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Week-old Ducks *still* eating pine shavings

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by imdamama, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. imdamama

    imdamama Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi all,

    Our ducks are doing great, but...

    They are a week old today, and they are still eating pine shavings. Because I don't want them to make themselves sick, I'm still using paper towels. Any suggestions or thoughts?

    Thanks in advance. It's getting a might bit expensive going through several rolls of paper towels a day.
     
  2. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you 100% sure they are eating them? Ducklings will mouth everything then usually spit it out. I've had some taste pine shavings and probably eat a bit or two but not on purpose.

    What and how much are you feeding? Where are they kept? Temp?
     
  3. imdamama

    imdamama Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm not 100% sure they are eating them. I will watch closely next time I uncover the shavings. Maybe they are just mouthing them. I was so nervous they were going to make themselves sick that I didn't look that closely.

    They have food available and are eating well (non-medicated chick starter supplemented with Brewers yeast) and excreting well. =) They have a large brooder...nice temperature gradient in there. Managing to keep it dry and clean (hence the volume of paper towels).
     
  4. dennin7418

    dennin7418 Out Of The Brooder

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    Are you using the fine pine shavings or course. I only use the course to prevent this if they do decide to eat the shavings.

    Have you let them get used to the pine shavings? I wouldn't assume they are eating them. Even my grown ducks rush into their hut after I put down new shavings to dig around...which could be misobserved as eating.
     
  5. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, everything sounds good. I wanted to be sure they weren't hungry.

    As suggested, try coarse shavings if they look like they are actually eating them but keep an eye on them and see.
     
  6. duckins

    duckins Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have week old runners as well plenty of food and water right temp sounds like you got that under control I don't think their eating just tasting and its new so they r going to investigate. I use course pine shavings brooded four sets of ducks all on pine shavings. Couple of suggestions I use give them a little swim in your tub at this age 5-10 min this helps with boredom and they are tired when put back in brooder, try stuffed animal and dangling toy I got one that rattles from baby section of Walmart hung on the lip of their tote its nothing they can tear or get hung up in they love it you'll get a kick out of hearing them jingle it, try little treats lettuce, bananas, mixed in chopper soaked mushy Cheerios in a bowl this is messy but fun for them. Little things like that occupies their little minds and soon they'll find shavings are boring. Goodluck.
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    My runners literally ate shavings, so I bedded with old towels till they were about 12 weeks old. This was, I think an extreme case. But ducklings can get impacted with shavings, so it is good to be cautious.

    Wifezilla used to cover the shavings in the brooder with a soft plastic mesh. She could lift that off and hose it off. Might something like that put your mind more at ease?
     
  8. imdamama

    imdamama Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much for all the thoughtful input. It's a little stressful being a first time duck-mom. =)

    I am using coarse shavings. And they do have a hanging toy they play with. I think y'all are right, I think they are more playing in the shavings than anything...rootin' around seeing if there's anything exciting in there! I'll drag my husband down with me for an extra set of eyes. They are like babies, they put *everything* in their mouths!

    Thanks again for the feedback and thoughts. It's very appreciated!
     
  9. duckins

    duckins Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It can be stressful even with this being my fourth brood group especially if your worry wart like me i check them constant make sure everybody's well my kids poke fun when we have babies bc I don't want to go anywhere for watching them I don't trust the heat lamp enough and them running out of water. But as I said I have 4 runners girl 1 week old so if u need to chat fill free I love talking about them.
     
  10. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    I haven't encountered this, ducks do love to truffle... they are super mouthy lol I have raised all the ducklings here with shavings as bedding, mind you paper towels would be awful with my breed(Muscovy) as by 2wks or so the nails are already getting pokey ...
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013

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