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Discussion in 'Ducks' started by beetandsteet, Apr 28, 2016.
Bought 4 ducklings yesterday for a dollar apiece at TSC. Any advice for a duck greenhorn?
Get some brewers yeast or niacin tablets as a supplement to your starter feed. Water management will be a pain in your brooder because ducklings like to play and splash in their water and they will get their bedding wet. Get frozen peas for a treat for them. Have fun!
Ducklings are so much fun! This our setup. Notice the feeder is on a lid and on a brick. The brick keeps the shavings out of the feed and the lid catches feed and prevents waste. The waterer is a covered chip and dip from a thrift with holes cut just the right size. We now have an upside down bowl sitting on top and in the middle to keep the ducklings from getting on top and sticking their feet in the water. You can't see but we use a disposable bed protector also from a thrift under the watering bowl to catch the wet mess from our very messy ducks. You will start small and low if your ducklings are smaller and lower! We feed purina flock raiser and I got a bottle of 100mg niacin from wallyworld and smash them and put one in each gallon of water. Have a blast and enjoy your ducklings!
Welcome tot he world of ducks. I'd suggest you check out this thread https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750869/raising-and-caring-for-ducklings#post_10611711
What does the niacin do? Curious
At what age should I give the ducks water to swim in?
Ducklings need higher levels of niacin than chicks for their development. Lack of niacin causes problems, most commonly is presents with leg issues. In extreme cases it can cause neological problems.
You can let your ducks swim now. The water should be warm but not hot. Start off at just a few minutes and gradually increase the time each day. Always supervise while they swim. When done dey them off with a towel and put them back under the heat light.
You don't want to give them swimming time unsupervised until they have their adult feathers. Their baby down can get soaked and if they get too tired it can weight them down and they will drown.
If you had an oil gland like a mother duck you could oil your babies so they could swim, but uh oh no oil gland so no swimming unless you dry them off and get them warm. I just don't let ours swim until they get feathered and preen themselves but it isn't easy to wait.
I let my ducklings swim from day 1 at home. They are ducks. Mom leads them to water. When very little, they get warm water swims a quick towel dry and back in the brooder and I turn their light on until they have fluffed back out. As they get older, the water isn't as warm, but still in the brooder to dry and then whatever the temp is outside is the water since it is a small kiddie pool and then they dry on their own.
I don't do unsupervised swims until I know they can easily get in and out of their pool.
I'm with @TLWR. Its good for ducklings to get swim time when they are young. As long as you watch them and then dry them off and put back under the light afterward. Letting them swim at a young age actually encourages their adult feathers to come in sooner.