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New to Ducks, Advice 3 day babys

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by psycoforsilkies, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. psycoforsilkies

    psycoforsilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So i got 2 baby indian runner ducks to day, need to know how to care for them properly, i have them in my brooder room in a separate brooder, I also have 2 brooders in thier of Silkies. How warm should i keep them and for how long.
    Whats the best food to feed them, right no they are eatting chick starter, non medicated, organic, soy free, non gmo. it is milled fresh every week. Is that enough or should they get more. I gave them a deep dog food dish for water to dip thier heads in. Is it ok if they are on wire it is 1/4 in i use for my bantams. They dont act cold as they dont lay down under the light. I gave them a teddy bear because they would cry until i came in to hold them. they stop if i hold them. Can they have fresh greens, like my chicks get? I saw someone that was giving rolled oats and baby food veggies and fruit is that ok. how long do they need supp;e mental heat. i have and out door grow pen i keep for my chicks 10 weeks and older that has supp;emental heat at night? Well any Ideas would be great. What kind of housing is best for when they go to live outside. When it is cold do they need a swimming pool we have a kiddie one for them when they are bigger.
     
  2. m.kitchengirl

    m.kitchengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It sounds like you are doing things just fine.
    Make sure their water isn't deep enough to drown. Silly things.
    I think the outside brooder would be fine with heat after 10 weeks.
    I started giving my ducks peas pretty early on. Healthy treats, but not tons. No need to overload their diet.
    They may need more niacin than chickens, but just keep your eyes on how their legs are doing & you should be fine.
    Fresh feed, what a luxury! I wish I could locate an affordable mill that sells manageable amounts.
     
  3. psycoforsilkies

    psycoforsilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have a friend who has raised lots of chickens and decided to start milling her own feed, then she started selling it to others, and my chickens love it, and they are really healthy and thier feathers are really shiney, is a little more than some other feeds but i think its worth it,
     
  4. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    Just watch their feet on the wire- being web footed they are a little different to chickens, and putting something over the wire may be needed. If they are not sitting under the heat- it may be too warm in their for them . Its better to give little ones a water container they can get theior bills int0 but without climbing into since they are likely to splash the water around alot- but also because they can chill quite quickly when very small.

    They do also grow faster than chickens- so depending on the climate where you are- and how well you can hadle the smell you may need to plan to put them outside sooner than ten weeks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  5. m.kitchengirl

    m.kitchengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I put the glass discs for fish tanks / decorative flower arrangements in the waterers when they are small & used the mesh stuff we line the kitchen cabinets with to keep them off the wire but allow for some drainage...
     
  6. duckdad

    duckdad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds as if you have it covered...
    As far as feed, the chick starter is fine. Add some finely chopped cabbage or lettuce to that. For my little ones I'd run greens thru the food processor so it was as fine as possible, less wasted as they could get it all down. When its leafy they leave alot that they can;t chew yet.

    Flooring...mesh is perfect but they would benefit from an old towel thrown over that. Ducks slip alot and their toe-nails get hung very easily and they can hurt themselves. Floors cannot be too slippery because that causes 'splayed leg' from the leg trying to slide outward all the time.

    If you have a processor you can also start adding pelleted alfalfa feed to the greens. When its been chopped it fluffs faster from exposure to water and mixes with the greens better. I always add the pelleted feed because it has the correct protein levels to prevent other duck nutritional abnormalities.

    That teddy bear is gonna be awful wet...hope poo don't stick to his fur like the one in the story of the bear and the rabbit......

    At 3 days its time to get their feet wet....run about 2" of water in the sink or bathtub or a tub of some sort and let them splash around. Never leave them alone in the water until they are at least 8 weeks. Some say until feathered in fully. Ducklings cannot float is why...they get tired quickly and can drown if the water is too deep,. They should be able to stand.
    The bath/swim time helps them exercise, get clean (gonna appreciate that part!) and keeps them entertained and tired. That way they do what ducklings do....eat, poop, sleep, poop, swim, eat, poop, sleep, poop and eat some more.

    Until they are 8+ weeks old always have feed in their cage. They need to be able to eat at anytime until grown. NEVER give feed without fresh water. They can choke if they do not have water to help them swallow their food.

    keep in mind the more you handle them the more they will bond, and within days at this age they will also imprint on you. That is, they will loose their natural attraction to other ducks and start to think they are human, like the human that cares for them, feeds them and protects them. Once imprinted some experts say its for life and very difficult to change. Once bonded to specific humans they can become dependent, so allow them some time to free range a bit after they get bigger so they can learn to eat and drink somewhere besides the food bowls. The upside to all this is that once ducks bond to you they are so loyal that you cannot chase them away. They will always want to be near you and they will see you as their best friend. There are many people here that talk about their duck pets that sit with them, walk around with them, follow them everywhere. Mine do, and while able to take care of themselves they prefer to be near me as much as possible. Escaping their pens is a daily routine...not an attempt at freedom, but the overwhelming desire to come inside to see me. Ducks rank higher than dogs in the imprinting and bonding with humans...

    Most of all, just have fun with them. They will love every minute that you give them and they will return your time with affection. Just prepare for a few things.... rapid growth at a rate of near doubling in size about every 2 weeks. Poo everywhere.... and water everywhere. Messy, hard to contain in some ways as they grow so fast, but more fun than you;ve ever had before.

    You;re gonna love it !
    Have fun and welcome to Duck-ville !
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  7. psycoforsilkies

    psycoforsilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I found my feed does not have added niacin, will giving them greens & alfalfa be enough for them, I am gonna take them outside or maybe inthe garage to use a kitty littler pan to splash around in for now. Some times they do sit under the light, but not always the room they are in is usually at least 70 degrees, because i have my brooders in with my incubators so i keep the temp steady for the incubators. I have just a 60 watt bulb for them because the room is warm and thier thermometer says it is usually between 79-84. I read that that is good for them. and I wash the teddy bear I got one of those fancy steam washers for xmas i love the sanitize function now that i have chickens and ducks it works great.
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    While there is some niacin in alfalfa, I don't feel it will necessarily be the optimum amount. From what I have read, the ways individual ducklings respond to low levels of niacin varies quite a bit. I would´t wait until there is trouble.

    Do you have poultry vitamins? That may have extra niacin. Otherwise, you can put 100 mg of niacin per gallon of water in their waterers for a boost. Bugs have niacin in them, too. I gave my ducklings a sprinkling of grit in their six inch diameter feed bowls to reduce the risk of their getting impacted when they eat ¨grownup food¨ like vegetables. And I brought them slugs as treats until they could forage on their own.
     
  9. ChristineR

    ChristineR Chillin' With My Peeps

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  10. ChristineR

    ChristineR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with this, too. I had a Pekin duckling have seizures due to vitamin deficiencies. The other ducklings with him were fine. I started adding extra Niacin to the water, but that didn't help. I ended up taking the little guy to the vet, where he got a vitamin B complex injection. He was fine after that. I think once he got too deficient, the oral vitamins just weren't enough to get his levels up where they should have been.

    If you can get it, I would feed a waterfowl starter. I like Mazuri Waterfowl starter, but any waterfowl starter should have the correct nutrients for ducklings.

     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012

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