New ducklings wont eat

jbest

In the Brooder
Mar 22, 2015
17
0
22
Just today got 4 ducklings from the TS. been a few hours now,and the haven't eaten or drank anything that I have seen. They just huddle in the corner and sleep. Help?
 

Mandy020386

Chirping
5 Years
Jul 4, 2014
114
8
63
Texas
Just today got 4 ducklings from the TS. been a few hours now,and the haven't eaten or drank anything that I have seen. They just huddle in the corner and sleep. Help?
New chicks and ducks do that. The stress from being packed and shipped is exhausting. See how they do tomorrow and let me know. They really don't have to eat for 72 hrs after hatching.
 

jbest

In the Brooder
Mar 22, 2015
17
0
22
I think someone figured it out. After the first night there was water splashed all over and some little wet dents in the feed. Hopefully the all get the memo! will post more info on what they are doing tonight
 

jbest

In the Brooder
Mar 22, 2015
17
0
22
I believe they are eating now, but the little guys keep playing in their water and getting it all over!! When will they be old enough to just put a bowl of water in their for them to play in?
 

howfunkyisurchicken

Crowing
9 Years
Apr 11, 2011
9,281
823
361
Tn
It'll be a while before you can just leave them with water to swim in, even if its very shallow. Ducklings raised by us don't get the oil that would rub off on them from a mama duck, and they get water logged. You can take them out and let them swim for a bit while you supervise.

As for the water mess situation, they can make the brooder soggy with traditional chick waterers. My last batch of ducklings, I used a plastic milk jug and cut a hole just big enough for them to put their heads in (and low enough to reach). As they grew, I changed to a new jug and made the hole a bit higher and bigger. It helped contain most of the mess and its better for them because they can stick their bills down in the water and clear their nostrils. You can cut the mess even more by placing the water in a cat box with high sides, a cut down tote or by keeping it elevated on something that allows the water to fall through into a bowl (I've used a wooden square with hardware cloth covering it).

They'll make a mess no matter what you do, but you can manage it to some degree. The duck section of BYC has some great pics of duck brooders. Good luck :)
 

needlessjunk

Crowing
7 Years
May 19, 2014
2,601
2,476
357
Georgetown, TX
Have you seen this? https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750869/raising-and-caring-for-ducklings#post_10611711

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/256233/ducks-sticky-topics-index

Also the duck forum is a good place to ask questions. Ducks have a special relationship with water and love to make a mess. For the first week I used a sour cream container with a hole cut out of the lid. That way they can clean their nares. It's very important that they can dunk their heads in water. Then moved on to a cool whip container with a hole in the lid. I would put the container in a rabbit litter pan full of pine horse stall pellets to absorb the water they would fling out. They love to ding water every where along with food.
 
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