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Runner Duckling Questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jenn1971, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. jenn1971

    jenn1971 Hatching

    Apr 9, 2012
    I have new baby runner ducks, 3 weeks old and doing great. Several questions; I read that you can't use wood shavings for bedding for ducklings as they will try and eat it and they can die from ingesting it. I use shavings for my Silkie chickens. At what age can I use it for duck bedding? And second question, can my ducklings safely be put in with my Silkies once they are bigger? I only have four Silkies and they are in a very large indoor/outdoor coop and all docile hens. They are all turned out during the day to free range.

    Last question: I took my ducklings outside today and put them in the grass and they starting eating everything. They try eating very large things like hard pinecone bits and I took them out of their mouths as I was afraid they would choke on them. ?? My husband thinks I'm nutty, but at what age can they start foraging on our property without worry of choking or ingesting something they shouldn't? (I know, that's a silly question, as ducks are naturally adept at living outside, but I would heartbroken if something happened to them because I didn't ask! ) = )

  2. TLWR

    TLWR Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    Mine mouthed everything. They seemed to be smart enough to figure out what they couldn't actually eat.
  3. wildpeas

    wildpeas Songster

    Mar 18, 2012
    Port Orchard, Wa
    8 of mine are 4 weeks old now and they have always been on shavings. I buy the smallest cut pine shavings I can find, the larger flakes seem to encourage eating. They have eaten some of the shavings and haven't had any trouble with it. They have a bowl of grit to eat out of and I am hoping that will help break down any shavings they ingest. They also eat poop which I have finally gotten over being grossed out about. When they are outside they go in a small pen that has been looked over for unfriendly ducklings things like baling twine, plastic, paper bits, dog poop, etc. We sit outside with them because we have a hawk problem and they like to test everything with their mouths. Shoes, jeans, toes, towel, duck transporters (cat carriers), fencing, and on and on. I figure its the only way they can really explore their environment since they dont have arms.
  4. Mum

    Mum Songster

    Dec 23, 2011
    I have only had IR ducklings since Sunday, but, the breeder keeps hers on wood shavings, so I think you will be fine (she has over 30yrs experience if that helps?)

    I haven't let mine out yet: one is 3wks old and the other is 2wks old.
  5. DuckLover3

    DuckLover3 Chirping

    Feb 16, 2012
    Marlborough, CT
    I have used shavings will all of my ducklings and have never had a problem. Once the ducklings reach adulthood, they will be fine with the chickens, but if you put them in with them as ducklings the chickens might peck them to death. It's normal for them to try to eat everything outside, they're just learning and you also have to remember they don't have hands, so their bill as also a way for them to feel things. If curiosity killed the cat, then I don't know how ducks have survived. They can forage at any age, just make sure you are always with them when they are ducklings because they are easy prey for animals, including hawks, so even if you have them in an enclosure outside, they aren't necessarily safe.
  6. elefriend

    elefriend Hatching

    Mar 1, 2012
    My four ducklings were two days old when I got them, and they were in a big box with woodshavings. We used straw and newspaper for a while, so I don't think wood shavings will hurt them. When my ducklings got to about 2 weeks old I took them outside and let them sit in the sun and cool off in a little pan of water. As they got bigger we filled the kiddie pool more and more and put a large rock in it to let them sit on it if they got tired. They loved being outside, and we started letting them out a lot more at about 6 weeks old.
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    My ducklings were contrary. They started eating shavings as soon as I put them in the brooder. And then the humans discovered that they are allergic to pine shavings.

    So we went back to towels.

  8. cskotek

    cskotek Songster

    Ive always had my runner ducklings on wood shavings and never had a problem, and when i took them out id leave them in the grassy patch right behind the house when they where about 4-5 weeks old and i didnt really worry about them, i just kept a food pile for them so they wouldnt try to eat impractile things :p
  9. tia

    tia Songster

    Apr 19, 2009
    Valdez, Alaska
    I've always heard not to put them on pine shavings, so I use towels. If pine shavings work I'd like to know because it sure would be a lot easier to keep clean. Has anyone used pine pellets for duckling bedding. I am using some of that for my ducks and I like it for them.
  10. cskotek

    cskotek Songster

    I use pine,cedar, and this "naturals" stuff which is like soft and fuzzy. Alot of people say dont use cedar at all, but ive had no problems with my runners with it whats so ever! And the pine i used pine at first until it pretty much disappeared in the large bag, and i had no problems with it. and i can only imagine what they do to the towels.

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