our new mallards

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by valley ranch, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. valley ranch

    valley ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    so here are our new duckies!!
    We adopted James almost a week ago and we just picked him up a girlfriend (Lily) 2 days ago.
    He was terrified of her at first but now they are getting on well. We know nothing about ducks so our fingers are crossed that she is actually a mallard as she is only 7 weeks and not fully feathered!


  2. thedoors5to1

    thedoors5to1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 12, 2009
    cute mallards! [​IMG]
    advice i can give is make sure you give ducks a water source thats at least a few inches deep as they need to be able to get thier eyes wet to stay healthy. From my own past experience of keeping a duck temporarily on a metal cage, make sure you put hay down over the wire or get them to a more natural floored pen as soon as possible. I had a bad experience with bumblefoot on a duck that stayed in a cage similiar to that when he was sick. id hate to see you go through that, bumblefoots the worst and metal floors arent suitable for thier sensitive feet.
    goodluck in your duck venture.
    rereading this now, i hope i didnt sound too harsh ! just trying to help from my own past experience. [​IMG]
  3. valley ranch

    valley ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    no no no we'll take all the advice we can!!!
    I will change their "temporary" enclosure tomorrow. Lily isn't fully featherd in yet so I brought her and James into the house. We are still getting below freezing temps at night so I thought the barn might be too cold for her. The chickens (and now ducks) have one full corral of the barn, closed with heat lamps at night and out into the open stall during the day. When the snow melts they all are free range.

    We have put them in the bath........... yes bath tub......... each day up to Lily's leg depth and let them splash around until they tell us they have had enough. They seem to love it. Come the melt we will put in a pond for them.
    They loved catching the peas floating in the water of the bathtub too.

    Please do not hold back on advice because we are truly beginners here and want to do what is right for these new members of the family.
    Thanks for the advice so far!!
  4. Balbinka

    Balbinka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2011
    You will need to clip or have a veterinarian surgically pinion their wings if you do not want them to fly away.
    (Mallards can fly)

    Good luck with them!
    What are you feeding them?
    Good feed can also help feathers grow in nicely.
  5. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    I have 3 Mallards and one Mal-mix, as I call her. Ducks are soooo messy, but even more fun! [​IMG]

    They have a nice duckhouse, large pen and a baby pool to play in. They're about a year old, and when I left the pen door open one came out, wandered around and then wandered back in. That was it, no flying off. I was glad, didn't want them to take off into the unknown. [​IMG] Some do fly off, that's why I waited a year, until they were truly at home here. So I haven't clipped wings or pinioned.

    They do need a water container deep enough the clear their nostrils out. Messy, but if you use a 4-5 inch deep container with a hole cut in the lid big enough for them to dunk their heads in, it will really cut down on the spillage! You can even bungy cord or zip tie it to the side of the cage to make it unspillable.

    As far as the wire bottom cage, they definitely need something to cushion their feet. Bumblefoot is no fun for you or the duck. Any bedding will need to be changed daily though, because they will dribble water everywhere!

    As far as temps and heat lamps? Yours are old enough to not need it at all. As long as they have a crate/duckhouse/coop that is dry and protected against drafts, they'll be just fine.

    Enjoy them. The more time you just hang out with them, without trying to grab them, the tamer they will get.
  6. valley ranch

    valley ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    thanks for all the advice. WE have only had them for a week and we love them to death!!!
    They are both on chick starter now. (that was what their previous overs had them on and we didn't want to just switch their diet straight away.)
    We are intending to feed them flock raiser with some scratch grains mixed in plus all the vege kitchen scraps. That is what the chickens get. Is it ok for ducks? The woman at the feed store said it was so I hope so. Do they need grit too like the chickens?

    Since you guys say Lily is old enough I think today we'll just put them out in the barn. They have a permanent deep waterdish out there that is almost 4in deep. Plus no wire bottom cage!! Might keep them seperate from the chickens for a day or two. Maybe let them watch each other without contact.

    My gosh lily is noisy she squeaks none stop!!! It is very cute. Then every now and then James will add his two cents........ and Lily talks right on over him!! haha not so different from humans!!!

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