New to baby ducks? Need all the advice I can get?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ReeseTheChick, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. ReeseTheChick

    ReeseTheChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We'll be getting 4 ducklings here in the next few days, but I know nothing about them. Any advice on how to raise ducklings? We'll be getting chicks too.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  3. zbraswell92

    zbraswell92 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congrats on soon getting your first ducks![​IMG]
    They are so much fun!

    Keep the babies in a clean place with a heat lamp that supplies a hot-spot of 90F for the first week. Chicks can eat medicated feed, but the medication in the feed is toxic to ducklings! NEVER feed ducks or ducklings medicated feeds. The ducklings need at least 20% protein. They need to be able to access drinking water freely. They should not be able to fall into or swim/sit in their water as they easily tire and can drown or die of hypothermia.
    Ducks need bedding, not just news paper. They have delicate feet and legs and can get injured if they cant keep grip on the bedding. They develop Spraddle-Leg, which is when their legs start to slip outwards and don't support their bodies. You can correct and prevent this by sprinkling brewers yeast on top of their feed.
    I use large pine shaving for bedding. Try not to get shaving that look likes saw dust-- Ducklings like to try to eat their bedding a lot.
    You can also use straw or hay to line the brooder.
    Ducks will make a mess in the brooder with their water and feed, so it's best to keep chicks and ducklings separate. You should also get some vitamins for their water. I get mine from TSC. They are cheap and will do a lot of good in this stressful time.
    This is the kind of vitamins/electrolytes I use for my poultry-
    http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/durvet-vitamins--electrolytes-100gm-jar?cm_vc=-10005

    They eat a lot in the early days too, so make sure you have feed available for them all the time.
    If ducks have feed but no water available, they can choke and die! Ducks need to wash down their food.

    Hope this help your lil ones!
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Marty1876

    Marty1876 Hi Everyone!

    I mostly agree with zbra above. All I would add based on my long duckling experiences is

    A) Make old gal. jugs (platic) into duck waterers. Just make a whole big enough for heads at duck head height, and fill to right below the whole with water. This keeps loads of their mess contained and off their bedding. I also find it useful to put an old pan under the milk jug, they will still drip a bit and this helps. This keeps you only changing bedding every couple of days, and helps prevent "baby duck oder" which is ucky. They grow so fast that you'll make a new jug every week pretty much.

    B) I use recycled boxes for duck brooders. They are messy and stincy, and I like to get rid of it entirely. I use absorbent bedding, like "pig" mat, or sawdust with an old towel over it. Ducklings can get splinters and bumblefoot from wood bedding, but if you don't have tractioin, they'll have leg issues.

    C) ducklings look full grown at 6-8 weeks, so be planning your duck pen now. I lock my ducks up in a sheltor every night, all of them. They can be picked off easily by night preditors....like dogs and people.
     
  5. ReeseTheChick

    ReeseTheChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Brooder Ideas were the first thing I needed, but I think I've found an idea I can use for these babies. I'll have to make a couple for the chicks too, but I've done that 4 times before. Could you explain the duck waterer gallon thing? We have plenty of leftover milk jugs! as for feed, they can eat chick feed right? I've read that the need something put into their water but that's not a big deal. I've also read they can't have chicken mash? That's what my chickens have been eating lately, but if they have to eat something else, that'll be good to know now. I've never used newspaper for brooders, I always felt like it would get slippery and gross faster. We use straw/pine shavings. I've hatched some chicks before, and even though ducks aren't that different it feels like I'm starting from the beginning like when I got my first set of chicks >.< It's exciting though! Thank you for all the help guys. I appreciate it lots! [​IMG]

    You've all probably seen cute little ducklings before, but I'm still going to post pictures when I get them. I can't wait!
    [​IMG]
     
  6. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You want to cut a hole in the jug that is about back height and only big enough for the ducklings to get their heads in. They need to be able to wash their eyes and nares.

    Straw will get gross quickly with ducklings. Water control is the best thing for a relatively clean brooder. Ducklings are gross, no way around it.

    They can eat mash but it may need to be wetter than for chickens. They don't do well with really dusty feed. I add water to my feed pans (everyone is on starter now since its the only thing I can get that all can eat) Ducks need water available at all times when they have feed.

    Ducklings grow quickly. I use large boxes when I brood.

    Get yourself a book, Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks is good.
     
  7. Marty1876

    Marty1876 Hi Everyone!

    I hatch loads of baby ducks. I use dry unmedicated starter. I don't put baby ducks with baby chickens, when chicks get wet, they die. Chicks living with ducks will get wet, be miserable, and probobly die. Dry food works for all though.

    Straw isn't good enough at absorbing water for baby ducks. You really don't understand how very wet they will get every single thing. They are second only to rain showers for wetness, I'm not kidding. Cut, but very smelly.

    Just put your babies near the empty gal. jug, mark your whole at back/neck height, and just make it big enough for heads. I make 1 x 2" squares, and fill to just below the whole. (I usually make a whole on three sides, same height, so everyone can drink and play at once.
     
  8. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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  10. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I suggested it (I think the right way) LOL
     

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