New to Ducks! Help!

ottbjumper06

Songster
6 Years
Apr 26, 2013
451
9
101
Manly, Iowa
I have always wanted ducks and I have very recently moved out to my own farm so I decided it's time to get a few! I'll be getting 2 ducklings this weekend along with 8 chicks. I'm completely new to ducks so I'm hoping someone can answer my questions!
I bought medicated chick starter (which I know I can't feed medicated to my ducklings) for my chicks, what do I get for my ducks? My local TSC has a lot of options so I'm almost sure they would have anything anyone suggests!
What should I use for feeders and waters? These are my only ducks I'm planning on having so something homemade would be great!
Do they need grit like chicks?
I'm getting Rouens, is there anything I should know about this particular breed?
When can I introduce them to water?
Will they get along with my chickens ok? They will be housed with them 24/7.
I'm also seeing I may need to get plain niacin tablets... where can I get these?

I realize that this is a lot of questions but any and all answers help! Also feel free to add anything else I may have forgotten about. I see one particular book mentioned here a lot for ducks so I think I will get that but in the meantime this will help me a lot, thanks!
 

Kevin565

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Dec 22, 2009
43,520
613
486
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1. I would go with FlockRaiser. It's readily available at my local TSC.
2. I've always just used store bought feeders and waterers so I'll let someone else answer this one.
3. Yes they'll need grit
4. Not that I'm aware of.
5. I usually don't let them swim until they are around 5 weeks. Many people let them swim much earlier than that. Just make sure you're always there when they are swimming and they can get warm when done.
6. Most likely. If you end up with a drake that tries to breed your hens you will have to separate them.
7. I buy mine at either Walmart, Walgreens, or GNC.
 

ottbjumper06

Songster
6 Years
Apr 26, 2013
451
9
101
Manly, Iowa
How big of a bag of feed should I get? Since I will only have 2 I don't want it going stale before they they eat it. What is a good amount of niacin to put in with the feed?
 

Kevin565

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Dec 22, 2009
43,520
613
486
I've only seen it in 50 pound bags. I always put Niacin in water. I believe the recommended amount is 100-150mg per gallon.
 

Kevin565

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Dec 22, 2009
43,520
613
486
It's no problem at all. Just make sure the Niacin isn't "Time Release" or "No Flush"
 

ottbjumper06

Songster
6 Years
Apr 26, 2013
451
9
101
Manly, Iowa
Ok, can I always feed them flock raiser or do I switch when they reach laying age, also should I always give them niacin as a suppplement to the feed?
 

Kevin565

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Dec 22, 2009
43,520
613
486
I always feed Flock Raiser. I just offer oyster shells when they are laying. I usually do supplements for the first 10-12 weeks.
 

TLWR

Crowing
10 Years
Jul 10, 2010
2,892
302
286
southern AL
I bought medicated chick starter (which I know I can't feed medicated to my ducklings) for my chicks, what do I get for my ducks? My local TSC has a lot of options so I'm almost sure they would have anything anyone suggests!
I fed the flock raiser until they started laying and then swapped to layer pellets. The pellets are much neater for my ducks - they had crumble everywhere.


What should I use for feeders and waters? These are my only ducks I'm planning on having so something homemade would be great!
I have a black cement mixing bin as their water bin and the feeders you hook over a 2x4/2x6/2x something that they sell at TSC. That just sits on the ground for now, but has hung. I also use one in the duck house to supply water at night and it hangs over a hardware cloth square in the floor so it drains out. Not homemade, but cheap and works well for us.


Do they need grit like chicks?
I never gave grit to the ducklings when they were in the brooder. When out in the yard, they got plenty of dirt while they root around for stuff.


I'm getting Rouens, is there anything I should know about this particular breed?
I don't think there is anything different about those than other ducks you could get.


When can I introduce them to water?
My first batch were in the water at a week. The second batch were in the water at day 2. Supervised, short amt of time for the first few times, towel dried and back under the light. They didn't have unsupervised swim time until they could get in and out of the water on their own.


Will they get along with my chickens ok? They will be housed with them 24/7.
I have 3 chicks that are just over 2 months. They seem to rule the food dish. They do follow the ducks and get brave and explore a little more with them each day, but so far, they just do their own things - ducks together and chicks together. You will need to watch if you have a drake to see if he gets a little too friendly with any of the chickens. I have all girls here (well, a 4wk old roo we think, but he has a home to go to if he's a he).


I'm also seeing I may need to get plain niacin tablets... where can I get these?
I have gotten them at the grocery store or Walmart/Target. Not the time released ones. I had the capsules and used half per gallon of water. So they were likely 200 or 300mg capsules.
 

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