Newbie Duckling Owner!! Help!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by moxiechick101, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. moxiechick101

    moxiechick101 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 6, 2016
    We have recently made the decision to keep ducks instead of chickens. After months of research we ordered 4 Welsh Harlequins from Metzer Farms. They are arriving in a couple weeks and I couldn't be more excited! However there are a few questions i have about their care.


    1. What brand of chick starter/grower should i use? I have scoured the internet and tractor supply Co. for duckling specific food to no avail. I know they need more protein than chickens but we plan to ferment their feed.

    2. When should I provide the ducklings with chick grit?

    3. What type of heat bulb should i use? I have heard that red bulbs stress the ducklings more than white light, but has anyone had success with a ceramic heat emitter? should the bulb stay on 24/7 or should I turn it off at night?


    Thank You so Much !!!
     
  2. tmorgan46

    tmorgan46 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 22, 2015
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    We've heard good things about the Purina flock raiser. I give plane old chick starter with added brewers yeast for the first six weeks. If they'll be outside foraging I don't think grit is necessary; we have 3 week old ducklings that are better worm catchers than their mom / dad / aunt / uncle... :) If they don't get outside much then you'll need to give them some chick grit once they get beyond chick starter. They grow quick so gradually moving over to the fermented feed will be helpful as well. We keep constant heat on the young ones starting at about 95 degrees and lowering it in 5 degree increments weekly. So within 4 weeks or so they can withstand room temps fairly well. We've used the red heat lamps and have not noticed any negative effects. Your mileage may vary.
     
  3. moxiechick101

    moxiechick101 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 6, 2016
    Thank You! About the grit.... i am not entirely sure what it is needed for. Isn't used to help them digest their food better?[​IMG]
     
  4. tmorgan46

    tmorgan46 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 22, 2015
    Stafford, VA
    Yes, you're correct on the reason for grit. If your ducks are given the chance to free range or use your property freely, they'll get more than enough natural grit from the way they forage for food. If not and they'll be confined in an area where there isn't an opportunity to naturally forage, then you'll need to supplement their diet with grit.
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Dont use medicated Chick starter. Its bad for ducklings.
    As far as protein goes a hand full of cat food every other day is great.
    Mine rarely eat the food any ways. They get lots of access too grass and natural foraging so they are getting what they need.
    I was making a porridge for them out of the feed and adding in grasses, peas...
    Make sure they have grit if feeding other foods.
    Always have a deep dish of water for them to dunk their heads. They will choke without water when eating.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    As far as heat goes, have it so they can either be under the lamp or away from it. Mine really only used heat till they were 3 weeks old.
    24 degrees is fine for Ducklings.
     
  7. Spyderk117

    Spyderk117 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The temperature should be as high 95 degrees. And each week lower the temperature 5 degrees. Make sure they have room to escape the heat if they get to hot. For feed I am using Dumor chick starter/grower. You should check this book out Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks. It help me raise my ducks. And they are doing really well![​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    I am talking in C. not F.
    I live in Canada and we run on C.
     
  9. Spyderk117

    Spyderk117 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2016
    Wisconsin
    Oh okay.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    I should of been more specific, but when you all go by C where we live, I forget about F.
     

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