New to ducks, and have some silly questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by BrahmaMama, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Songster

    Jan 8, 2008
    South Dakota
    Ok, I did do a search, but couldn't find a question that was like mine, lol!

    I'm getting 5 ducklings on one of my chick orders. The first order will arrive with 10 polish chicks, 6 d'uccles, and the 5 ducklings-week of February 20th. Then I have another order, this one from Welps-due February 24th, with 30 chicks :eek: what was I thinking [​IMG]

    Anyway, I have two of the 75, or 100 gallon (can't remember) stocktanks-those big grey rubbermaid ones. I used them last year, and had 20 chicks in each and it worked out well. My problem this year, is going to be the bantums, and the ducks. Can the ducks be in with chicks to start? I've read about them being together later in life, but what about in the brooder? And the banty's should be seperated also I suppose. Maybe I can split off a little section somehow, until they are a bit bigger...

    I know I will be buying a bag of medicated chick starter, but what about the ducklings...I've read mixed reviews on whether waterfowl are supposed to have medicated starter....or do I need to buy a bag of feed specifically for ducks (if I can find it!)

    I want turkeys this year too; so does everyone here who has mixed flocks have 50 different bags of feed to contend with? [​IMG] I will have medicated chick starter, layer formula, waterfowl feed? and then turkey starter, turkey grower....eesh!
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Wild game bird feed will work for both the turkey poults and the ducks.

    Some feed them all chicken feed. Others don't.

    I suggest the game feed for the turkey and duck and chicken feed for the chickens. They all get the same treats - worms, crickets, yogurt, eggs, etc.

    When we got ducks last summer the guy had the ducks in the brooder with the chicks. The chicks trompled them and they really weren't having a good go of it - that's why I got them.

    They probably can live just fine together but I have always kept the fowl separate.
  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I would encourage you to keep the ducklings are not going to believe the mess they make!!! They will have everything wet within a short amount of time.....they splash their water...drinking and/or swimming everywhere!! I use those puppy pads on the bottom of their brooder to help soak the water up. Also ducklings require heat for a shorter amount of time than chicks do.

    I feed mine Purina Start & Grow
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2008
  4. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Songster

    Jan 8, 2008
    South Dakota
    Thank you MissPrissy and Katy [​IMG]

    Looks like they would be best seperate....I wonder if I can take one of my large dog crates; take the lid off, and hang a lamp over it...that should keep ducklings in I would think..and it would probably be easier to keep clean. I'm hearing more and more about this mess, lol!

    Katy, I've never seen Purina feed around here (except for dogs, I should say) but I wonder if one of the feed stores I don't normally go to would have it....MissPrissy, do you mean the gamebird starter? I have seen that at Campbell's Supply-but they only carry it come spring...should be in soon I 'spose. The guy I was going to get some peafowl from said to feed them that, but I'm going to wait with those birds till next year.
  5. LinckHillPoultry

    LinckHillPoultry Songster

    Jan 17, 2008
    I always raise my ducklings seperate from my chicks. Ducklings are very messy and will play in the water, and also run with food in their mouths to the water dish and the water will be messy with food, and the food will be mushy. You should keep them seperate and put marbles in the base of the waterer for the ducklings. The problem with the tubs is that if the ducklings mess with the water, it gets all over & no matter how warm it is out, hypothermia will set in and kill the ducklings. I usually moniter my ducklings throughout the day if I have them in tubs, this year I have a different pen to put them in and they can have as much water as they want because it'll run right out into a tray.
    Once ducks hit a certain age they will become very hardy.
    Good luck with ducks, they are so very entertaining. [​IMG]
  6. GloriaH

    GloriaH Songster

    Mar 18, 2007
    Watertown, Tennessee
    I keep all of mine together. I feed them all the same thing. Medicated chick starter and have never had a problem. I hatch all mine at the same time and keep them all together. The ducks do make a bit of a mess compared to chicks. Keep marbles in the waters and after you don't need the marbles anymore raise the waters up off the floor a bit. Just stir your litter up a couple times a day and change it more often and you should be fine.
  7. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Songster

    Jan 8, 2008
    South Dakota
    Thank you for the info LHP, and Gloria [​IMG]

    LHP, my tubs will be in our the corn stove room, so it should be plenty warm in there. [​IMG] Not too warm, as I'm hoping it will be on low by then (temps better raise darn it!) that or we will move things around...either way, it will be room temperature in the basement, so now it will just be the mess to deal with, lol!

