proud new duck owner :) lots of Q's!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by tillyduck, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. tillyduck

    tillyduck Hatching

    Aug 4, 2014
    hi everyone,
    i'm both new on here and a new duck owner.
    we rescued three female alyesbury (i think) ducks from a struggling farm early saturday morning. we have never owned ducks before, or known anyone who has. so this is new territory for us after the many other animals we have rescued (seems i have a soft spot for animals in husband was the first animal i rescued ;) )

    seeing as it was very last minute after a friend alerted me, we are kind of rushing about trying to get everything they need to have a good home here. my father in law has converted our huge (empty) rabbit hutch into a duck house. he's done a great job seeing as it was so last minute and he's 85!

    access to water: we have a pond. always ignored it as i've never had the time to see to it. but thought now was the obvious time to clear and tend to it. needs a new liner and proper digging out though. it's pretty muddy and smelly. the girls jumped straight in when we first released them and came out black! i don't exaggerate! we filled up a paddling pool and they jumped in their instead to clean off! am i right in thinking it doesn't need to be huge, just relatively clean and accessible? what about plantlife? maybe a little of this would attract bugs/slugs etc that they also like to feed on?

    feeding: i've bought both layer's pellets and mixed corn. given roughly 3 scoops of each. however, where do i put this? i scattered some on the ground around where they have taken to sitting. and left some in a large shallow bowl as well. is this okay? they laid two eggs yesterday which the children had for breakfast this morning (they loved them!) and i crushed up the shell and scattered that that right? i've read that they need to keep replacing the calcium they lose in egg making? they had a good peck at it anyway.

    drinking water: they've happily gathered around a huge, leaking water butt for the past couple of days having a drink from there as well as the pond and their paddling pool water, is this sufficient or should they have a large bowl-type-thing of fresh water much like a dogs, so they can drink plenty?

    grit: they are free range and i keep reading conflicting advice on whether i need to supply grit to aid their digestion. some say they will find it themselves if they are free range and others say they need grit to be supplied despite this. confusing. is sand suitable for this? as the children love to spread their playsand about the place!

    for the moment, i think that's all the questions i have!
    thank you for reading and thanks in advance for your replies.

    tilly x



    Jun 10, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    First, Thank you for rescuing these ducks.
    Water: I give kid Sandboxes for swimming and different size water bowls for drinking.
    Food: I feed layer pellets. Don't give to much corn as it will make them fat. Corn should be a treat or mixed into their feed. I feed in two separate bowls a distance from each other so there is plenty of room for everyone. (I have a large flock you should be fine with one bowl) I have found my ducks waste more food if I put it on the ground.
    You can give free choice oyster shells for calcium and I give grit to them even if they free range.
    Hope this helped!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by