I have ducklings hatching this week so I thought it would be a good time to share with you my quick and easy reference guide to raising ducklings.
This will be my third time raising ducklings (see our growing up duck story here). So it’s safe to say I have been there and done that and found what works and what doesn’t. My ducklings teach me something new each time I raise them so here is my go-to cheat sheet for raising ducklings!
** This blog post contains affiliate links. All products I recommend have my stamp of approval. If you happen to purchase one of my recommended items, not only will it make your life easier but it will help me make a couple extra bucks in this Hard Duck Life! **
There are many different types of brooders. Find the one that fits best for you and your ducks.
This is my favorite brooder.
Brooder Space Requirements:
|0-2 weeks old||0.75 square feet per duckling|
|2-4 weeks old||1.75 square feet per duckling|
|4-6 weeks old||2.75 square feet per duckling|
|6-8 weeks old||3-5 square feet per duckling|
|8 weeks and older||10 square feet per duckling|
|0-2 days old||95 ℉|
|2-7 days old||90 ℉|
|1-2 week old||83-85 ℉|
|2-3 week old||78-80 ℉|
|3-4 week old||73-75 ℉|
|4-5 weeks old||68-70 ℉|
|5-6 weeks old||63-65 ℉|
|6-8 weeks old||Can withstand 50℉ or lower|
**Noisy/huddled ducklings = too cold **Panting/stressed ducklings = too hot
– Protect ducklings from predators
– Keep ducklings warm and dry (no drafts)
– House them with smooth or slick floors (no newspaper)
– Overcrowd ducklings in a small space
Caution: Be smart about the heat source! Heat lamps can cause fires if used improperly!
Good nutrition is essential for healthy ducklings!
Ensure your duckling receives the proper protein percentage for its stage of development. This is crucial to prevent overgrowth of young waterfowl and conditions such as angel wing.
|0-2 weeks old||18-20 % starter feed|
|2-7 weeks old||16-18 % grower feed|
|7-20 weeks old||15-16 % developer feed|
– Provide a balanced diet
– Provide chick size granite grit
– Supplement with niacin (2-3 cups brewer yeast / 10 lbs of feed)
– Use pellet or crumble feed
– Provide constant free choice food supply
– Suddenly change diet (causes lethal enteritis)
– Use feed containing Arsenicals or Roxarsone
– Feed any food with greater than 1.5% calcium
– Feed mash food
– Limit their access to food
Feeds I recommend:
– Provide a constant supply of fresh water
– Provide water deep enough to wash eyes and bills
– Ensure ducklings cannot become trapped in water container (they will drown)
– Provide food without water present (they will choke)
– Ever add Ren-O-Sal (roxarsone) to water (deadly to young waterfowl)
– Add bleach to container to kill bacteria (kills bacteria in their gut)
Important Notes for Raising Ducklings:
The first 3 days after hatching it is normal for duckling poop to be green.
Just say NO to salmonella!
Always wash your hands after handling your ducklings.
Ducklings don’t have teeth!
Always cut treats such as meal worms or fresh tender greens into bite size.
Duckling downy feathers are NOT waterproof!
Never allow unsupervised swimming time until adult feathers are present.
Never feed bread or other bread products to your ducks or ducklings.
Grow strong legs and bones!
Allow outside supervised time during warm days for exercise and strong legs.
Take lots of pictures and videos!
They grow into adults in just 9 short weeks.
Handle with care!
They are babies after all.
- Heat Lamp & Red Lamp Bulb
- Natural Pine Shaving Bedding
- Chick Feed
- Brewer’s Yeast
- Chick Grit
- Poultry Waterer
I hope this quick and easy cheat sheet to raising ducklings was helpful for you!
I am happy to answer any questions about raising ducklings in the comment section below!
If you want more helpful information on raising your ducks into adulthood subscribe to our blog here!