Kw-logo-smaller

Taking Care Of Ducklings

NEVER feed bread to a duck or duckling!

If you’ve ever watched the show Friends, you probably remember that Chandler and Joey kept a chicken and a duck as pets in their New York apartment. Now, the city is NOT the place for a duck – ducks prefer to be waddling around inside, sleeping in the sunshine and paddling on a crystal-blue lake with their duck friends. But if you ever find yourself having to take care of a duckling like Chandler and Joey did, we’ve got some tips for you.

Steps

  • Keep ducklings in a warm and safe environment. A plastic tote works great for the first few weeks.
  • Use a heat lamp with a 100 to 200 watt bulb. Adjust the height and wattage according to your ducklings behavior. If they seem warm and settled, not huddling under the lamp, they are probably warm enough. If they are scattered out, away from the lamp, take care of ducklings panting, etc., they are too warm. Common sense will tell you to lower the heat.
  • Hay can be used if available for bedding. Never use newspaper or a smooth surface, as it could cause leg problems or a condition called "splay leg."

  • Make sure heat lamps are secured and the area is large enough for the ducklings to get closer if they are cold and further away if too warm.


    Ducklings that sleep together in a clump are too cold or if they have their mouths open (panting like a dog) they are too hot.


    Feed game bird starter, chick starter , or a commercially prepared waterfowl starter for the first 4-6 weeks. Never feed medicated chick starter or poultry feed, as this is fatal to your ducklings. Also anything moldy is fatal to your ducks of all ages! Bread, although thought of as the ideal "duck food," is also dangerous to ducklings, because it expands in their crop and chokes them.


    Bread should never be fed to ducks of any age, especially those in parks and ponds. Use a plastic or galvanized feeder. Always provide clean, fresh drinking water. Use a shallow bowl to which you have added a few clean, small pebbles. This will prevent the ducklings from drowning.


    You can also put clean pebbles in a store bought waterer if it is too deep ducks need to be able to submerge their heads to clear their sinuses. Do not let them swim unattended. They must be able to get out of the water quickly. Ducklings can and will drown if they get too wet or too cold.


    Ducklings will eat on their own immediately. You can add a small amount of sugar in their water for the first couple of days to help them get off to a good start.


    Learn that ducklings should be fully feathered before allowing them to swim. Depending on the type of duck, full feathers should be in place by 9-12 weeks of age.


    Know that if you have other adult ducks in your pond/water source, be advised the older adult ducks can be fatal to your younger ducks. Older ducks may drown the younger ducks.


    Tips

  • After ducks are in the pond or water source, you may feed floating fish food or dog food in very small amounts. Switch their basic diet to a good quality unmedicated waterfowl or poultry ration, usually available at most feed stores.
  • Generally, ducks will eat more during autumn and winter months, than in spring and summer months.
  • As ducklings will eventually grow into full sized ducks, a large dog kennel should make a splendid pen for your waterfowl, but a shed with a latchable door is best in terms of room and space.
  • Always put your ducklings in a safe cage at night, because they are very vulnarable to predators.

  • Warnings

  • NEVER let your ducklings swim unattended, as they may drown!
  • NEVER feed your ducklings medicated poultry feed!
  • Bread is bad for them, and anything moldy can be FATAL.
  • Always have clean water near food source, as ducks cannot swallow food properly without water.
  • Ducklings IMPRINT on people immediately. They look to you as their Mom. Be prepared to teach and train them, and to care for them properly.
  • Ducklings are very social animals, so never get just one. They need at least one companion, but preferably three or four.

  • Things You'll Need

  • Feeder
  • Heavy and shallow water dish
  • Hay or bedding, clean towels, etc. (Do not use cedar or plain newspaper.) Use caution as they may ingest certain substances.
  • Heat lamp

  • Related Stories

  • Did Donald Duck Inhale Helium?
  • Anaheim Ducks
  • How To Do A Duck Dive
  • Aquatic Biome

  • >
    >

    readers voted!

