Raising 3 day old ducklings without a mother

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Pheobe_nz, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. Pheobe_nz

    Pheobe_nz Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 18, 2009
    New Zealand
    Never had ducks before but have chickens
    Have had my name down at local bird hospital for any birds in need of foster home
    So got a call today and collected 3 ducklings approx 3 days old no mum
    First time raising duckings
    Have them on a heatpad and eating chick crumble/starter wet
    Any other tips, suggestions
    will post pics soon
    They are so cute!
  2. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    Quote:make sure they have a tiny bowl or pool of water deep enough for them to get into and "blow" their noses into. They get messy real quick so be preparred to do alot of clean-up-but you will also fall in love real quick:)
  3. GMT

    GMT Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 12, 2010
    Quote:I'll echo what's been said about their water requirements and the mess they make. Make sure that the water they get is only big enough and deep enough for them to completely submerge their bills into, as they will attempt to climb into any water and will get themselves quite soggy in the bargain.

    Also, you will need to supplement their diet with niacin, since chick foods won't have enough for ducklings. Buy a small bottle of 100 mg niacin tablets from your local drugstore. Pound a tablet into a fine powder and mix it into a gallon of drinking water. That's 100 mg of niacin per gallon of drinking water. Don't overdo it.
  4. KansasKid

    KansasKid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2010
    South East Kansas
    a lot of times chick starter is medicated and it usually isn't good for ducks, you would be better off going ahead and buying waterfowl starter or gamebird starter then when they get older to buy the grower.

    Starter EX. purina flock raiser
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  5. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2010
    Non medicated chick starter is good and add the niacin into the water otherwise the ducklings start acting funny (and it's not fun to worry about it). I ended up changing litter every day as they would splash their water all over. I also wet or mushed up their food for a week or so with water and or yogurt.

    Have fun and take lots of pictures as they grow up fast! We have had ours since the middle of August and they almost look full grown.
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    For their waterer, get a large Cool Whip or cottage cheese container (plastic), cut an oval slice out of the lid, put something like a clean, roundish/flatish rock inside it, fill with water, snap the lid back onto the container.

    Set that container on a baking sheet or something like that, and there will be SO much less water mess in your brooder! They can just get their heads into the tub, to drink and to clear their nares, but won't be able to get into the waterer with their webby feet or bodies. And the baking sheet will keep the pine shavings a little bit further away from the waterer, so they don't foul the water quite so quickly.
  7. Featherland

    Featherland Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    I wouldn't have them on a heating pad. They will spill a lot of water. A desk lamp over them will work if you need heat.
  8. wpalmisano

    wpalmisano Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2010
    They are extremely messy and needful. They consume huge amounts of water and feed, leave huge amounts of droppings, and need heated brooding for a few weeks. Don't let them get wet, they are unable to produce oil for their down and feathers the first 5-6 weeks. In the wild mom would do this with her oil. If you let them swim, they will drown, and get them wet, they will die from cold. Since size wise they eat so much food, they will quickly die from eating medicated feed because they will ingest 3 x the recommended dose. Be prepared to work. Good luck.
  9. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Every one has already posted the I&O's. Just like to add a few. Do not use a red heat lamp, they can explode if water gets splashed onto them. Regular light bulbs are fine. Start off with 100 watts from 2 feet above. Reduce the wattage as they move away from the heat. For feed I would go for unmedicated and keep the protein to 16% to prevent possible joint issues. Some people argue that high protein is fine, but no breeder would give high protein and risk things like angel wing or bad legs. You don't want them to grow too fast, because their bones need time to form. Pureed peas are a good treat source and they will love it. After one week you can offer hole peas, but keep it to small hand fed amounts. They will bond with you over peas and you can teach them to follow you with them in your hand.
  10. Duckdown

    Duckdown Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 27, 2010
    Hi Pheobe,

    I'm with Wildcare here in NSW, Australia and have cared for orphaned wood and black ducks now for a while. Welcome to their world. You'll be captivated I'm sure.

    Everyone has made great suggestions. Hoping some of mine might also help.
    - I usually will place a feather duster in with mine so they can nestle into their speudo mum (rightly or wrongly). This might not be so important with the three of them but still might help.
    - In terms of food, I also use the chicken starter + the following
    - finely chopped clover
    - finely chopped lettuce
    - finely chopped alfalfa sprouts
    - mashed, boiled egg white
    - creamed corn
    - mashed peas
    - finely shopped porridge mix

    The advice on heating and water is critical until they grow a little.

    Are they wood ducks do you know?

    Cheers, and good luck.

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