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DuckeggsDUCKS CAN be a fun addition to your poultry family on your sustainable farm  According to this article, raising ducks can be easier and more beneficial than raising chickens.  They offer similar benefits that chickens offer.  Duck eggs are slightly bigger than chicken eggs and richer.  It is said they are better in baked products and were eaten by American settlers for centuries, since ducks grow in the wild and their nests were easily found.  Duck manure is as useful as chicken manure, so maintaining a diverse poultry herd can be beneficial and a lot more fun than only keeping one species.  As with Chickens, most people acquire ducks while they are still very young ducklings, available at most feed stores during the early spring.  Some of your ducklings might not be feeling well when you get them home from the store. VetRX works 

well for some respiratory infections and for most illnesses they acquire during shipping and rehoming.  The link to VetRX is below.  We use it for respiratory infections in all our poultry.  The Probiotics shown below are also helpful with new baby poultry as they have likely had a hard few days with all the shipping and relocating at their young age.  Remember, these babies are often shipped the day they are hatched.  For proof of that, you will still find the "egg tooth" on their beaks when you buy them at the feed store.  For reference - the egg tooth falls off before the baby is 4 days old but usually within 24 hours of hatching and sometimes as early as within 12 hours of hatching.

THE PRODUCTS necessary for caring for young ducklings are low cost and readily available.  See below for many of the products we recommend for your new ducks.  As with the other poultry, depending on the size of the brood enclosure, you can choose between a heat lamp or the brooder or get both.  The general rule of thumb for using the heat lamp is as follows:  if the ducklings are huddled tigthtly together under it, the lamp may be hung to high.  If they are lying away from it and away from each other, the lamp is likely hung to low.  If the enclosure is larger, and you are using a brooder, it should be located as far from the heat lamp as possible.  The ducklings can then get under the brooder if they are cold, but will be able to roam freely about the enclosure if the heat lamp is efficiently heating the enclosure.  A coop heater may also be a safer alternative to the heat lamp.

YOU'LL NEED to add a source of water for them to swim in or they'll wreck the waterer trying to swim in it.  Make the sure the water source is low and easy for them to get in and out of... 

High Quality Plastic Poultry WatererPoultry feeder waterer

Metal Chick water Base - fits A mason Jar

Chick Watere Metal Base Fits mason jar

Poulltry FeedersPoultry feeders small 


Woods Clamping Heat Lamp


 250 Watt Heat Lamp Bulb - Red

Heatlamp bulb

Organic Chick Starter

Organic Chick Starter

Duckling and Gosling Starter Crumbles

Duckling Starter 8 lb

 Premier Chick Brooder Heating PlateChick Brooding Plate
Poultry Probiotic - 3 Packets ONLY!!! Chick Probiotic 3 packages only

Brewers Yeast Duck and Chicken Supplementbrewers yeast poultry supplement

 VetRX Respiratory Supplement

VetRX Medicines

 Chick Grit for Small Birds

Chick Grit

 Drawer Organizers - 12x6x2 inches - would make good swimming pools for young ducklingsSwimming pool for ducklings

Radiant Chicken Coop HeaterChicken Coop heater

 Duck Tape
(sorry folks, couldnt resist!!!)Duck Tape


 ONCE THE ducklings are about 6 weeks old, when the outside temperature remains steadily above 65 degrees, they can be Chicken Coop Tractortransitioned from the brood area to a coop.  Be aware that poultry in general are horrible bullies, so do not place them with the older ducks until they are fully feathered and at least 12 weeks old.  You can use a chicken tractor (click here for how to make a chicken tractor) to move ducklings around in your yard until they're old enough to free range on their own.  We like to make sure our poultry has a fighting chance against the hawks before we freerange them. We generally do not freerange any of our poultry until they are 1 year old.  Our Great Pyrenees works great for protecting our poultry, however he is only 1 dog, so there is still some risk from coyotes and hawks, We want our poultry to be as big as possible before they are outside.  

T-Post - 7 FtT Post 7 Ft 

PawHut 87” x 41” Outdoor Metal Pet EnclosureChicken Cage BMS

150 foot by 72 inches Hexagonal Chicken Wire for Enclosure
Chicken wire 72 inch x 150 feet

 Molded Polyethylene Stock Tank - 50 galDuck Pond  Drain Plug Kit for Foam Stock tankDrain Plug Kit for Stock Tank

Swimming Pool - could be sunk in the ground and used for cheap duck pond.  30x7x30 inches

Swimming pool 30x7x30

  Swimming Pool - could be sunk in the ground and used for cheap duck pond.  36x8x37 inchesDuck pond sunflower 36x7x36   

DUCKS MUST have a source of water to swim in.  This is a nice video of a duck pond system that is relativelyduck pond maintenance free. If they dont, they will attempt to swim in their water bowls and waterers which makes a massive mess.  Happy Ducks will swim many hours of every day, sometimes even when the water is barely above freezing.  

ONCE THE BIRDS mature, there will be some differences in the way they should be cared for.  Initially, animal husbandry will play a role in their care.  Quail for instance, do not have the same territorial disputes as ducks and chickens.  Unless you are interested in breeding ducks, you do not need a Drake.  They can become aggressive towards humans and even the other duck hens if they want to hang out with one specific duck hen.  You can buy fertilized eggs if you have a hen that gets broody (angrily sits on the eggs without getting up).  And you may want to do that for her because poor thing will sit on the unfertilized eggs for weeks and weeks waiting for her infertile eggs to hatch.  


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