Can someone give me some advice please. I have this 3 week old call duck and at the moment it is in a glass tank with newspaper and tissue for the bedding. The bedding is becoming completely soaked within minutes or me changing the bedding which is meaning that i am currently having to change the bedding every other hour. He seems to drink alot of water and then digests the tissue and then goes back to the water! He only started doing this when i gave him some lettuce to eat about 2 days ago. This is the first time ive ever had a duck and would like sum advice please. Thank you :) xx
Ducking Eating Bedding!!(24 posts)
Hi Ray, Use straw for bedding as she can ingest wet paper and tissue which will make her ill but she needs to be outside and in some suitable housing.
She can make mess on the grass with her water. She needs to be allowed to get into water to wash all over, so a washing up bowl would be fine. Ducks love water and will always make a mess with it. When she is older - 12-16 weeks she can go through the night without water and just have it outside during the day so you wont have the same problem.
As she is a call she will always be small so a rabbit sized hutch would be fine or a small duck/henhouse. It must be ventilated and if you use a rabbit hutch it will need most of the mesh covered over.
Hi Ray, yes i agree with everything Sarah said, but she forgot to say chopped straw, when mine were young they did still chew on the straw so you shouldn't really have long bits in just in case
do you just have the one duckling ?
I only have the one as the other died last saturday. Ive just put some hay in the tank but at the moment hes fine although he starts to shiver if i dont put the heat mat under the tank. I have thought about putting him outside in the aviary but i have 2 mandarin ducks and im not sure how they would respind to the duckling (the mandarins are 2yrs old).
Thanks :) xx
I suggest you find a more suitable housing for the duckling. The heat mat needs to be on if its shivering, but i expect its because its sitting in wet, which is not good. The water needs to be well away from a dry sleeping area. If you have it outside in a little run it can have a washing up bowl of water to swim in which it will thoroughly enjoy but make sure it dries off thoroughly in the sun, but also with shade as they do not sun worship. Get it gradually used to being out doors and let the other ducks see it but do not allow them to get close enough to peck at it.
You say this is the first time you have had a duck but that you also have mandarin ducks. Perhaps you meant that you have not had them from ducklings.
Please read through many more posts to find out more about how to care for your new duckling.
They do thrive with other ducks so I would suggest you get another for company.
p.s what country are you in?
hi Ray, im so sorry to hear that one of the Ducklings died, that must have been awful for you, but do you know why it died, have you spoke to the person you got the ducklings from about this
again I must aggree with everything Sarah has suggested to you, she has alot of knowledge regarding ducks
I must also say i am slightly concerned you refer to a glass tank, this really does not sound like suitable housing for a duckling, it would be a lot better if he was in some kind of open sided cage with heating from above in the form of a heat lamp and not from below, that way he can move in and out of the heat when he needs to
you say this began when you fed him lettuce, do you shred it finely for him as he is so young it would be hard for him to eat, a favourite with ducks is grated courgette, but these things should only be in small amounts as well as his correct chick crumb food.
hope he gets big and healthy soonmo x
At the moment its quite cold outside and weve had a storm this week. I dont have anywhere the duck could go outside apart from the avairy and i am trying to get my dad to biuld a run inside the aviary for it to go and we will be able to put a heat lamp in there aswell as we have electricity in the avairy. I got the Mandarin ducks at the same time as the duckling and so im still learning things. The lettuce was small and i only gave him a tiny bit and have resorted to using lino in the tank with hay at the moment which means that hes not able to eat it. Ive bin filling the bath to about an inch for him once a day but didnt know whether to fill it any more as he is still young. (By the way i live in England)
Thanks, xx :)
HI ray,i have just got my first two call ducks, and they are doin fine , a good book you could try is ,storey,s guide to raising ducks,, but the ladies and gents on here are magic , they will sort it out for you, iwas and still am, and allways will listen to folk who are helpfull ,best wishes for your duck DAVE>
Welcome to the farmingfriends forum. Sorry to hear about the other duckling. I have made a brooder out of old bricks lying around and then just built up the walls using the bricks and then put a wire frame over the top and hung a heat lamp. You could do this in a shed or garage if it's cold outside. I have even been known to make my homemade brooder in the kitchen, well it is a farmhouse kitchen after all and everyone pictures a farmhouse kitchen with an animal or two near the aga!!!
The glass and the lino may make the floor slippery for the duckling and then it may get splayed legs. I have used an old towel which gives the duck grip and soaks up any water but is also warm under foot as well. I have also used straw.
