Ducks are so much fun to watch and easy to raise. Granted, they can get a bit messy, but I still enjoy having them around. Here are 5 tips on raising ducks for you to use or pass along to a friend.
Ducklings that are hatched in an incubator don’t have an oil coating on their downy fluff, like those hatched by a mother duck. This means they aren’t “waterproof” and they will end up soggy and cold. Wait until they get their feathers before you supply them with a swimming pool of their own.
Most baby ducks are given what is known as Chick Starter. This is sold at feed stores and is the same stuff baby chickens eat. However, you’ll need to add water to it and make a sort of mash for the ducklings. Once they get bigger, they will be able to scoop it up as dry food. Be sure the feed is undedicated. This type of feed is fine for chicks, but not ducklings.
Event thought they are too young to swim; they still need lots of water to drink. Use a waterer that is especially made for fowl. These provide plenty of fresh water and aren’t big enough for the duckling to get its entire body into. This type of feeder eliminates the chance of soggy ducklings and a messy brood box.
Baby ducks would normally be tucked under their mother when they get cold. Since your ducklings probably aren’t being raised by their mother, then you need to provide them with a heat source. Heat lamps over the brood box will allow them to stay warm. The brood box should be large enough that they can get away from the heat lamp if they get too warm.
As ducklings grow, they require a lot of room. Even thought they aren’t that much larger than the average chicken, each duck needs almost 3 times the amount of space that a chicken does. Setting up a run that is attached to their housing is a great way to let them run about during the day while still being able to keep them safe in their house at night.
Even if you only get the chance to raise one little duckling, I hope you take it. I never raised mine as a food source, they are simply little bug catchers! Do you have any additional tips on raising ducks that you think should also be on this list?
Top Photo Credit: birdyboo
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