New to Ducks, Prepping for Day Olds... Best advice?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by BTRT, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. BTRT

    BTRT New Egg

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    Feb 13, 2014
    Hi!
    We have decided to embark on ducks for eggs (and pets ;) ).
    We have ordered day olds for mid-April:
    ~ 3 Khaki Campbell hens
    ~ 3 cayuga hens, 1 drake
    ~ 3 black Indian Runner hens
    ~ 3 buff hens, 1 drake

    I am reading and learning, but would love to hear your best advice for newbies...
    we plan to build a shed, ducks will forage on our fenced acre during the day, we live in Northern Ontario (cold, long winters).
    What #1 (and 2?) things do we need to know? Do? buy?

    Thanks!
    Lori
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Southern New England
    1) Read the Sticky on Raising Ducklings here on the Duck Forum, get ahold of Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, pore over the chapter on brooding ducklings.

    2) Decide how you are going to manage their water (they need it 24/7) so that they do not make the brooder into a swamp.

    A few other thoughts

    Prepare for a huge learning curve and check in frequently here on the Duck Forum.

    Try out your brooder heating system before the ducklings arrive. They will splash water, which may lower the brooder temperature significantly.

    Longer term, be prepared to be flexible - weather and your ducks' particular needs may require that you keep them in a warmer place longer than planned, or that you find a way to keep them a little cooler, protected from wind, snow, etc. You may need to separate drakes from ducks at certain points, or drakes from each other, or brooding ducks and ducklings from the rest.

    Ducklings need more niacin than chicks - get some brewer's yeast and sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of it each day on their food.

    Get a medicine chest for the ducks started - Epsom salt, topical antibiotic ointment without painkiller, food grade activated charcoal powder, clear iodine, vet wrap, saline solution for starters

    Enjoy yourself and prepare to lose your heart to these amazing beings.
     
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  3. BTRT

    BTRT New Egg

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    Feb 13, 2014
    Thank you for such a wonderfully helpful and kind post!! [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  4. mikeru

    mikeru Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2013
    Can you tell me more about the way to use the epson salt is it on a wrap.I have a peking not walking or using leg, she has been on antibiotic anti inflamatorys and pain med ? She eats drinks bathes but little movement?
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Aw, glad you are trying to help her out.

    Epsom salt compress: 2 tablespoons Epsom salt, half a cup of warm water. Soak a clean cloth in that. Gently hold the duck and wrap the cloth around the leg and foot. Wait patiently together for ten minutes if you can both go that long.

    Do this twice a day.

    Epsom salt is a laxative, do not let the duck drink or eat it.

    Some members put the Epsom salt water into a flat-bottomed dish and stand the duck in it, holding the duck gently. Remember, no drinking the water.

    I like to use comfrey and St. John's wort on the outside of the leg and foot for sprains. I have a cream called Traumeel (now sold as T-Relief) that has those things in it, and I put a tiny dab on the leg at night (they don't swim at night).
     

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