    I vividly remember donning my yellow rubber gloves, and going to town, scooping out messy bedding into a 5 gallon pail, trekking it upstairs and outside into the alfalfa field, only to go back and do it again [​IMG] Sounds like I will be doing that quite often with my little ducklings, lol!

    So how much less time do ducklings need under the heat lamps...a week or so less?
  8. deeszoo

    deeszoo Songster

    Jan 12, 2007
    I have tried them together and separate, and it works best separate - I am just agreeing with everyone.

    What I do, is I put a dimmer switch on my light so that I can dial the temp back when I need to. And, with the ducks, I found that they do best if you have the heat light in one corner after the first week. You can dial it back slowly, just like you do for the chicks. But, when they get wet, they like to get under the warmth for a while. Then when they are warm, they move out from under the lamp. That way they can regulate their own heat. They do need that warmth at times.

    And, if you can, it is good to put ducklings on wire. That way the water and poo doesn't get their brooder wet. When I have had mine on shavings, they get the shavings so wet so fast that you can hardly keep up with it. I put a "nest" of shavings near the lamp, but the rest is wire. That is what works best for me.


    Oh, and just make sure that the water is deep enough for them. If they cannot get their bills into the water at least up to their eyes, they will get sick very fast and die.

    I learned from someone on the board that if you take an ice cream container, like from Schwans, and cut a hole in the side, then it works pretty well for a waterer. They can get their heads in, but can't make as big of a mess!!
  9. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Songster

    Jan 8, 2008
    South Dakota
    Thank you DeAnna [​IMG]

    So do you mean a 5 gallon ice cream pail with a lid, or more like those harder cardboard containers? The last Schwaans ice cream I bought was a little box of those Dippin' Dots knock offs, lol!

    Now my minds going to be whirling, trying to figure out the best way to put together a duck cage, lol! I don't have anything wire that I can think will need to pick some up; I'm wondering if I can do like a "frame" with wire-and use that inside the crate...

    Okay, I've heard they need to get their heads into water...but what about marbles in their water to keep them from drowning; don't those two defeat each other? I have alot to learn, don't I [​IMG] [​IMG]
  10. deeszoo

    deeszoo Songster

    Jan 12, 2007
    Oh yes, wire inside what you are using will work great!! I even know of people who use towels because they are easier to change out than the shavings. When they are wet, just take them out and hose them off. Then wash them.

    Just do what works best with what you have. If you really get "into" ducks, the wire may be your future goal. I wouldn't worry about it for this batch.

    The waterer I use is the plastic pail type ice cream tub- I think it is 2 might be five. They are "donated" by my husband's family. They eat way more ice cream than we do! LOL!!

    Yes, on putting marbles in a regular chick waterer for the first few days. You just don't want to pile up the marbles. Leave room in there so the ducks can get their bills in. I use a chick waterer while they are still small. Save the ice cream pail for later. Depending on the size of the duck, the chick waterer works for a week or two, bantams maybe even three weeks.

    I made 2 sizes of the ice cream buckets. One with the hole about halfway up the top, the second with the hole almost at the top. The water in the bottom helps keep the bucket from tipping over, but as they grow, they will try to climb in so I had to make the holes higher. And you do have to put the lid on or they will climb right on in.

    Don't stress too much. Ducklings are pretty hardy! If you watch them, you will know when the brooder is wet or if they are too cold or too hot. I have had the most problems with not having the water deep enough. I started using the wire because I am lazy and don't want to change the bedding every day! LOL!! The dog crate sounds like an excellent idea.

    The ducks will be happy however you do it. They are ducks and are happy almost all the time! You will see!

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