Naturally raised ducklings, anything i should know?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Lowerbarn, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. Lowerbarn

    Lowerbarn In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2017
    OK, we decided that whilst having some new ducklings in the flock would be good, we didn't want to be getting an incubator and all of the set up needed and doing things that way, not least because we wouldn't have had the time to be turning eggs and keeping on top of things, so we decided that if any of our girls decided they wanted to have ducklings then we would let nature take its course and if it happens great, if not then no problem.

    last year we had a couple of them try, they sat on the eggs for a day, 2 at the most and got bored, so that was that, however this year one of them is now on day 13 and going strong, she has 15 eggs under her and this morning it looks like around 5 or 6 are fertile and developing, so now i need to be thinking about the next step!

    I still want to do things naturally, ie not get involved unless i have to do, i just want to know really what i should be providing to help her raise them, what i should or shouldn't let her do etc, and of course just know what i can do if i do need to step in if she abandons them or anything.

    we have a stable that our ducks are in, and in that stable is a large wooden shed that is their house, it has straw down throughout and she is actually outside the house with her nest so the temperature in there is fine, it is all secure from predators etc of course too, they go in there at night and are free range in the daytime (obviously at the moment she is in there all the time), we do have a way of separating the area and the plan was to put her in a section on her own nearer to the time of hatching so that the other 8 ducks that we have are not able to get at her, the separation is a mesh fence so they are still able to see and interact with each other, we have used this in the past to rest any injured ducks from the male etc.

    So, if/when they hatch, what will she need in there for them? at the moment she has food and water, but it is in tubs that ducklings will have no chance of getting into, i have seen various things saying that they will need access to water for swimming etc, and others saying just a small shallow drinking water is what they need. Should they be swimming straight away? we have a large natural pond that they could all go in, but when should they go in that? or i have smaller tubs that they use for bathing that i could put them in when they are ready if that is a safer option (my thought was the natural pond has a source of food etc, the tubs are just fresh clean water with nothing in)

    What food do i need to provide, or do i just let them out in the garden for short periods to find food and do it alone? at the moment the mother is on duck & goose pellets, plus wheat and corn mixed in there, i know you can get chick starter food but is it the same as for ducks? my food place doesn't have anything specific for ducks in so i am not sure on what is best

    Any advice from anyone who has done this before would be welcomed, i have searched lots online and almost everything relates to hand rearing and incubating, and the only natural things i can find refer to ducks in the wild, so its hard to find suitable information for just letting her get on with it and only being there as a back up and provider of what she needs

    Thank you
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Put up your temporary fence once hatching is close or if the others begin to bother her. Provide water in a Chicken font till the Ducklings are bigger so they won't drown. Try and find a starter feed for all Birds. Not medicated feed. You may need to keep them separated till the Ducklings are older if the others try to kill the babies..
    Lowerbarn likes this.

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