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Ducklings

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
It's slipped my mine to post about this but since i just remembered i figure i better ask while it's fresh on my mind. Do any of you have experience with ducklings? Over the past few weeks we have had quite a few little flocks (is that the right term?) of infant ducklings come into our shelter. The majority have been brought in by people who have seen them near the road and wanted to move them to keep them safe. Anytime we get a call like that we usually tell them to just scoot them over into a safe area and leave them there for the momma (if they box them up and take them to our shelter it makes it sooooo hard to reunite them with the mom! some people just do not listen!) When we get ducklings who are old enough in- we take them to our local ponds/lakes and sneak them into the nests of mother ducks with ducklings in similar ages whe she's not looking -they always seem to accept them that way. There have been several rare occassions however where we've not had any success with that. It has been YEARS since i've had ducks (when i was a very small girl i grew up on a farm- so while i had some then, i remember nothing about proper care for them). I took several home with me last week and then was able later in the week to find a momma to take them.

I'm wondering though- what to do when i get the VERY small ones into the shelter- (the ones we had still had the yellow/brown down feathers). What is the best thing to feed them?? (the only thing we had in the shelter was canned cat and dog food, and bread and crackers so we tried small amounts of that just to give them a little something to eat.) we also filled up a litter pan with water for them to swim in and made a little "nest" in one of the kennels with hay and soft things for them. I'm sure that's not ideal so that's why i'm wondering what to do in case we get any more small ducklings in (we seem to be getting several a week at the moment). What is the best way to keep them warm? What is the best food? ANYTHING else ya'll can think of to add- i remember nothing about proper care for ducklings. Any links or advice would be of great help to me and my coworkers. Our speciality is cats and dogs, not ducklings- so i want to make sure we do everything right when we get wildlife like that in. Thanks!
post #2 of 20
Nikki,

I would go to your local feed store and get duckling feed. If they don't know how to "peck" then you'll have to put a tubed syringe into thier mouth and down their throats to feed them
post #3 of 20
All I know is with baby chicks.To keep them warm, they put them in a warmer.........kind of looks like a little oven with a glass top.
If they are weak, my in-laws always give them a bit of sugar water to boost them some.They feed cracked corn,crushed shells, crackers,oats, anything that is small enough to be digested.
Good luck!!!
here's a link I found for you
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/...585427737.html
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dixie_Darlin View Post
Nikki,

I would go to your local feed store and get duckling feed. If they don't know how to "peck" then you'll have to put a tubed syringe into thier mouth and down their throats to feed them
Thankyou! that is very helpfull!! (i didn't even know they made duckling feed!) I will call our local feed store on tues and see what they have! As far as the tubed syringe goes- can i just put the dry small food particles in it- or should it be moist? Any idea on what type of moisture content they need to keep them hydrated???

Quote:
Originally Posted by crittermom View Post
All I know is with baby chicks.To keep them warm, they put them in a warmer.........kind of looks like a little oven with a glass top.
If they are weak, my in-laws always give them a bit of sugar water to boost them some.They feed cracked corn,crushed shells, crackers,oats, anything that is small enough to be digested.
Good luck!!!
An incubator is what it's called. I wonder how expensive they are I was putting them in a small kennel or box with a heating pad on bottom and lining that since we don't have an incubator at the shelter. Sugar water is good to know about!! (i also have pedialyte/etc and tons of other things for my foster kittens/puppies so hopefully i have some stuff i can already use when we get our next batch in). Can i combine the cracked corn, crackers, and oats and just crush that up for them??? or should i moisten that?
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
tammy- thanks for that link- i'm reading up right now! it's really helpfull- i'm going to print off all this info and keep a copy at the shelter and bring up a few supplies when i get them so we're ready if we get in more
post #6 of 20
It should be moistened. It's a special mix and you add water to it. That is if they aren't eating on thier own. I would also call your vet to make sure too My father and I raised all sorts of birds by hand when I lived in Kentucky. Anything from chickens to pheasents to swans, ducks, peacocks, macaws, turkeys... everything! We had HUGE incubators and aviaries. Matter of fact, my parents still have one of the lovebirds that I hand raised. He's going to be 15 this year!
post #7 of 20
they alternate with the stuff.Give one thing for one offering, when they are done with that, offer another.It's important that they eat and get a varity of foods too.
Check out the link that I posted.It had some helpful info on it.
post #8 of 20
more links
http://au.answers.yahoo.com/question...8184726AATERx4
more info
Quote:
Place the animal in a container with dry bedding, such as paper towels, shavings, newspaper, or towels with no loose threads that may entangle feet or toes. Fresh grass or other moist bedding can chill the animal.
Keep the animal warm, but not hot. A bottle filled with hot water and wrapped in a towel will keep infants warm.
Quote:
Ducklings Goslings and baby Killdeer. These babies feed themselves from day 1
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dixie_Darlin View Post
It should be moistened. It's a special mix and you add water to it. That is if they aren't eating on thier own. I would also call your vet to make sure too My father and I raised all sorts of birds by hand when I lived in Kentucky. Anything from chickens to pheasents to swans, ducks, peacocks, macaws, turkeys... everything! We had HUGE incubators and aviaries. Matter of fact, my parents still have one of the lovebirds that I hand raised. He's going to be 15 this year!
wow! that is very neat alycia! and thankyou soo much for all that help/info!

