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Some questions about ducklings...

Posted by TheBadTricks none (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 26, 11 at 16:37

Hello everyone. We just added two Pekin ducklings to our family today. They are doing well; we have their brooder set up with pine shavings and heat lamps (sitting at 90 degrees), they gobbled down some water, and seem to be happy, bouncy little things. Very chirpy and they love to run around!

However, I had some questions that I can't seem to find the answer to, maybe some of you can help. First, how much should we expect these babies to sleep? They are only a few days old, and I know MOST baby animals sleep a lot... is this normal for ducklings, too? They doze right off and nap pretty frequently. When they're awake, they are WIDE awake, chirping away and scurrying about. I just want to know how much is "too" much, and if we should be concerned with how often they doze off.

Next... they keep chewing on their bedding. (Pine shred.) They don't seem to be eating it, because I see them chomp it a few times and then drop it. Is this normal? Can this make them sick? There are no dyes in it or anything.

Finally, how much should we expect them to eat? It seems like they're mostly drinking water. Is there something we can/should do to encourage them to eat? Their feed is pretty well ground up, should we use water and make it more of a mush?

Thank you in advance for your advice!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Some questions about ducklings...

I keep newly hatched ducklings on paper towels for about a week before I give them shavings. They will nibble them a bit and then decide they aren't food and quit trying to eat them.

Ducklings doze a lot. They don't seem to sleep a deep sleep very often, but when they do, they look like they are dead and will give you quite a fright.

Food is kept available 24 hours a day until they are close to full size. Medicated chick starter or medicated game bird starter(with amprolium, which is probably the only medicate feed available any more)for the first 2 weeks. Protein levels get cut to 16 percent at week 2, to prevent angel wing.

Unless you are feeding game bird, they need a niacin supplement. Chicken food doesn't contain enough niacin for ducks.

I suggest that you set their water into some sort of container that will catch the splashes. I set mine on a shallow baking pan that has been cover with a fine mesh hardware cloth.

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