orphaned ducklings...help

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Cloverleaf Farm, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    I just had 3 orphaned mallard ducklings dumped on me, which I'm fine with, I just have a few questions...
    I am guessing by their size they are about a week old (tiny - fit easily in the palm of my hand, smaller than my 3 week old bantam chicks). They were really stressed and dumpy when they were brought in (I work in an emergency vet clinic), so I gavaged them with some emeraid, and they perked right up. After an hour or so, I syringed them some duck food mash, and will continue doing so until I SEE them eating on their own...any idea when that might be? Also, at what age will they need water for swimming?
    And, do they need heat support for the same length of time as chicks?
    Can they live with my chicks, or do I need to worry about disease? (I will worm them, just need to know when and what with?)

    I am certain I will think of more questions as I go, but that's it for now.

    THANK YOU!!!!! [​IMG]
     
  2. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Here is the info I received just before my ducklings arrived. This information came from Holderread Waterfowl Farm...Dave Holderread is an expert with waterfowl and has been breeding over 40 years. I have 11 ducklings that are 5 weeks old and thriving well....I am following the instructions sent by them. I hope it helps.

    If they fit in the palm of your hand they are likely only a few days old...they grow fast.

    they need water deep enough to dunk their heads but that they cannot get soaked in.

    Here is the care sheet I received. Good luck you will love them.

    From Holderread Waterfowl Farm:


    A Dozen Suggestions for Starting Your Ducklings and Goslings

    l. Expect your hatchlings to arrive 12-36 hours after shipment. Notify your post office of the expected shipment of day-olds, and ask to be called upon their arrival. It's advisable to pick up your birds at the post office.

    2. Upon the birds' arrival, be sure to keep them warm until they are placed in the brooding area. Open the shipping box only in a warm environment. Check the underside of the box lid for order content information.

    3. As you take the birds from the box and place them in the pre-warmed brooding area, immediately dip each of their bills in the waterer to make sure that they drink promptly. Initially give lukewarm water with 1 tsp. honey or corn syrup per quart and chopped greens (described in #6). Do not give feed for as least an hour after giving birds water and greens. Thereafter, we recommend adding a water-soluble vitamin mix formulated for baby poultry to the water for the first 5 to 7 days. Because waterfowl drink more than twice as much water as chickens, use vitamin mixes at 1/2 the recommended rate for baby chicks. Never use REN-O SAL on ducks and geese.

    4. ONLY use waterers that the birds can drink from easily BUT WHICH THEY CANNOT GET INTO AND GET SOAKED!

    5. Supply the birds with fresh feed that has been formulated specifically for young poultry. In the order of preference, we recommend starting hatchlings on one of these feeds: duck starter or broiler starter (we highly recommend Purina's Flock Raiser ration when a duck/goose starter is unavailable). By themselves, chick starter is low in niacin, and turkey and gamebird starters are excessively high in protein (forcing young waterfowl to grow too fast). However, using a mix of 1 part chick starter and 1 part turkey of gamebird starter normally makes a good ration for baby waterfowl. Use only fresh feed and NEVER give laying rations to young waterfowl. In our experience, so-called "all purpose" or "triple duty" feeds normally are unsatisfactory if used as the sole ration for waterfowl during the first 8 weeks. We highly recommend the additional information on feeding and nutrition covered in Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, The Book of Geese and Wing Disorders in Waterfowl.


    6. Green feed (lettuce, spinach, tender young grass, etc.) chopped to 1/4-inch lengths and sprinkled in the water and on the feed helps get goslings as well as ducklings to eat quickly, and off to a fast start.

    7. The correct brooding temperature is 90-92o F the first 3 days and 85-90o F for days 4 to7. Thereafter, drop the brooding temperature approximately 5o F per week. Birds must always be able to get away from the heat source to avoid the damaging effects of overheating.

    8. Allow a minimum of 1/2 square foot of floor space for each duckling the first week, 1 square foot the second week, and 2 square feet to 4 weeks of age. Double these figures for goslings.

    9. Do not start waterfowl on smooth floors (such as newspaper) which can cause spraddled legs. Wire mesh floor is ideal. If bedding is used, cover it with burlap or coarse cloth for the first day to prevent the birds from eating the litter while they learn what feed is.

    10. Make sure the brooding area is draft-free and provides protection from predators, including rats, cats and dogs.

    11. After arriving at their new home, your baby waterfowl need warmth, drinking water, fresh food and rest. Check on them regularly to make sure they are comfortable, but avoid handling them the first several days.

    12. And most of all, enjoy your new charges. Ducklings and goslings are exceptionally hardy and fast growing, and watching their adolescent antics is entertaining. Happy duck and goose raising!
     
  3. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    Wow - THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! That was SO helpful!![​IMG]
     
  4. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    What about housing them with my chicks?? If they are only a few days old, will it be ok to put them in the brooder with my chicks that are due to hatch on Thursday?
     
  5. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Many have raised ducklings and chicks together. You just have to be careful. The ducklings grow REALLY FAST so you don't want any chicks to get accidentally squished. People have also had chicks drown in the water. ducks need to be able to stick their whole heads in the water.
     
  6. call ducks

    call ducks silver appleyard addict

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    you will also have to get a permte. for them i keep mine in with my bantams.
     
  7. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Glad the info helps. I personally would not brood them together. the ducklings are messy messy and wet. Their need for deeper water is fatal for the chicks. the ducks will be three times the size of the chicks in a flash.

    But you can do it just be careful and make sure you take duckies for play time in some deeper water so they can clean their nares (nostrils) and faces.
     
  8. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    Levan, UT
    Thanks to all for your input..I discovered right away that the ducklings needed different housing!! I put them into the rabbit cage that I use to brood my chicks (the kind with the 8" plastic bottom, and wire top) and that lasted all of about 5 minutes, before the feistiest duckling jumped up and squeezed through the wires and ran amok in my house! [​IMG]

    I have since put them in a big rubbermaid tote with hardware netting over the top! [​IMG]
     
  9. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    [​IMG]
     
  10. sproink

    sproink In the Brooder

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    I know this is an ancient thread, but I'm SO grateful to have this go with.
    Some one gave me a day old duckling at my job. This will be very helpful!!
     

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