Raising ducklings are reasonably simple to do, if you stick to a few easy steps. The largely crucial thing that many people do not know is that ducks should by no means have medicated feed. The best thing to feed ducklings and goslings is a 21% “non medicated” starter feed. It is moreover a sound proposal to deposit a vitamin and electrolyte powder in the water to provide them a pleasant start. Ducks drink a good deal more water than chickens. Raising ducklings can be an enjoyable experience and is not very hard if these few elements are supplied.
Ducklings do not take heat well, so be sure not to overheat them. They like a temperature of 90-92 degrees for the initial 3 days, then 85-90 degrees for days 4 to 7. Thereafter, decline the temperature by approximately 5 degrees for every week until they are fully feathered. They should continuously be able to move away from the high temperature. Out of breath and drooping wings are a sign that they are too hot. As soon as they leave the brooder, it is a useful idea to furnish them a heat lamp at night in favor of the initial week or so, except the weather is very hot. Every time make sure they have some shelter and a place to walk out of the sun. Raising ducklings is a fairly inexpensive operation, but as they get older the price increases.
When raising ducklings, be reminded that they like their feed wet, and adding a little water to the feed helps to keep them from choking. They will also appreciate fresh greens daily, and bugs and meal worms are a special treat. Sprinkle thinly chopped greens in their water to keep them fresh and clean, as they will not munch filthy or wilted feed.
Be sure to always have clean, fresh water available. It should be deep enough to get their heads submerged, to clean out their nostrils and prevent them from getting a condition called “sticky eye”, but they should not be able to get their bodies into the water. Duck feathers are waterproof for the reason that they oil them, and young Ducklings cannot yield oil until they are several weeks old. When their mother raises them, she will oil their feathers for them, so they can go into the water at an earlier age than as they are artificially brooded.
Ducklings can have a chick waterer for the first week or two, and then they should contain something deeper. It is important to keep ducklings warm in the first week, especially during the first two days. All ducklings can be raised together after two weeks. Use a plastic bowl with 2″ chicken wire over the top, so they can get their heads in but can’t get into the bowl. The water will need to be changed often, as ducks are dabblers and will get feed into their water constantly. Once they are fully feathered, they will be pleased about some swimming water. Continually make sure they can get out of the water, or they will drown. A ramp into and out of the swimming pool is a good idea, until they are big enough to get out on their own.
Ducklings make quite a untidiness while eating, and their droppings are prolific and wet. They must be kept clean and dry, so change bedding often. Pine shavings produce good bedding for ducklings. You can also raise them on wire mesh. It takes a LOT of time to care for ducklings.