How to Take Care of Ducklings



Find a brooding box.,
Install a brooding lamp.,
Check the placement of the brooding lamp.,
Adjust the brooding lamp as the ducklings grow.,
Give your ducklings plenty of water.,
Feed the ducklings starter crumbs.,
Feed weak ducklings duck egg yolk.,
Give the ducklings constant access to food.,
Switch to adult duck food.,
Avoid feeding ducklings food that isn’t made for ducks.,
Encourage the ducklings to swim.,
Make a little swimming pool out of a paint roller tray.,
Allow adult ducks to swim unassisted .,
Be wary of older ducks.,
Keep ducklings safe from predators.,
Keep some emotional distance from the ducklings.,
Move the ducks to a larger space.

After ducklings have hatched from their shells and spent about 24 hours getting used to their new surroundings, they’re ready to move to a brooder.A plastic storage container, sturdy cardboard box, or large glass aquarium can all work for this purpose.

The box should be well-insulated, since the ducklings need to stay warm. Don’t choose a box with too many holes in the sides or the bottom.
Line the bottom of the box with wood shavings or old towels. Avoid using newspaper or other slippery material. Ducklings are still wobbly on their legs for the first few weeks after they hatch, and they can slip easily and hurt themselves on surfaces like plastic or newspaper.;
, Baby ducks need to be kept very warm in the first few weeks after they hatch, to give them the chance to get used to the chilly air outside their eggs. Buy a brooding lamp at a feed store or hardware store and affix it to the top of the brooder.

Use a 100-watt bulb to start. For very young ducklings, this should create the right amount of heat.
Make sure part of the brooder is located away from the heat, so they have a place to cool off if they need to.
Make sure the bulb isn’t too close to the ducklings. This may cause them to overheat, or if they touch the bulb, they could get burned. If you’re using a shallow brooder, prop the lamp up higher using blocks of wood or another sturdy prop

, Periodically check the lamp’s placement, ensuring that the ducklings are getting an appropriate amount of warmth.

The heat and wattage of the lamp should be altered based on your ducklings’ behavior as they get older.
If the ducklings tend to huddle close together under the lamp, they may be too cold and you should move the lamp closer or get a higher wattage bulb.
If the ducklings are scattered out and breathing heavily, they’re most likely getting overheated, and you need to move the lamp further away or use a lower wattage bulb. Comfortable ducklings should be warm and settled.

, As the ducks grow older, they will need less heat. Raise the lamp or change the bulb to a lower heat when they stop sleeping under it.

, Put a shallow drinking bowl inside the brooder that is deep enough for the ducklings to dip in their beaks, but not their entire heads.Ducklings like to be able to clear their nostrils as they drink, but if you give them access to deeper water they could climb in and drown.Change the water and clean the bowl every day to make sure the ducklings don’t get sick from drinking dirty water.
If you fear the bowl you have is a little too deep for your ducklings to drink from safely, lining the bottom with pebbles or marbles will make it safer for them., Ducklings don’t eat for the first twenty-four hours after they hatch, since they’re still absorbing nutrients from the yolk inside the egg they hatched from. After that, they graduate to starter crumbs, tiny pellets of duck food available at feed supply stores.Buy a plastic feeder, fill it up, and place it in the brooder.

If the ducklings seem hesitant to eat, try adding a little water to their food to make it easier for them to swallow. You can also add a very small amount of sugar to their water for the first couple of days to help them get off to a good start and give them energy.

, Very weak ducklings may need a little extra yolk nutrition before they’re ready for starter crumbs. Feed them a bit of mashed duck egg yolk until they become more interested in the starter crumbs.

, Make sure the ducklings have access to food 24/7. They need to be able to eat whenever they’re hungry since they grow so quickly at this stage of life. They also need water to help them swallow their food, so keep the water bowl full at all times.

After about ten days, ducklings are ready for grower’s pellets, which are the same as the starter crumbs, only bigger.

, When the ducklings become adults, after about 16 weeks, they’re ready for adult duck food.

, Many foods humans eat, like bread, don’t provide them with the nutrition that ducks need, and some can even make them sick.Even if the ducks are interested in food such as bread, it is not good for them.
Ducks can have very thinly cut fruits and vegetables as a snack, but make sure their main meal is duck food.
Don’t give ducklings food made for baby chickens. It doesn’t have the right nutrient makeup for ducklings.
Never use medicated feed for ducklings. It can cause organ damage.

, Ducks love to swim, and they’ll start as soon as the first day after they hatch if you let them. Do not let them swim unattended. Baby ducks are covered with down, which isn’t waterproof, and their bodies are still too fragile to cope with swimming alone at this stage., The paint roller tray makes a great environment for starter swimming.You can supervise them closely, and the slope in the tray creates a little ramp to help the ducklings get in and out safely.

Don’t let the ducklings swim too long, or they’ll get chilled. When they’re done swimming, dry them off gently and place them back in the brooder so they can warm up.
You can also let them sit on a heating pad covered with a clean towel for a few minutes.

, When ducklings are fully feathered with their waterproof, adult feathers, they can swim without your supervision. Depending on the type of duck, full feathers should be in place by 9-12 weeks of age.

, Make sure the ducklings are supervised at all times while they’re still growing their adult feathers and learning to swim, particularly if letting young ducks swim in an outdoor pond. Older adult ducks that may share the same pond or water source may try to drown or kill the younger ducks.

, Ducks, particularly when young, can be targets for predatory animals. You can free range your ducks when they are adults, but remember you may lose ducks occasionally to predators. You should make every effort to keep them safe from predators.

If you’re raising ducklings in a garage or barn outside, make sure no other animals can get near them. Wolves, foxes, and even large predatory birds could harm your ducklings if you aren’t careful.
Ducklings raised inside your home need to be kept safe from dogs and cats, which may try to attack or even play too roughly with the ducklings.
Once the ducklings move from the brooder to a larger pen, make sure there’s no way for predators to get in.

, It’s tempting to cuddle with the sweet, fuzzy ducklings, but if you get too close to the ducklings, they might imprint on you too strongly. To make sure your ducklings grow up into an independent, healthy adults, enjoy watching them play with each other, but don’t join in the fun too much.

, Once the ducks are too big for the brooder, move them to a large dog kennel or a shed with a latching door. Feed them adult duck feed and let them spend their days swimming and splashing in a pond. Make sure to bring them back into their shelter at night to keep them safe from predators.

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