1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

Muscovies are due to hatch-need duckling advice

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by apbgv, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. apbgv

    apbgv Songster

    Jan 13, 2007
    Ok I have 4 eggs due to hatch on Thursday. I am so excited. What temp should the brooder be? Will the chick waterer be ok for now? I have never hatched ducklings before, I did foster a mallard duckling a couple years ago. she was released back to the river. I hope I didn't just jinx myself I candled them the other day and the eggs are full of babies. Pics of good duckling brooder??
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008
  2. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    The chick waterer should be fine for the first few days. I'd say about 90 degrees the first week on the brooder, then drop it 5 degrees each week. Assuming it's warm where you are you probably won't need any extra heat after 3-4 weeks, unless the night temps get below 60.

    I kept mine in a wire dog crate the first month, covered in newspaper/cardboard to keep them from slipping between the wires.
  3. apbgv

    apbgv Songster

    Jan 13, 2007
    Thanks, I am in Iowa it is hot and humid during the day around 60-70 and night and generally humid:eek: hope they hatch
  4. Heather J

    Heather J Songster

    May 29, 2008
    Good luck. I brooded my ducks and geese exactly the same as my chicks and they did fine. I love my muscovies, they're sweet and so much quieter than the other ducks!
  5. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    I moved my little ducks out into the shed at 3 weeks old, they hardly needed any heat up to that point, and they were making so much mess - I put them out.

    I'm next door in Nebraska - your temps are probably similar to ours.

    My ducks now free-range with the chickens, I kept them in a separate little run area for a couple of days, and then let them out and watched closely - the chickens ignored them!

    Now they all sleep in the coop - the shed I made for the ducks connects to the coop with a little chicken size door - and the ducks just like the coop better.
  6. josh_bigler

    josh_bigler Songster

    Jun 11, 2008
    windsor, missouri
    alright, i see a few things have not been said, DO NOT feed them chick starter, watch and make sure they can actually drink out of the chick waterer, they need to be able to dip their bills in it, umm... also 90 degrees for the first 3 DAYS, and then drop to 80, also make sure they they can get out of the heat if needed so they do not get to hot, if you have any more questions about ducklings just pm me and i will help! [​IMG] good luck with your hatch!
  7. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    I feed mine chick starter. Do not feed them medicated chick starter, as 1) ducklings are more naturally disease resistant and do not need the medication, and 2) ducklings eat more than chicks and there is the possibility they can overdose on the medication and die.

    Ducklings need extra niacin, so give them a bit of finely chopped spinach once or twice a day. Mine also love Cheerios.

    Feed them a lower protein feed after 3 or 4 weeks to avoid development problems such as angel wing.
  8. LV426

    LV426 Chillin

    Jul 16, 2008
    I started my ducklings out on 20% protein chick starter for the first 3 weeks and then after that I moved them to Mazuri Waterfowl Maintenance with a protein of 14%. You really need to cut that protein as they start to grow their feathers in to avoid angel wing. Even then I still had one that started to get it but I corrected it easily by wrapping his wing to his body for a week.

    I found that chick waterers are no good because your ducks need to be able to dip their whole head in and clear their nares (nostrils) and wash their eyes. I took a gallon milk jug and cut a hole about 2 inches from the bottom just big enough for the ducks to fit their heads in. I filed the edges so they weren't sharp and filled the milk jug to the edge of the hole. If you do this on 4 sides then you won't have to worry about crowding at the water hole and they can't get in it and splash around. Believe me if they can get in their water your whole brooder will be wet.

    For heat I used a red reptile heat bulb at night and a regular 100 watt bulb for the day. I kept it at 90* under the lamp but made sure there was plenty of room for them to spread out and cool off. It's very easy to over heat them so make sure they can get away from the heat source. You can use a chick feeder if you want but I always keep the food at one end and the water at the other. Chick starter molds like crazy when it gets wet. Also make sure you clean any wetness out of the cage every day.

    Now as for newspaper I found it to be too slippery and they were stumbling. I ended up using Aspen shavings. I don't like pine or cedar because they cause respiratory problems in most animals. Aspen is safe and dust free and won't mold like hay or straw. Of course I don't use a traditional brooder, I use a large rubbermaid container with a wire top. No drafts, plenty of leg room, and easy to clean. [​IMG]

    Good luck with your ducks.
  9. mamaboyd

    mamaboyd Songster

    Jun 6, 2007
    Good luck with your hatch!! I've got 3 muscovy eggs due to hatch on Sunday, one of them has already pipped tonight on day 32.

    Everyone has offered great advice!! [​IMG]
  10. josh_bigler

    josh_bigler Songster

    Jun 11, 2008
    windsor, missouri
    Quote:thanks for clearing up my mistake, MEDICATED chick starter lol, i forgot to put the main word in it, it was late and i was tired lol:D, mine also loves cheerios too! but most of my chickens hate it lol

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: