new member and a new owner....

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by griemar, May 9, 2011.

  1. griemar

    griemar Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2011
    Hello everyone, I'm brand new here and a new parent of 2 cute baby chics. I've been lurking here for a while reading up on tips and ideas, but I of course still have many questions and much to learn. As of this afternoon myself and my wife are proud parents of 1 Fawn runner and 1 Blue Swedish. But, I am unsure of their ages because the store I purchased them from has no information or paperwork regarding their hatch dates. Is there a way that I can guesstimate how old they are by their size? Also, with being new parents, I'm curious as to what the best options are for their housing. For tonight I currently have them in a 30 gallon rubber maid tote with a 125 watt infrared heat lamp along with a 1 gallon waterer and of course a chic feeding tray. Tomorrow I plan to start building their coop, but ideas are greatly appreciated. I'll be converting an unused dog run that has a 5x10 outdoor run and a door leading inside to a 5x8 enclosed area. I was going to use hay for bedding inside along with a converted dog box for them to sleep in and get out of the elements. As for the outside run, thats currently all grass and was going to use an old unused kiddy pool sunken into the ground and put some landscaping stones and timber for decorations. Does this sound like a decent start? I'm located in Minnesota and the current weather is rainy and has been between high 50's to upper 70's, just in case environment makes a big difference. Thanks in advance [​IMG]
     
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    [​IMG]
    Welcome to the duck addiction.

    [​IMG] Now sally forth and post! [​IMG]

    Imp- Who is this Sally Forth? [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2010
    Minnesota
    Welcome to the forum. You can kind of guess by the size and when the ducks start feathering out as to how old they are. If they fit in your hand- 1 week if they are the size of two hands 3 weeks. (going by my birds)

    I would say a dog house is a good start and it sounds like you have a good thought on the run as well. I use straw bedding on the ducks as well but just note they do make a mess of things and you will have to change out this bedding often. As for the rain when they get bigger it won't be a problem as long as they have somewhere to get dry.

    I brood mine in the house for the first two weeks or so (really that is all that I can handle with the smell) and then put them out in my barn with more room but so far the smallest that I have had in a litter is 6. It also depends on the time of year. Right now I think my babies could almost go outside at 5 weeks old (they are not outside but still in a "brooder" room in the barn) as it is getting warm- Tuesday it is supposed to hit 80. But with the weird spring we have had I wouldn't be surprised with snow in two days so... try and figure out how winter is going to work (I know spring is in the air and who really wants to think about it but... it creeps up on you), when you are thinking of your set up. Sounds like you must be near me- this winter was HARD with the ducks and chickens and as such I had to change my water set up a few times.

    Remember to ask away on those questions and more than likely someone on here has solved the problem you are trying to fix or figure out.

    Again [​IMG]
     
  4. griemar

    griemar Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2011
    Quote:Thanks for the reassuring words, I'm glad to hear that I'm at least on the right track. Judging by what you have said, I would put them at around a week old. I got them from Runnings and they are both just big enough to fill your palm. I'll work on making a better brooder also since now I know that I'll have them indoors longer. Even though we only have two, I don't like seeing them crowded in a small tote like that, especially considering they don't have much room to get away from the heat lamp.

    1 more question though if you dont mind, does your babies "cry" in their sleep? I've turned out all the lights thinking they would goto bed for the night, and even though they are nestled in and appear to be sleeping, they are still cheeping. Maybe they are cold with the lamp out?

    Thanks again for the information and everyone that has responded, I guess I'm just your typical paranoid parent, LOL.
     
  5. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2010
    Minnesota
    Keep the heat lamp on 24/7 for the first week to two weeks. When the weather does cooperate I think of taking the heat lamp off them but at night they really need that heat the most.

    I believe it is 95 the first week, 85 second and 75 the third week. When they get their feathers in then you can start weening them off the lamp.
     
  6. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2010
    Minnesota
    Quote:The other thing I do is mix their food with water to make a mush the first week or so. As the ducklings need to know that they need the water with the food. Seems to be a good trick.

    I also brood mine in a big tub - I think I have a christmas tree in the size tote I use. I know our Walmart had them on sale a few weeks ago.
     
  7. griemar

    griemar Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2011
    Quote:The other thing I do is mix their food with water to make a mush the first week or so. As the ducklings need to know that they need the water with the food. Seems to be a good trick.

    I also brood mine in a big tub - I think I have a christmas tree in the size tote I use. I know our Walmart had them on sale a few weeks ago.

    You read my mind, I was just thinking Walmart, LOL. I'll try mixing water in the food and see how it goes, I'm currently using Nutrena Chic Starter Grower as it was recommended to me by several people at the store. As for turning the light on, I think that took care of it. As soon as it was back on they got much quieter and started to settle back down. If you don't mind me asking, what area are you in?

    Thanks again.
     
  8. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    742
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    Jun 25, 2010
    Minnesota
    Quote:The other thing I do is mix their food with water to make a mush the first week or so. As the ducklings need to know that they need the water with the food. Seems to be a good trick.

    I also brood mine in a big tub - I think I have a christmas tree in the size tote I use. I know our Walmart had them on sale a few weeks ago.

    You read my mind, I was just thinking Walmart, LOL. I'll try mixing water in the food and see how it goes, I'm currently using Nutrena Chic Starter Grower as it was recommended to me by several people at the store. As for turning the light on, I think that took care of it. As soon as it was back on they got much quieter and started to settle back down. If you don't mind me asking, what area are you in?

    Thanks again.

    Good to hear the light is back on- you worried me! They will sleep fine with it on.

    I live close to Austin Mn. How about you?

    I use 18% broiler feed (as that is what my local feed store sells) for the ducklings/chickens but have used chick starter as well. Would suggest Niacin for in their water as when using chick starter there won't be enough of this and they could develop leg problems. You can find it in the pharmacy isle. 100 mg to a gal of water.
     
  9. azhenhouse

    azhenhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 12, 2010
    North Eastern Arizona
    Quote:You read my mind, I was just thinking Walmart, LOL. I'll try mixing water in the food and see how it goes, I'm currently using Nutrena Chic Starter Grower as it was recommended to me by several people at the store. As for turning the light on, I think that took care of it. As soon as it was back on they got much quieter and started to settle back down. If you don't mind me asking, what area are you in?

    Thanks again.

    Good to hear the light is back on- you worried me! They will sleep fine with it on.

    I live close to Austin Mn. How about you?

    I use 18% broiler feed (as that is what my local feed store sells) for the ducklings/chickens but have used chick starter as well. Would suggest Niacin for in their water as when using chick starter there won't be enough of this and they could develop leg problems. You can find it in the pharmacy isle. 100 mg to a gal of water.

    I agree with the niacin. Just make sure you do not use the non-flush niacin. You can also use a poultry vitamin pack in their water. These can be found at the feed store.
     
  10. griemar

    griemar Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2011
    Quote:You read my mind, I was just thinking Walmart, LOL. I'll try mixing water in the food and see how it goes, I'm currently using Nutrena Chic Starter Grower as it was recommended to me by several people at the store. As for turning the light on, I think that took care of it. As soon as it was back on they got much quieter and started to settle back down. If you don't mind me asking, what area are you in?

    Thanks again.

    Good to hear the light is back on- you worried me! They will sleep fine with it on.

    I live close to Austin Mn. How about you?

    I use 18% broiler feed (as that is what my local feed store sells) for the ducklings/chickens but have used chick starter as well. Would suggest Niacin for in their water as when using chick starter there won't be enough of this and they could develop leg problems. You can find it in the pharmacy isle. 100 mg to a gal of water.

    I'm in Watson, MN, about 160 miles from you. I'll look to get the Niacin tomorrow, I don't want to risk any injury ect. I'm off to bed for the night but I'm sure I'll be back asking more tomorrow. I'll even try to get some pics together as I want to document both their progress along with my own. Who would have ever thought that I'd be this into ducks, LOL. Night everyone.
     

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