Quote:
Originally Posted by crittermom View Post
they alternate with the stuff.Give one thing for one offering, when they are done with that, offer another.It's important that they eat and get a varity of foods too.
Check out the link that I posted.It had some helpful info on it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by crittermom View Post
Thankyou soo much Tammy! I've read through the other link already and it's very helpfull!!! All this info is great! I'm saving the links/info and printing off a copy for the shelter too! I think i'll pick up some of that duckling feed this comming week to keep just for if we need it.
post #10 of 20
My family used to raise ducklings every spring/summer.

At one time we had 107 for the late summer batch. A LOT of work. The ones we hatched out with the incubator, we just kept them inside for a couple days until they were a ble to run around and knew that they were eating okay. We had them set up in large cardboard boxes, and if we ran out of room, they had free run of the laundry room.
We just put a towel in the box and a towel overtop. But make sure it's not too hot because he had a few ducklings smother from being too warm with the other ducklings sitting on them as well.

I think it's natural instinct for them to peck at the feed. I don't recall having any problems with that. From what I remember, duckling feed is small brown bits.. looks sorta like all bran cereal, lol... but not really.

I wish you guys the best of luck with them! We haven't had any odd animals dropped of at our rescue as of yet -knocks on wood-
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leto86 View Post
My family used to raise ducklings every spring/summer.

At one time we had 107 for the late summer batch. A LOT of work. The ones we hatched out with the incubator, we just kept them inside for a couple days until they were a ble to run around and knew that they were eating okay. We had them set up in large cardboard boxes, and if we ran out of room, they had free run of the laundry room.
We just put a towel in the box and a towel overtop. But make sure it's not too hot because he had a few ducklings smother from being too warm with the other ducklings sitting on them as well.

I think it's natural instinct for them to peck at the feed. I don't recall having any problems with that. From what I remember, duckling feed is small brown bits.. looks sorta like all bran cereal, lol... but not really.

I wish you guys the best of luck with them! We haven't had any odd animals dropped of at our rescue as of yet -knocks on wood-
thankyou for the info! man- no odd animals at your shelter? i swear we get a bit of everything it seems! so far we've had ducklings, raccoons, opossums,squirls, rabbits (domestic), a hamster, foxes....mostly wildlife. right now we just have cats and dogs...but it seems like several times in the past few weeks we've had ducklings dropped off so i want to be prepared if we get any more. we even have pens in the back of the shelter outside for cattle should we get any (we haven't had any since i've worked there but my coworkers have said we've had goats before)
post #12 of 20
The local one here has goats/chickens/horses/ferrets.......you name it and they have taken it in at one time or another.
post #13 of 20


We have to turn down anything we cannot house. Any small rodent is out of the question. Our cats run free, there are no cages except for if we need to confine a cat for whatever reason. Even a small rodent in a cage wouldn't be safe there. LOL.

Also we aren't too well known , that may be a big reason why. We've had several cats dumped off, but thats it so far.

Actually, a few weeks ago someone brought us an adult starling with a broken leg. We called vet clininc after vet clinic until one finally referred us to a wildlife rehabilitator.. we drove the 45 minutes to get to the shelter, but they called and told us he died throughout the night.. he was too far gone already. But thats it.

Now I've had people who live on my street bring me baby birds and bats and all sorts of things all the time... but not to the rescue.
post #14 of 20
Nikki, my Dad used to make his own incubators all the time for very little money. (We had a farm and were constantly raising baby chicks and ducks)

If they are at least a few days old a heat lamp will work just fine.

If you google search you'll find tons of different ways to make home-made ones. I wish I could remember how dad did his....I know the base of it was a large cooler and the top was Plexi-glass but thats all I can remember.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
An incubator is what it's called. I wonder how expensive they are I was putting them in a small kennel or box with a heating pad on bottom and lining that since we don't have an incubator at the shelter. Sugar water is good to know about!! (i also have pedialyte/etc and tons of other things for my foster kittens/puppies so hopefully i have some stuff i can already use when we get our next batch in). Can i combine the cracked corn, crackers, and oats and just crush that up for them??? or should i moisten that?
You do not want to keep them in an incubater if they are already hatched. ?? I dont understand what you guys are saying there, do you mean a brooder????
A lot of times people do not even let duck/chick eggs hatch in an incubater they put them in a hatcher in the last day or two. Keep them warm under a heat lamp -a heating pad wont really work (do you have a heater?), and they need duck feed, and they should beable to eat on their own. Make sure that they have water to drink too. Putting sugar in the water gives the extra electrolytes that they really need at this time, i really suggest this. or at a farm and home store or somethign u usually can get electrolytes especially made for this in a bag/box/container. I would say your main priority now is keeping them warm, fed, and watered.
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thankyou everyone for all the help!! (and yes, i think brooder might be the right term- i wasn't sure) all if this info is great!! Hopefully it will really help should we get anymore ducklings into the shelter
post #17 of 20
Okay, i get it now, thanks, and good luck with your ducklings, i bet they are adorable!
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keisha View Post
Okay, i get it now, thanks, and good luck with your ducklings, i bet they are adorable!
oh i don't have any now (we've had several off and on that have come into our shelter that i've taken home) i'm just planning ahead for the next brood that winds up in our shelter as we seem to be averaging at least one brood (is that the right term?) a week thankyou soooo much for all the advice and help!!!! you're awesome!
post #19 of 20
So Nikki, what would Colin say if you brought home foster ducklings?!?!
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
So Nikki, what would Colin say if you brought home foster ducklings?!?!
i did last week...just overnight - but i had them in the room attached to our garage (it's really warm in there) so since he never saw them he didn't care because i told them it was just till i could get them to a pond the next day and try to sneak them in a nest. now had they been in the bedroom chirping all night...probably would have been a different story since i already have a foster dog and a foster kitten
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