When it comes to raising baby ducks, there are at least five main principles to follow for success. Fuzzy yellow ducklings are cute, but they need a lot of care. Raising baby ducks is not as easy as it sounds. Sure they're cute as pie and you'd love to cuddle them all day, but you must be careful with raising them to keep away health issues that are easy for them to succumb to. After you've received your ducklings, what do you do next?
Here's how to provide proper pet care to your baby duck.
- Setting up your brooding area.
A brooding area is simply a place for your baby ducks to live. It should be clean, draft free, dry, and most important of all, protected against any wild animals such as cats, dogs, coyotes, and even raccoons. You can keep your baby ducks in the corner of a barn, or storage shed, that defends them from challenging weather conditions like rain. You should also be concerned that this space is going to be large enough for the baby ducks once they become adults.
- Choose bedding material.
The best choice for raising your baby ducks is either straw or hay. Do not use wood chips as this can cause harm to your baby ducks. Wood shavings or wood chips are not as easy to digest if your ducklings try to eat them. Be sure to remove wet spots as often as they occur to keep from developing mold. If the bedding becomes moldy, remove the entire bedding, clean, and replace immediately. Mold is very harmful to your precious baby ducks and can lead to death of your ducklings.
- Proper heating
Ducklings need warmth especially for the first 10 days. The key is their behavior. If they are comfortable, they will move around, eat, drink, and play. When too hot, they will move away from the light. If baby ducks are too cold, they will huddle together to keep warm. Light bulbs are best to use instead of artificial heat.
- A 4 bulb with 250 watts = 100 to 150 ducklings
- A 1 bulb with 250 watts = 30 ducklings
- A 1 bulb with 50 watts = less than 10 ducklings
- Feed the baby ducks
You may be wondering, "What do ducks eat?" It's best to feed your baby ducks with a non medicated chick or duck starter. They can also have fresh veggies or fruits that have been chopped finely, but when raising ducks, be careful not to over feed. As a treat, give your ducklings small, live worms and insects.
They are baby ducks, so water is a huge part of their existence. They should have a bathing and watering place that should not be deeper than ¼ inch so that they will not drown. The water should be kept free of micro organisms and toxins. Once your ducklings mature you can move them to a natural pond or lake.
Now you know how to raise a duckling! Remember this is ongoing care. When raising your baby ducks, you will have to give them lots of love, care, and attention.