If you’ve seen ducklings for real, you’d wonder where Hans Christian Andersen based one of his famous children’s book characters. Ducklings are everything but ugly. They are jolly, tamed, cute little birds that get exited with your presence. In fact, if you’re not planning to have ducks as pets, then don’t stare a duckling at the face let alone pick one up. Or else you’d end up going home with a couple of them. If you do, however, don’t fret. Raising ducklings are easier than most people think.See also:
Questions to Ask before Bringing Home Some Ducklings
Before you decide to bring home ducklings, here are some questions you need to ask yourself.
1. Do I have a yard big enough to raise adult ducks?
2. Do I have time to care for the ducklings intensely until they’re at least 6 weeks old?
3. Do I have spare space in the house for the duckling brood?
4. Do I have extra budget to buy ducklings supply?
5. Can I keep the ducklings safe from my other pets?
If you can honestly answer yes to these questions, then you should succeed in raising ducklings as pets.
If your yard is just enough to grow few flowers and leave a little extra space to swing a cat, then get only two ducklings to raise as pets. But, to keep the ducklings safe from draft and predators, you need to brood them inside your house until they’re at least 6 weeks old.
A large cardboard box or a large dog kennel can be used as brood; just make sure that the ducklings are protected from your other pets in it. Your cat will not hesitate to snack on your ducklings. To make their brood conducive, lay hay or straw as substrate and hang at least a 100-watt bulb two feet from the ground for heating. When you see your ducklings explore the four corners of their brood, not staying on one corner away from the lamp or huddled up under it, then you know you struck the right temperature balance. To adjust the temperature, you can raise or lower the heat lamp or add a more powerful lamp in the brood if needed.
Growing ducklings need protein-rich poultry feed starter; you can even buy mash specifically formulated for ducks; ask a farm supply store about it. Feed your ducklings with these specially formulated poultry feed starters three times a day, but don’t put too much they can’t consume in an hour. And, this is a very important reminder: when feeding baby (or adult) ducks, always keep clean water close to the feeder. A duck’s breathing vent can be obstructed by the feed, which it needs to flush with water to breath easily again. Keep the water dish shallow to avoid accidental drowning because ducks love to dive. As for treat, you can give ducklings finely chopped vegetables, mealworms, crickets, or bait worms you can buy from pet supply stores online or near you.
Taking Ducklings Out to Stretch and Play
When the weather is warm, you can play with your ducklings in the yard when they’re at least two weeks old. Ducklings are fun to play with in the lawn because they’ll treat you as their mother following you in straight pile wherever you go. If you’ll take a dip in the pool, they’ll jump in too. Just make sure they’re not too full before jumping into the pool with you or you may need to change your pool water before schedule. And when your ducklings are about 6-8 weeks old, they can move outside in their small house or barn permanently – you can’t keep adult ducks inside your house unless you know everything about duck diapers.
Other Things to Consider in Raising Ducklings
To keep your ducklings happy and fit, you can add vet-prescribe multivitamins to their water. Follow the correct dosage because excessive vitamin intake can be harmful to the tiny ducks, too. Check the ducklings from time to time because they love to bathe in their water dish until their fully soaked in water. You need to dry them at once when this happens. Also, do not let them come in contact with your other pets, specially cats and dogs to avoid them getting hurt.
As you can see, raising ducklings isn’t too difficult. And if you’ve seen ducklings in a farm animals fair somewhere, there’s not much you can do. You have to learn how raise ducklings because you’ve taken at least a couple by now, guaranteed.