New to Ducks!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by chicksandchores, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. chicksandchores

    chicksandchores Songster

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    Hi all! I have a fairly large chicken flock, and I’ve recently decided to add some ducklings under a broody hen that’s been sitting for four weeks on infertile eggs.

    I pick up four five day old Indian runner ducklings on Wednesday! I ferment feed for my chickens, is that okay for ducklings? What protein content? I believe I read that brewers yeast needs to be added to their feed, and that their water needs to be deep enough to swish their food in. For fermented feed, does brewers yeast need to be added? Can they eat the same food as my chickens? I’ve still got chicks around so everyone is on a 20% non-med starter feed. Please, give me all the advice you have! Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    Depends on the makeup of the feed. Ducks often have problems picking up wet feed, since the processed stuff tends to pack together to form a solid mass. Chickens just reach down and bite it. Ducks often just bounce off. Especially younger ones.

    20% or above. According to Metzer, it should be 22% for the first two weeks, then switch to grower, but they say you can use 20% for four weeks instead.

    Nah. Brewer's yeast is over-marketed. It's a fairly expensive source of B-vitamins, comparatively. Check the niacin and vitamin A content of your feed. Should be above 55 mg/kg and 15,000 IU/kg respectively. You can supplement brewer's yeast, but I'd just buy B-complex. You can pick up the injectable stuff at TSC and add it to the water, or buy B-complex for humans.

    As for the water thing. Ducks need water deep enough to get their entire bill into. Their entire head is preferable. That helps them clean out their eyes and their noses. They don't need to swish their food; you'll end up with a water container with an inch of feed sludge at the bottom. I prefer to keep the water at least ten feet away from the food. They can reach the water to help them wash the food down, but they're not wasting ridiculous amounts of it.

    Yep. And contrary to most of what you read online, they can even eat medicated feed. Layer feed should only be fed to actively laying animals, of course.

    Good luck with them. And post pictures. We like pictures.
     
  3. chicksandchores

    chicksandchores Songster

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    Thank you SO much! I will definitely post pictures as soon as I get them!
     
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  4. Duckworth

    Duckworth Songster

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    Also, when it’s time to move them out of the brooder and into permanent housing, ducks don’t roost. They prefer to be at or near ground level and many will not use a steep ramp of the type often seen on chicken coops. They typically sleep and lay on the ground or floor.
     
  5. chicksandchores

    chicksandchores Songster

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    Is there any way to convince them to lay in one particular place? I know that’s a good ways away but I want to start making plans if I need to build separate housing for them etc.
     
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  6. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    Unless they're broody, my experience is that they lay where they stand. Or possibly where they swim. I can immediately tell if a duck's going broody; she starts putting her eggs in a nest. Ducks lay their eggs fairly early in the morning, compared to chickens, so if you want them to lay in the coop, your best bet is to lock them in it until nine every morning.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  7. Timothy Menezes

    Timothy Menezes Songster

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    My Welsh Harlequins liked their nesting box, but not all do. Needs to be at ground level and give a feeling of privacy. They almost always lay early in the AM, unlike chickens who can lay through out the day.

    So a common trick is to leave them locked in their run till mid morning, then when (if you free range that is) you let them out then all the days eggs should already be in a nest box.

    Some flocks return to their run/coup automatically like chickens, some don't. My WH did not, and that was a pain. I trained my current flock of KC and Blue Swedish to return to the run at night the day I started letting them out to free range at a few months old. Now they faithfully put themselves away in the evenings which is much more convenient.
     
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  8. DuckyDonna

    DuckyDonna Free Ranging

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  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

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  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    Many on here can show you pics of ways to give fresh water to your ducklings with out creating a big soppy mess. @DuckyDonna being one of them.
     

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