New to Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by larryj57, May 10, 2011.

  1. larryj57

    larryj57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2009
    OK here's the deal, a friend of mine wanted me to put some duck eggs in the incubator for him, I did They hatched now he doesn't want them and I have never had ducks before. I asked what kind of ducks his eggs came form and he said white ducks,so you get the picture. Today I am modifying my brooder to accomadate ducks. the only thing I really know is that they make a mess. oh yeah it was a great hatch 18 ducks out of 20 eggs
     
  2. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    I had a hatch like that for a friend... she wanted me to hatch white Runners - than changed her mind and wanted colours ones. Two years later...I have two of the most gorgeous pet white Runners anyone could ever want and I am so glad that I did hatch those eggs - even thought she did change her mind. I hope in time you also learn to enjoy your " mistake" duckies. Duck ownership really can be a wonderful experience despite the mess they make. Ducks are so entertaining - and relaxing to watch. They are hardier than chickens and if fed and kept well can live to 8 years or beyond. Better get building a new coop for you new babies... They are soon going to outgrow the brooder. Great hatch!! With that many you really must have learnt quick how much mess they can make.
     
  3. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2009
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    18??? LOL You have your work cut out for you! I refuse to brood more than 10 at once! Hopefully your brooder is very large, and outdoors.

    I saw someone that used a baby pool with straw, that may make a larger number more manageable. I've found that the mess is helped if you rig a container for the water to set in. I only have 6 ducklings brooding right now, and a paint roller tray gives them access to it and contains the mess fairly well.

    You want the food well away from the water. The closer it is, the bigger the mess and worse the smell because of how fast the food gets wet.

    I altered my brooder (that's wood) for the next batch of hatchlings to have a vinyl floor and also secured plastic shelf liner to the sides and sealed it all up with liquid nails. My 3 week old group of 6 have graduated to an XXL dog crate with towels draped over the sides to catch the slung around water/food mixture and hold in a bit of heat.

    Chickens kick stuff around and fill their water with bedding and make their own sort of mess. But ducks... Ducklings do this thing where they "filter" the water with their beaks, a super fast vibration type of thing, that of course sends it everywhere. They eat 3 bites of food, then swish it in water. So the mixing of the food and water with the motion of the beak, sends the stuff everywhere. That wet mixture can either fall into a container, or right onto the brooder floor and soak through the bedding.

    And they poo a lot, large, wet, poo. Chickens make nice dry little bits of poo, usually. Ducklings... think of a 4 month old pullet who drinks a LOT of water.

    Ducks are designed to live in wide open spaces. Not little boxes. Makes for a lot of work for the human who insists on brooding them. [​IMG] Usually I hatch chickens in November to have early eggs the next year. I will not be doing that with ducks unless I move much farther south.
     
  4. larryj57

    larryj57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2009
    I do have the brooder in the barn, i changed it up a little so now it sits on the ground with plenty of pine shavings, thanks for the idea on putting the water container in a paint tray. I think I'm going to enjoy the ducks, everyone around here sell them at about 3 to 4 weeks old for $5.00 I'm hoping to do the same, free money right?
     
  5. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yeah, the water and mess issue are major duck specific issues. I put my waterer on top of a hardware cloth covered 2x4 frame with a disposable aluminum baking pan underneath... I had to change the water all the time still because of their eating habits, but at least this saved the bedding from being totally soaked.
    Now my brooder is set up so that their waterer is in a pvc type rain gutter with two end caps (you can get this universal rain gutter stuff and cut it to any size plus its nice and deep so they can submerge their bills and heads completely) which is mounted over a hardware cloth opening under which a large trash bag with some baking soda (for odor) is hung so all the mess of wet bedding, poop and mucky water is directed into the bag and I don't have to deal with this stuff anymore, just fill the waterer and turn over the bedding from time to time & change the bag once a week.
     
  6. gofasterstripe

    gofasterstripe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ive just moved my 14 ducklings and 4 goslings out to the duck house. I did have them in my spare room in a pool but it became time for me to cut the apron strings and evict them. It was quiet in the house last night and even the dogs keep going down to nosy round there to see if they have come back yet. [​IMG]
     
  7. easyjet23

    easyjet23 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2011
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    What I do with my ducklings is take an old one gallon milk jug, cut a hole in it, a few inches from the bottom, that they can only get their head and neck into. This eliminates them playing in the water and only use it to drink. The water inside the jug will still get messy due to their eating habits, but the jug is really easy to clean.
     

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