers On The Ground

    2,405
    18
    193
    Aug 3, 2009
    Southern California
    Yes the extra calcium in layer feed is bad for them this young. The do not sleep on the wather adn young ducklings can drown, so watch them and make sure they can get in and out of the water. The girls are the ones that quack. Sometimes they nibble, which can turn into bitting. I had a problem with my males doing that to me until I added more females to the flock. Mine sleep in their own coop at night, but they get along just fine with the chickens. Storey's Guide to rasing ducks is a great learning tool. (My duck bible). They will breed on their own, if you incubate the humidity is different (higher) than chicken eggs and they incubate longer depending on the breed. If they are not fully feathered they need to keep warm just like a baby chick. Good Luck!
     
  5. Moochie

    Moochie Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,747
    11
    163
    Nov 8, 2010
    North Edwards
    Ah thank you Nosey [​IMG]

    The pond isn't that deep.. I moved them into the house (theirs not mine), to sleep with their chicken buddies, but they went back to the water. My mom says they went back cuz they love the water... Since they've been in cages most of their life. They haven't been eating the feed anyways. They did eat some bread though and some mealworms. They do get in and out pretty good. Humm.... I should go check on them. They're quite big for youngins though :eek:
     
  6. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    23,381
    37
    351
    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    If they look fully feathered they'd be fine on the water by themselves. Several of my ducks sleep on our pond at night, the rest sleep in the front yard under the security light. I think they like the bugs [​IMG]

    I wouldn't feed gamebird starter to ducks, it has way too much protein. Chick starter for older ducklings or flock raiser for babies works good. Around 4 months old you can switch them to layer feed.
     
  7. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    23,381
    37
    351
    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Oh, forgot to mention that you shouldn't breed 2 crested ducks together. You can have all sorts of head deformities and 'dead in shell' ducklings. The thing that makes them crested is an opening in their skulls, 2 genes (1 from each parent) is most always lethal.
     
  8. Stoney22

    Stoney22 Chillin' With My Peeps

    155
    0
    89
    Jun 7, 2011
    new hampshire
    also DO NOT feed them bread, it can kill them. it can expand in there stomachs when they drink and swell and kill them or have perservatives the birds cant process and make it painful of kill them. also the feed you are feeding, i suspect its ok since they havent died yet, but make sure its non medicated. medicated feed is ok for chicks but not for ducks it can kill them if you feed them medicated chicken feed this young, they need the non medicated stuff.
     
  9. yook2000

    yook2000 Chillin' With My Peeps

    99
    1
    94
    Jul 15, 2010
    New Haven County
    Don't give them the pond when they are young. One of my duckling drowned when he was 2 weeks old.
     
  10. Moochie

    Moochie Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,747
    11
    163
    Nov 8, 2010
    North Edwards
    Umm no they haven't died... And they're doing quite fine. Lol I found out why they weren't touching the sleep place. Picky creatures, apparently there wasn't enough shavings for them. I had an amount like about.. Eh I don't know but it looks rather thicker than it was yesterday. I checked the website and it said the crested are 1-2 weeks old.
    Don't worry they will not drown!! The water is less than 6 inches. The container that we placed by digging into the ground is maybe 4 inches, and the little puddle pond is like.... No clue but they are not able to swim in it.
    I'm giving them chick starter, crumble I think? It's not mash. Yeah crumble. The chicks wouldn't touch it when they were itty bitty so I just saved it. Here's a pic incase anyone knows whether they're 1 week or 2 weeks.

    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by