Raising Ducklings Guide – 5 Necessities for Keeping Healthy Baby Ducks
Thinking of raising ducklings at home? If you’re seriously considering getting a few to raise as pets, you need to prepare yourself and stock up on some necessities. Although raising ducklings and keeping ducks isn’t actually rocket science, you still need to provide them with the proper care they’ll need to mature into healthy ducks. Still a bit clueless on what to do? Here’s a short guide that will make it easier for you.
To ensure your ducklings’ transition to becoming healthy mature ducks, make sure to do your own research on the subject. You need to prepare yourself so that you know just exactly what you need to do to properly care for ducklings.
The following are the basic necessities that all duck breeders need to prepare for raising ducks and ducklings in tip top condition.
1. Brooding area
The first thing that you need to do is provide proper housing on a dedicated area for the ducklings. The brooding area doesn’t have to be extravagant; it just needs to be in an area where the ducklings can be kept safely away from rodents and pets. Set up a sturdy cardboard box, with the top open, at a clean area. Make sure that this area has access to fresh air so that the ducklings won’t suffocate. Keep the brooding area clean at all times so you can prevent duck diseases from spreading.
2. Heat source
Once you have a brooding area in place, the next thing that you need to do is set up a heat source. Since ducklings can easily be affected by sudden climate changes, a heat source is essential in ensuring that the temperature in the area is kept within stable limits. Duck breeders recommend using a heat lamp set up with an infrared lamp over regular lamps. Regular lamps unfortunately should be avoided as these are known to give off intermittent heat. Keep the temperature too hot and you’ll only end up giving the poor ducklings a heat stroke.
Before you move the ducklings to the brooding area, don’t forget to lay proper absorbent material that will serve as bedding. Although wood shavings work perfectly for adult ducks, it would be best to use hay or straw material for the ducklings. This way, you can avoid any serious complications that could result from ducklings nibbling on wood shavings. Make sure to replace the bedding on a regular basis to avoid moulds from forming.
Raising ducklings isn’t complete without the proper feed. Since ducklings still have developing digestive systems, make sure to use feed that isn’t medicated. You can also experiment with more natural alternatives like organic soft fruit and chopped soft vegetables. Avoid giving ducklings adult duck feed or birdseed to prevent accidental choking.
Last but not the least, don’t forget to provide your ducklings with enough water throughout the day. Place water in a feeder that isn’t too deep so that the ducklings don’t end up drowning. It would be ideal if you can find a water feeder that can dispense water without causing mess in the brooding area.