    Comments

    JennyD

    JennyD wrote:

    I don't have ducklings ;)
    commented: Thu Aug 15, 2013

    shae508

    shae508 wrote:

    i always wanted to take care of ducklings. now i know not to feed any ducks bread.
    commented: Sat May 04, 2013

    nicole273

    nicole273 wrote:

    lol
    commented: Sat Jan 07, 2012

    there are 3 more comments

    Please login or register to add comments

    share with your friends


    Twitter Facebook Myspace Digg


    like this article?
    Sign up now to get more just like!

    latest videos

    F1153502733718

    Fave Farm Animal? Vote!

    • Cows are the best.
    • I dig pigs!
    • Goats are great.
    • Monkeys! Farms have monkeys, right?

    related stories

    Random in the forums

    Taidoku
    Taidoku posted in Debating:
    we will likely kill ourselves (from my theory) with a mass war
    reply 5 minutes
    wolfiegal
    wolfiegal posted in General:
    reply 6 minutes
    Elizabeth221
    Elizabeth221 posted in Debating:
    huh???
    reply 6 minutes
    LAZY778
    LAZY778 posted in Debating:
    "Taidoku" wrote: "LAZY778" wrote: "Teh_Skittlez" wrote: "CocoC01" wrote: In my opinion, our world will end when our world is totally dried up. Because our Earth`s ozone layer is getting thinner day by day. It is due to the selfishness of humans which do not care about the current issues of our Earth`s problems. Human activity like too much usage of air conditioners and people who do not close refrigerator properly may cause the thinning of the precious ozone layer. The examples that I`ve listed release CFC. This CFC will mix with the nitrogen in the air and cause the ozone layer to decrease. This may cause more UV light rays to enter Earth and causes the earth temperature to increase little by little every day. As the years go by Earth will dry up one day due to the high temperature and no protection given by the ozone layer for the human race to live in this world. I'm not saying that global warming isn't a significant issue or that it doesn't need our attention, I just don't think it's going to be what kills us. It might kill a lot of everything else, but I don't think it'll kill us.    Well what will die from global warming? "LAZY778" wrote: "Teh_Skittlez" wrote: "CocoC01" wrote: In my opinion, our world will end when our world is totally dried up. Because our Earth`s ozone layer is getting thinner day by day. It is due to the selfishness of humans which do not care about the current issues of our Earth`s problems. Human activity like too much usage of air conditioners and people who do not close refrigerator properly may cause the thinning of the precious ozone layer. The examples that I`ve listed release CFC. This CFC will mix with the nitrogen in the air and cause the ozone layer to decrease. This may cause more UV light rays to enter Earth and causes the earth temperature to increase little by little every day. As the years go by Earth will dry up one day due to the high temperature and no protection given by the ozone layer for the human race to live in this world. I'm not saying that global warming isn't a significant issue or that it doesn't need our attention, I just don't think it's going to be what kills us. It might kill a lot of everything else, but I don't think it'll kill us.    Well what will die from global warming? well, sea levels will rise, and in an extreme case, can drown people, and drown whole cities (which will likely not happen in our lifetime) Yes that will happen because of  global warming.
    reply 7 minutes
    LAZY778
    LAZY778 posted in Debating:
    "Ilikeham123" wrote:####! (German for no) has anyone read mine- the sun will start to die and expand outwards in 5.4 billion years time and it will swell over Mercury Venus and Earth. I read it but with what we are doing to our planet mankind won't exist by then so that theory is right of course but we won't well mankind won't exist. 
    reply 9 minutes

    play online games

    Candy-100

    A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

    1515_gl_kidzworld_100x100_jpg_fz

    Intriguing planets, weird and wonderful characters; challenge friends and find a...

    157262_(2)

    When you go back to Candyland, you’ll wonder why you ever left in the first plac...

    100x100_ra_logo_girl

    Uncle George has left you his farm, but unfortunately it’s in pretty bad shape. ...

    _thumb_100x100

    Shoot blobs with different properies to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be re...