If the duckling goes into water he mustn't get too wet as their waterproof coating doesn't come until they are alot older. So make sure the duckling doesn't get drenched or start to sink in the water and then dry the duckling off afterwards thoroughly. When they are hand reared it can be a good idea not to let them swim before they are about a week old.
I think the idea of a pen within the aviary will be good so that the duckling and manadarins can get used to each other without threat to the duckling.
sara @ farmingfriends
The duckling is three weeks old so is ok to swim.
Don't bother with the bath a washing up bowl will do, out on the lawn. make a step up with a brick and fill it right to the top so it can get out. then it won't try to get in the water feeder in the container.
Sarah LSarah L
Ray, we are all in England, and the weather is as good as we ever get it, try not to be over protective my ducklings at three weeks old were swimming outside in a proper pool in a pen,with shrubs for shelter, then put back in the shed over night and that was back in April, so as long as they can be in the sunshine or shade if its to hot they will be fine it has been windy but really its not to cold for him,mo x
Right well i cant make the pen in the aviary until monday which im planning on doing as ive got the materials to do it now. I cant let him outside at the moment as he is not quite tame as he still runs away and hisses although trying my best to tame him. As soon as i can i will be able to let him outside but not sure that he will be able to escape as we got him too old to be clipped. ive bin trying to get him used to me by just talking to him and i have to pick him up out of his cage at least 3 times a day to clean his tank out and he seems to have a dislike for my canary aswell. He is just content on being on his own and doesnt like people coming near him at all.
Thanks xx :)
Ray we are only trying to help and offer advice, thats why you found this site,as you said you don't know much about ducks.
If you can, you need to spend as much time as possible with him or her, talking is good but hand feeding him treats is a great way to get him used to you, unless you have a very large un protected garden a three week old duckling can't run away to far and he will not be able to fly until his wing feathers are fully grown, and that will be a while yet and that is when, if he trys to fly you get the feathers trimmed.
at the risk of upsetting you or making you angry, at three weeks old ducklings should be charging around sticking there beaks into everything, and causing mayhem i think your phrase contented is not right, he may be very lonley and missing the company of the other duckling
may i be rude and ask you your age as you say your dad is going to be building for you
Im 18 and the garden is not a suitable area for the duckling to be as it is mainly stones and concrete and there are many places that he can go under and we may not be able to get him out again. I know i sound a bit defensive and im sorry its just that ive bin running around trying to get everything done for the ducks and its bin stressful lately lol. He is going in a pen on monday outside with the other mandarins which will help with the socailisation and i cannot get another duckliing at the moment as no one has ducks around here or near here and the nearest place is about 2hrs drive.
Ok Ray, lets get back to whats important to you, your ducks and your duckling,you clearly love ducks which is why you got them in the first place.
It does go manic when you first get them, there is lots to do and lots to learn, and you are in the right place here to get what ever help you need.
its really sad that you lost one, but do you know why it died, if you got them all together and there was something wrong with him, im sure you dont want it to happen again, you have not mentiond the older 2, are they setteling in well to their new home, and what have you named them ?
Monday will be fine, but in the meen time, where is the duckling now,is he in your room or in an out house, when you get him out to clean his pen does he get the chance to run around and play, and if you can manage it some how, he really does need some deeper water to dip his head in and splash around, it helps him to keep his ears and nose clear, just an old kitchen roasting tray or kitchen bowl will do, if you want to save on the mess put something deeper in your bath then he can splash as much as he wants to, but maybe do it more than once aday, when i got my ducklings i used a cat litter tray, nothing fancy, and i used 2 decorating tabels on there sides, to build a pen for them in the shed,
I have read about alot of people on here, who if they only have 1 duckling they give them an old teddy or something to cuddle up with, could you do that for him
there will be lots of questions for you to ask soon and you must ask us, we all learnt what was the best thing for our ducks by asking the people who had already got them and had been through the same things your going through
bottom line is just try and enjoy your ducks
The other 2 are fine and ive named them Billy (the girl) and Ben and just like to swim about and chase after the other birds in the avairy and i biult them a kind of den that they can hide away in and they quite enjoyed the storm the other day and were out in the rain most of the time. The other duck died from an infection that he caught after getting bitten by something we dont know (vet suggested a fly as they were out in the outshed) The vet put him under light aneasthetic because of the way he was acting and his leg had swollen up and they did the best but unfortunately did not come around from it :(. When i clean this one out (named Custard, his brother/sister was called Rubarb) i let him out on my bedroom floor (quite big and i put towels down for him) and then leave him out for 20mins before putting him in his tank. When i get my canary out they sit and taunt each other for a while but this duck just doesnt seem curious about anything and will just sit and watch you and hiss when you come nearer to him although i think that becasue he still isnt used to me yet.
