what do baby ducks eat, help!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by purr, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. purr

    purr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    I'm getting my baby ducks tomorrow they are a cross between a peking (spelling?) and a domestic mallard.
    I don't know what to feed them. What do baby ducks eat and do they need water to swim this little. They are with their mother right now. But I want them to be pets so I'm taking them tomorrow they will be 3 days old.
     
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    They need game bird starter crumbles. Finely shredded grass, lettuce, spinach floated on water. I also puree spinach, lettuce, grass and yogurt for mine.

    They need a water container deep enough to dunk their nostrils to clean them out. Chick waterers and feeders don't work well with the type of beak they have.

    They do not need water to swim in. As you are taking them from their mother they will not produce oils to protect themselves. Unlimited access to water to play in can lead to accidental deaths. They are babies and tire very easily and can drown in a few inches of water. Wait a week or two and let them swim in your sink with some warm water while you supervise. then take them out and into a dry warm brooder.

    When they are 4 or so weeks old you can start letting them have access to small shallow pool of water but make sure they have steps in and out so they don't get stuck in the pool and end up drowning.

    Also ducks poop and mate in the water. It will get gross fairly fast.

    Be warned they are super messy. When I say messy think of the worst wet poop mess you have ever seen. Multiply it by 1000 and you might get near to how messy they are.

    Don't be surprised if they don't like to be cuddled or held. Ducks don't make freinds with humans the same as geese or chickens might. Just the ducks letting you be near them is a success as they get older. They may even become more aloof as they mature and show no interested in interacting with you for more than a few minutes when you go out to feed and fill waterers and pools.
     
  3. purr

    purr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    Thank you Miss Prissy,
    I'm going to go get everything today , I can't wait for tomorrow. I'm going to take 2.
    And yeah the mess is bad. I saw yesterday when I went to go see them.

    I love this board ,I always get such good advice.

    Thanks again
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I've always raised mine on medicated Purina Start & Grow.

    Like MP says make sure their water container is deep enough they can get their faces under water to keep their nostril clean.

    I let mine swim with supervision at a couple of days old and then back to the brooder and their heat lamp to dry off.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2008
  5. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    I have read not to feed them medicated feed. They eat so much they can become overmedicated.
     
  6. purr

    purr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    I went to the feed store and they didn't have game bird starter but the guy said , (not my usual feed store they were closed) you can feed them chick starter if its not medicated.

    Is this right?
     
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    24,442
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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Yes, you can. Make sure it is non-medicated and add brewers yeast to raise the niacin levels.

    There is a disagreement with several folks about feeding medicate or non-medicated. Depending where you are medicated feeds are not all made the same. The best thing for beginners is to err on the side of caution and simply not use medicated.
     
  8. purr

    purr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    k, thanks I went and got them about 2 hrs ago , I have 4 cause I am holding 2 for a friend
    They are so cute. I will take pics tomorrow.
    They are peeping alot. I have a light on them even though its very warm here. Bit I have it raised very high. So its not too warm
    Brewers yeast that's not the same as baking yeast ?
     
  9. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    As long as it's only medicated with amprolium they'll be fine. I've raised lots of ducklings on medicated.
     
  10. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I'm feeding my ducklings Purina Flock Raiser. It's what they recommend for ducks, and chicks can eat it too. I don't think they make a medicated version of that.

    A friend gave me some duckweed, tiny green plants that grow on the surface of stagnant water. I'm growing it in an old aquarium here, scooping out a cupful or two each day to pour into the ducks' pool. They love their floating salad.
     

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