Ducklings being raised by a hen

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Ducklings being raised by a hen

Postby ramari » Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:41 pm

Hi All,
I have a hen that is raising 5 wild ducklings, they could be khaki campbell x. My husband and I have build them a pen with a shelter for night time and rain and they have a 60l container for splashing in, which they seem to be thoroughly enjoying, my hen is doing a wonderful job but I'm worried about food. They are a few days old at the moment and I have been feeding them mash in lots of water, I'm a bit worried that it's not enough and wondered what else was good for them and where in the greater Auckland region I could purchase something from.
Thank you all ;)
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Re: Ducklings being raised by a hen

Postby sewren » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:11 am

Hi ramari - I also currently have some ducklings which are being raise by a hen - they are now coming up to 3 weeks old.

I fed them chick crumble for the first 2 weeks, then they were big enough to move on to grower pellets, but they can't have pellets until they are big enough to eat them. I followed the recommendations on this website for feeding, because there seems to be a lot of conflicting information out there: http://www.callducks.net/feeding_ducklings.htm

In particular, it says to give them grass and greens if they aren't in a run. A few times I would grab a broccoli leaf from my veg patch, or some dandelion leaves and floated it in their pool and they enjoyed eating that (some silverbeet or kale would do the same job). A couple of times I found some slaters, worms and slugs and chucked them in for them too. I think from when they are a bit older, about 4 weeks, you can start giving them other treats like peas and corn, but again I think they need to be a bit older for that.

Hope that helps!! :)
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Re: Ducklings being raised by a hen

Postby Kracka » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:47 am

mash (if its a starter mix, rather than a layer mash) or crumble is great for the ducklings
but I would mix it with water - they can eat it dry and its better if they do, as it goes rank/rotten quite quickly when its wet
I normally put the crumble at one side of the pen and the water at the opposite, if you put them side by side, they'll just get the food all wet, it turns into a gunky porridge and they don't normally touch it then
With your water container, make sure its easy for the ducklings to climb out of, put a brick or rock at one end so they can stand on that to hop out - they easily get waterlogged and die from the cold quite quickly
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Re: Ducklings being raised by a hen

Postby ramari » Fri Nov 18, 2016 7:17 pm

Thank you both so much for your reply, I am heading to North Shore tomorrow so will call into Dairy Flat and buy some chick crumble, they seem to be doing well and have certainly grown heaps in the last 5 days but don't want to get it wrong. I had seen something about the greens on another site but just wasn't sure so I really appreciate your answers. :D
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