Thank you everyone for your advice :) xx
ah I like their names, that is so sad about Rubarb, but at least you know it was nothing that the others could have, glad billy and Ben like the rain, mine love it and just this evening they have all taken a shower under the garden hose, they really love that,
yes your probably right custard is just not used to you yet, but try the grated courgette it works with most ducks, and I do think he may be missing his brother/sister, try the old teddy trick, i have really heard it works,
He has got a teddy and he cuddles up to it at night but sometimes moves it around the tank. just had him in the bath for 20mins and he waited until i had pulled the plug and decided he needed to clean himself in just an 10cm of water :) At the moment hes currently cleaning himself and i assure you that hes spotless :) Ill need to get some courgette. And yer i get the hose on all the birds on a hot day as most of them wont take a bath now that the ducks are in the avairy unless the sneak in quickly. The ducks have kinda taken over the pond and fountain in there :).
Thanks xx :)
haha Ray welcome to duck world they do love water,mo x
I should use Straw and not hay as i found hay always got tangled around there legs, well it do with My chickens and im sure it would with my Ducks imm new to owning Ducks we have two pairs of calls i also acquired two baby ducklings they sort of wondered into our garage one night i got lots of advice from this site, now they seem to be thriving there are some pictures of them on this site [somewhere!] with the box Pete made we put them out for a few hours now unless it gets cold, i would put in what a number of people have suggested heat from above is much better for them you can use a desk lamp the sort you can bend over; it will give of a good source of heat my two cuddle up to a soft teddy underneath a Electric hen something we got a long time ago for chicks, i do give them a hard boiled egg yoke not the white part, and i mix it with some chick crumbs in the morning and leave chick crumbs down at lib,
tea time i give them a small amount of grated up Courgette that they also love mine only a week old so i do it in small amounts, and yes the are messy!! i think all water birds are, i take the wet out twice a day and replace the straw shame you cant get another duckling for company but i'm sure he will enjoy seeing your ducks but kept safe.
You sound really busy coping with your little duck and other animals. That was sad that you lost one. You are doing your best, I know it is not always easy with animals it can be trial and error, but you have got some good advice here already.
I like the name Custard, I have 2 call ducks that I call Ginger and Biscuit!!
I had one little call duck who is now nearly 11 months and she was reared by herself and has now adapted well to the older ones. I brought her inside too into one of the rooms and just had the base of a pet/carrier and box as well set up to make a brooder for her and a heat lamp suspended from the ceiling. She had an area where her food and water was. I got a small frame of 4 sides of wood and got wire nailed onto it and put parcel tape on exposed wire as not to cut her feet just about 12-14" in size approx, then I put the litte drinker and a wee feed bowl in on top and put duck crumbs that I sent away for as nowhere nearby had duck but chick crumbs will do in mean time. I used shavings and they are very absorbent. I also lined the base of the box with plastic parcel bags cut up and that made maintenance a lot easier, before I added the shavings.
I just let her out at first to run through the wee kitchen that has tiles on and she was happy. Just pick the duck up when you can even if she hisses and she will get queiter soon, most calls are very adaptable to human company. I hope i have helped a little, sorry if it is a bit rambly.
If you have a garden area where you have some grass and it was secure you can try and let her out with the other mandarins and just observe them to see what happens, thats what I did with Jill at first. You will get there in the end Ray.
Best Wishes in everything
A website shich sells everything poultry related is
Also crediton milling you can google and they sell duck crumbs, that was the brand I got.
Hi Ray, just having read Lorna's post, I presume you are feeding your little duckling chick crumb? They really do need this to build up their strength, things like lettuce and courgettes don't hold any goodness for ducklings but can be used to encourage them to like you better :)
Chick crumb is suitable if you can't get duck crumb.
The heat source should come from above, like the sun - not below, as if it's too warm it can damage their delicate feet and they need to have enough space to be able to move away from the heat lamp. This should be a proper heat lamp but as Sue suggested a desk lamp could be used, but set a lot higher as it will give too much heat if too close.
This is a link to the call duck association which gives details of feeding ducklings.
I have found their website helpful. I do not want ot overwhelm you with too much information but hopefully it helps.
Also the place I ordered the duck crumbs from was Amazing Animals, as you live in England the postage should not be so expensive.
I cant help but wonder.... how did little Custard fare?
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