What should I be feeding my duckling?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by InsideDuckling, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. InsideDuckling

    InsideDuckling Hatching

    Apr 17, 2016
    I have starter chicken feed for my new duckling, it seemed like the pellets were a bit big for him, so I broke them down a little bit with the back of a spoon. Now he's eating again and still seems to be having a difficult time. Should I give him mash instead? What all would that entail?
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
  3. InsideDuckling

    InsideDuckling Hatching

    Apr 17, 2016
    Yes, I have his water bowl near his food bowl. I believe what I'm feeding him are crumbles. Perhaps he's still learning? He's pretty young.
  4. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Songster

    Apr 8, 2013
    I wet the crumbles into a mash and give water close by to help them swallow. If you offer dry feed the ducklings will have to wet it themselves and they will make a mess in the process. They need to be able to scoop and swallow, then wash it down with more water.

    I use the water they get food in after eating to wet down the next batch of feed for no waste. The water needs to be deep enough to completely submerge their bills to keep their nares clean.

    Ducklings love playing in their water so I use shelf liner and avoid using anything absorbant in their brooder. It makes cleaning easy because I just rinse out the tubs with water (makes excellent fertilizer or washes away down the drain) when the ducklings get their shower and swim.

    The tubs I use have chanels on the sides to collect spilled water while the ducklings stay dry on the shelf liner. As the ducklings get bigger I have plastic mats with drain holes in them placed under the shelf liner to allow for more mess while still keeping the ducklings high and dry.

    In the first stage brooder tub I use a dog bed warmer under the tub and that keeps the shelf liner dry as well as provides warmth. I vent the lid to trap in heat or allow it to escape and I use lighted flea traps for added radiant warmth without using heat lamps.

    My system is designed to brood hundreds of ducklings without wasted resources or added smell from wet bedding. Ducklings grow so fast that people who only raise a few may not use the same set-up I have found works the best for me. I generally sell most of the ducklings we hatch and only raise some to keep.

    I hope you have a companion for your duckling or will find some because lone ducklings do not do well in isolation. It is too stressful for a baby to live in solitary confinement.

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