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Mallard Ducklings...... New to Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by SGM, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. SGM

    SGM Chillin' With My Peeps

    919
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    Aug 18, 2008
    Easley, SC
    Well I've been doing a lot of reading and have been surfing threads here on BYC. I am about ready to take the plunge on ducklings. Tomorrow the feed store is expecting a shipment of chicks to arrive and also ducklings. Pekin and Mallard. Well I'm not interested in a large breed duck really so I was thinking of the Mallards.

    I've read they shouldn't have medicated starter unless the medication is a specific kind (which has totally escaped my memory now, though it did start with an "A"). They need water to wash their bills off with and also to eat with.

    So my questions are. How deep should the waterer be? I've also read barnyard's post about losing ducklings and it possibly being due to choking. Should I make a mash to start them off with?

    How soon can I put them in water for short swims each day? I know you can do it as early as 1 day but when is too soon?

    I've brooded chicks several times before and actually have new chicks in a brooder right now from a hatch over the weekend.

    Anything else I should know? I'm very excited about getting our first ducklings and my daughter (age 7) is beside herself. We're planning to have lots of fun playing with ducklings. Thanks in advance!!!
     
  2. chickensducks&agoose

    chickensducks&agoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had ducklings, and we didn't let them swim (without mama) until they were at least 2 weeks old, and then, we watched them, and only let them swim for 5 or 10 minutes, then dried them with a towel... they get chilled easy, and can die. We gave them little cans of water, like a tuna can, so they can't really get in, or fall in, or anything, but can dip the whole head.... good luck!
     
  3. SGM

    SGM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    139
    Aug 18, 2008
    Easley, SC
    Well mine will be indoors with the brooder and I was thinking a small tray of water that's warm too and then put them back in the brooder dried off to warm back up. I've watched some videos online and visited a few websites of people with ducklings. I can't wait to see what they're like in person!
     
  4. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    Colorado
    They do drown easily, even after 2 weeks if they don't have a good way to get back out of the pond. I lost two call ducks last year and they were like a month old because they couldn't get out. I could hear them cheeping but I had torn my MCL in my knee and couldn't get out of bed to help. I felt terrible! [​IMG]

    Don't leave them alone in the water or build them a nice ramp to get out and you'll be fine. [​IMG]
     
  5. SGM

    SGM Chillin' With My Peeps

    919
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    139
    Aug 18, 2008
    Easley, SC
    Oh ok. I was going to use an idea I saw on a website of using a paint roller tray for their first swimming lessons. Supervised and then put up. I wasn't planning on putting them outside permanently with their own pool for a while.

    How old should they be before they go outside permanently with a pool?
     
  6. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    Colorado
    Quote:Mine were born under a broody call, so they lived out there from day one. One day I was looking out my window and I see all three little chickies run through the dog fence I almost DIED! My German shepherd was trying to catch them but they were too fast and then they ran back through the fence to the aviary.

    I tell ya, the big outside world is dangerous and enough to give you a heart attack!

    Keep them inside until they stink! [​IMG]
     
  7. SGM

    SGM Chillin' With My Peeps

    919
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    Aug 18, 2008
    Easley, SC
    Oh I can only imagine!!! I have a Greyhound and I must admit I'm a little concerned about how he'll react when they get their "quack". He's super laid back and doesn't mess with the loose chickens and is cat safe too as we have 7 indoor cats. So he's a good boy, but they train them a lot with the duck calls to come so I don't know yet. He's very smart and quick to learn so if I keep them in a run there should be no problems I think. Don't know if having them loose would be a good idea though with Ace. [​IMG]
     

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