New to Poultry Life

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by AmberLea88, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. AmberLea88

    AmberLea88 In the Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Mar 15, 2011
    Stamford, NY
    [​IMG] Hi Guys!!!

    We are going to be ordering 6 Cayuga Ducklings in about a month and a half...so excited... I've done a lot of research but i'd like to get some more advice...I work for Tractor Supply, and we currently are housing chicks and ducklings so i know how much hard work goes into keeping their bedding clean and what to feed them and all that great stuff....What i don't know is what to expect after they leave the store and get into their new environment...

    We are planning on making a pond for them, hopefully mid-April once the ground melts a little more, in hopes of getting our new babies mid-May. We do have a barn on the property, but it's kind of run down, we are planning on fixing it up before hand obviously. We have 6 acres of land so space isn't an issue..

    Any thoughts and advice will be greatly appreciated [​IMG]
     
  2. NewHopePoultry

    NewHopePoultry Crowing

    5,049
    34
    294
    Apr 9, 2007
    Troy,Missouri
    [​IMG] from Missouri [​IMG]
     
  3. AmberLea88

    AmberLea88 In the Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Mar 15, 2011
    Stamford, NY
    Lol, Thank you....It's so nice to be welcomed, the last forum i was on no one helped me out, or even greeted me [​IMG] lol
     
  4. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    4,445
    27
    213
    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    [​IMG] I don't know anything about ducks but I wanted to say [​IMG] . BYC is very different from "other forums". If you need help, just ask. Don't forget to check out the Random Rambling threads as that is where we kick back and get goofy.
     
  5. DuckLover179

    DuckLover179 Waddles & Puddles

    Nov 28, 2010
    California
    Hi [​IMG] from California!

    I have 2 Pekin ducklings that I got from Metzer Farms. Once they arrived, they quickly settled into their habitat. As soon as you get yours you will have to dip their beaks in water, so they can learn where it is. That pretty much handles the first day... You will need to make sure they have food, and water, and you will want to handle them a lot. Oh and I read Purina flock raiser duckling crumbles make them fat, and they get foot problems, so I would go with Mazuri/

    When they are one week you can take them for 5-10 minute swims in your bathtub. Once they are about 4-8 weeks old you can move them outside (Depending on the weather).

    Here's my outdoor enclosure:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Here's them when they arrived!
    [​IMG]

    Hope that helps! If you have any more questions just ask! [​IMG]
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    [​IMG] from N.C. [​IMG]
     
  7. TLWR

    TLWR Songster

    2,849
    219
    234
    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    If you want to house them in the barn, they won't care it is run down, but just make sure it is safe and as predator proof as you can make it for where you house them.

    Care once they leave the store - they'll need to be kept warm (start around 90 or 95 degrees for a week and then drop by 5 degrees a week. Supervised swimming and dry them when done and back under the heat lamp. Longer swims as they get older. No unsupervised until they can easily get in and OUT on their own and are smart enough to get out without getting water logged (so their oil glands need to be working well and they need to get themselves oiled up).
    Technically, ducks do not need swimming water, just water deep enough to dunk their heads. But after you've seen them in water, you'll want to provide something for them to swim in (hey, I don't NEED chocolate to survive either, but I like it!)

    Add niacin to their water for a few weeks. Introduce veggies (sizes they can easily eat after a week or two). Provide extra calcium (oyster shells) once they are old enough to start laying if you have any girls.
     
  8. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Songster

    742
    2
    119
    Jun 25, 2010
    Minnesota
    Quote:[​IMG] I second this advice.
     
  9. AmberLea88

    AmberLea88 In the Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Mar 15, 2011
    Stamford, NY
    Thank you all so much!!

    Not sure where i can get niacin but they are being shipped with GroGel nutrient and i have a packet of Sav-a-Chick that i grabbed my work (TSC) that you can mix in with the gallon water feeder. Will that overdose them if i combine?

    I wasn't sure if oyster shells would hurt my drakes if they ate it, i read that someones drakes tried some at first and then ignored it as long as they had their own feeder.....I was thinking about having two feeders in their coop one for my Hens and one for my Drakes, good idea or just a waste?

    We will be making a pond for them to swim in, but until then they are going in our heated basement so that our cat, Felix, doesn't bother them. (He is a very friendly cat and wouldn't try eating them i promise so please don't yell at me lol.) When they are 5 weeks old we will move them out into the barn.

    Right now i have a 20 lb bag of chick started just to start out with, i know once they grow i will need 1. a bigger bag, if not plenty of bigger bags and 2. not as high % of protein.

    My true worries:
    Now i live in upstate NY and i know that Cayuga ducks are used to the weather conditions,coming from up by the finger lakes, but i also live where it is extremely windy (not so much of a problem because they will be behind walls) and with a barn that is probably quite drafty we were worried that we may have to put in some kind of heating source in the barn/coop or if they will stay warm.....any thoughts????

    Sometimes it gets well below 0 and i don't want to lose any due to weather....We had a thought about raising their coop up about 3 inches off the ground and using like a mesh flooring of some kind (one that will not hurt their feet) so that their dropping will fall through the cracks and work as a compost pile under them, therefore creating a heat source.....I am weary of this idea only because i know weasels and other small creatures will probably try and pull the sleeping ducks through the cracks if wide enough. (Yes, i have tried to do as much research as possible)


    Any ideas will sure be helpful so please don't hold anything back....
     
  10. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Songster

    742
    2
    119
    Jun 25, 2010
    Minnesota
    Niacin is in the pharmacy isle- You have to crush up the pills or get the gel kind and mix it with their water.

    As for the heat vs no heat. You will have to weigh the pros and cons yourself. For me my birds made it through a pretty rough winter with no heat (and I almost caved when it was -30) our barn is by no means air tight. My big thought with a heat source was that it was also a fire hazard. For me if it makes sense I will use it but right now it does not. (babies all have heat lamps on them- just to be clear) I have been using the deep litter method this winter and can already tell that cleaning is going to be a PAIN in the butt but I don't think I would use a wire floor as that might hurt their feet. And I have had too many leg problems for me to add any other factors in...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: