More duck questions...some specific to WH


12 Years
Oct 1, 2007
Ophir, CA
1. HOW IN HEAVENS NAME DO YOU KEEP THE BROODER DRY?????????? I have an 8 foot kiddie pool with shavings in the bottom covered with towels. I change the towels twice a day and the shaving every other day. But they are sooooo messy with their water that the shavings and towels are constantly soaking. I am really worried that this is not good for them. I mean, I know they are ducks, and they aren't in drafts, and they have a two heat lamps that they are not camping out under. But is being damp all the time bad for them?

2. They won't eat their peas no matter how I fix them. They are 4 weeks already and they have not had a single pea for the sheer fact that they REFUSE to eat them. I have mashed them and given them whole and NO GO... so now what? What does niacin deficiency look like and how soon does it start???

3. I have WH ducklings from Holderreads that come from their show quality lines. My questions is about bill color. Aren't the males supposed to have a yellowish bill? All my ducks except one has the gun metal gray bill. The one that is light colored is actually a female. Do duck bills change in color??? Or are they all going to be useless to breed from because of the wrong color bill?

4. How often do you let them swim while they are brooding? I have 16 and it is quite a production to catch them and carry them one or two at a time into the bath and then dry them all off individually before putting them back in the brooder. So they have only swum a couple of times. They do love it and I am wondering how neglectful a mama I am if they only get to do it every few days? And man is my bathtub gross afterwards LOL!


9 Years
Aug 11, 2010
Waterloo, South Carolina
I had 14 ducklings and 4 goslings in my brooder pool last month. Every night I would gather them all up and put them in a plastic tte to carry down the hallway to the bathroom. 18 in the tote...18 out the tote, have a bath...every night...drain water, leave them in empty bath for 5 to 10 minutes so I can clean brooder and they can get rid of alot of the water on their fuzz, put 18 back in tote, carry up the hallway 18 into brooder. Then it wax 18 in tote to go outside, unload 18, reload 18 to go back inside before it got to hot, off load into brooder, then back to square 1 for bath timeagain. Come week 2 I was doing 2 loads of babies and by week 3 when they went out side I was doing 3 loads of babies, in, out, in, out.
I cleaned their brooder out every morning when I put them out at 9ish, washed the sheet and the towel and put back ready for them to come in. Then before I went to bed I removed towel and they still had the sheet to dirty. Towel went out into garage untill next day where it all got shook out, washed twice and dried. You can only keep them dry so long before 18 poopy butts mke a mess again.
I will be doing it all again in around 10 days when my next batch of 18 come out the bator to start the prossess all over again.


10 Years
Jan 11, 2010
I often have 3- 4 brooders at a time so when time is short I have to alternate days that they get a swim, as long as they have clean faces and clear nostrils I know they can go an extra day before they have a swim. It does help to keep the smell down to have them clean- but they dont need to swim every day.

truegrit farm

In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 2, 2008
I have 5 WH 8 days old. I have been giving them peas since day 4. Mine go absolutely NUTS for them! They really have fun with them in the bathtub, dive for them. Have you tried tossing some in their bath water. It really gets their attention. Mine also go nuts for chopped up kale.

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