What to feed ducklings

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by wholewheatchicken, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. wholewheatchicken

    wholewheatchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My daughter is wanting Pekin ducks. The problem I am having is what to feed them when we find some to bring home. From what I am reading on old threads is there is not enough niacin in most chicken food.
    I am needing some good advice on what is an appropriate food for ducklings and do you only feed them a special way for a few weeks or is it months?
    Also, for Pekin ducks is a child's swimming pool sufficient for them or do they need something larger/deeper?
    They have these ducks at our local park and they are very friendly. Is there anyone else on here who is raising the Pekins and has any information to add on their personalities or how to best take care of them?
    I know a lot about chickens......but not so much about ducks!
    Thank you.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Hi!

    If you cannot get waterfowl starter, you can use chick starter crumbles - I would go with nonmedicated - and either add a sprinkle of brewer's yeast on top of their food or add 100 mg of niacin per gallon of drinking water.

    At two to three weeks you can start putting some grower feed into their crumbles then more and more until they are on a grower ration. For ducks (females), they need to start receiving extra calcium about a month before they start laying. With my runners, I could tell because they started hopping on top of one another, and that is when I put a dish of oyster shell out for them.

    Once everyone was laying, we switched over to laying feed.

    If they are outdoors where they can forage, they will probably eat enough bugs and worms to get the niacin they need.

    A kiddie pool is generally good for most breeds of ducks. Make sure it is easy for them to get into and out of, with a ramp or steps made of pavers or flat fairly smooth stones.

    If there are Pekins at the local park, perhaps they were dropped off and could be rescued. Just a thought. They are domestic ducks and do best under someone's loving care.
     
  3. wholewheatchicken

    wholewheatchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I told the feed store I wanted unmedicated crumbles, but they sold me flock starter crumbles. I am going to hope that works because I didn't look when he put it in the car and now the store is closed. It's not medicated so either way it should get me through the night.
    They will get to forage. Everyone at our house is on the go outside theory and be a chicken....now it will be be a duck! They were so adorable we ended up getting six of them! They will be a great addition to all our other pets running around here. Oh, and they were two weeks old, except for one that was two days old.
    Thank you for the niacin tip and the steps to the kiddie pool tip. I think we will get a pool for them first and see how that works since that would be so much easier than digging them out a pond. We'll work up to the big projects.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Two weeks old and two days old. The itty bitty will need it a little warmer than the others, by about ten degrees perhaps. Having warmer and cooler places in the brooder should work. Make sure little isn't trodden upon the first week or so . . . ducks grow so quickly!

    Ducklings can get themselves into all kinds of unlikely trouble. . . . so keep an eye on those babies!
     
  5. wildpeas

    wildpeas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My ducklings are all on Purina Flock Raiser and so far I haven't had any problems. The older ones are 3 weeks and the younger ones are 3 days. The 3 day olds are in a separate brooder because the older ducklings are godzilla sized and would definitely trample them. I can't believe that the younger ones are going to grow to that size in just 3 weeks.

    I'm going to stay on Flock Raiser until just before the first anticipated lay and then switch to a layer pellet or crumble. I've been going back and forth on whether I should switch to a lower protein feed or not. If I start to develop problems then I will adjust the feed. There isn't a good option for grower pellets around here unless I want to put them on a chick feed. They also get daily greens and hopefully will be able to start going outside during the day soon.

    These are my first ducklings so I don't really know what I am doing. I'm mostly trying to not do any harm. [​IMG]
     
  6. wholewheatchicken

    wholewheatchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I tried to put the little one in with the silkies and they pecked it like crazy so I put it over with the older ones and they are not running it over yet. It is able to get food and water and last I checked they were yawning getting ready to go to sleep and the baby was snuggled in the middle of them. I will keep a good eye on it. We raise chickens and chicks so I assume the raising part is roughly the same. I'm always on the watch for bullies and tramplerers in my flock.
    It was so adorable watching them yawning and settling in. I'm so glad we got them. (My DH on the other hand looked like he was going to have meltdown!)
    I had changed the silkies food out from the medicated chick starter to the flock raiser as I thought the duckling was going to go in with them. They are eating the flock raiser like wildfire. Must taste better?????
    What is the best thing to raise ducklings in? The man we bought them from had them in something like a rabbit hutch. We have a hutch, but I didn't know if it would hurt their feet. I couldn't believe what a mess they made out of their water when we first got home. I did some very creative thinking and made them something in a brooder box to keep them dry while they splash around, but there has got to be a better way to go about this. And what I have them in is just temporary for tonight as it is not big enough. I couldn't find a kiddie pool at Walmart. Any suggestions? Should I use the rabbit hutch with a catch pan under it?
     
  7. GrannyCarol

    GrannyCarol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They won't need a pool until they are older. At this age, they haven't developed their oils yet and could waterlog pretty easily and chill. Just be sure they can dunk their heads under water to wash their nostrils as they eat. I will give baby ducks a cat litter pan with warm water on a warm day, but I watch them pretty carefully. They love it.

    I've used flock raiser for years, it's ok. I would add the brewer's yeast for niacin and keep an eye on them.
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    How about putting a towel down over the wire on the bottom of the hutch, with a pan underneath? I think that would be great, and 70%cocoa does that (if memory serves).
     
  9. wholewheatchicken

    wholewheatchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aaaahhhhh! That must be why they keep ducking their bills in the water so far and splashing around, LOL! They are so messy it's hilarious. Last night they figured out how to make a small pond in the bottom of the tub I had them in. They had so much fun splashing around in the bit of water. They played for a while and then I dumped the water out and fixed their bedding again and they got preened back up and laid down on a warm towel under the brooder light for a good night's sleep. We figured out a much better spot for them tonight that has a lot more room.
    How old should they be before being moved outside to their duck house and how warm should it be on the overnight temps? Also, what kind of bedding is best in their duck house?
     
  10. PetesMom

    PetesMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feed my ducklings Dumor chick/duck starter, then they move to the finisher/grower. I use wood chips for the bottom of their coop, and mine go outside when they are fully feathered
     

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