Raising Baby Ducks
Raising A Flock of Ducklings
Thanks to Hoover's Hatchery for contributing to this article.
Raising ducklings is just as fun and rewarding as raising chicks, and you can absolutely raise them together! However, ducks do have different needs and require slightly different care than chickens.
Feeding Baby Ducks
- Ducklings need a ready source of clean water. Chick fountains are recommended. Water sources for ducks should be deeper than water sources for chickens so that ducks can dunk their heads. However, make sure ducks can easily escape the water. Baby ducks love to play but can easily drown if they tire.
- Ducklings will play in water, making a mess and splashing out their drinking water. Be sure to clean and refresh it often.
- Ducklings don't produce waterproofing oil until 4 weeks of age. In the wild, mothers apply it. Swimming your ducks too early can result in death from chill or even drowning from fatigue.
- After 4 weeks, set up a small pool within the duck house or coop. Your flock will love to swim and splash around.
You can also purchase a feed just for ducks, if you wish. These complete feeds are formulated to meet the niacin requirement of growing and laying ducks, and have prebiotics, probiotics and yeast for health and digestion.
- Not just an escape from predators and the elements, ducks need shelter to provide quiet and seclusion.
- The shelter for ducklings should be well ventilated and large enough that your ducks can fully expand their wings and groom.