My friend is thinking about getting ducklings so I thought I would post this on here to help anyone who wants them J
- Its best to keep them in a room with hardwood floors which are easy to clean and disinfect
- There should also be limited furniture and hiding space in the room, alternatively, you can keep them in a large box or playpen
- Make sure they’ll have access to food and water at all times; the water shouldn’t be too deep as they might drown, and the bowls should be heavy because ducklings are likely to climb inside and tip them over
- Keep a soft toy or blanket in for them to cuddle up with at night- you’ll have to wash/replace this regularly though
- The box should be lined with newspaper, or contain some sort of bedding to be changed regularly
- You’ll probably want to wash the floor once a day and disinfect it really well after they’ve moved outside
- Ducklings would prefer to be outside, so I keep them outside during the day then bring them inside at night to play and sleep
- They will make a massive mess so keep them away from anything you want to keep!
- Ducklings will try to nibble everything in sight, including their own poo
- You will probably need many boxes
Outdoor ducklings and ducks:
- You need a house big enough for a amount of ducks you have, in this one I am currently keeping one duck, a have grown duck and 2 ducklings. You can use loads of things for houses; a child’s playhouse, chicken houses, duck houses, sheds, anything that is large and secure.
- You’ll also need bedding for the house, I use straw which is probably best to use, you can also use wood shavings but make sure you research the best one for you. DO NOT USE HAY, it will give the ducks respiratory problems and they will most likely have to be put down.
- You will definitely need a pitchfork or scoop to remove all the bedding, especially if you are deep littering because the straw will get very heavy
- My run is pretty much just wire wrapped around some sticks but it is secure so the fox can’t get in. The run leads to the pond and the ducks sleep in there in summer. You don’t really need a run if you’re going to have a large pond area, if not, you’ll need a large run so the ducks are able to move around
- You need some sort of water area for the ducks, I know a lot of people who just give the ducks a bucket of water to drink from but I wouldn’t get ducks if you aren’t willing to keep them in a pond as they are waterfowl. If you don’t have a pond/don’t want to ruin yours, you can keep them in a paddling pool and just change the water every so often. You can also really easily make a pond, just dig a hole in the ground, fill it with a layer of tarpaulin with heavy rocks keeping the rocks in place and fill with water.
- Ducks will ruin the pond and make the water really gross. They will also eat all the plants and fish
- It’s nice to have a foraging area for the ducks to hunt for their own food, and useful if you have to go on holiday and leave them to sort themselves out
- You will need a ramp for ducklings to get out of the pond; otherwise they will probably drown while trying to get out. I literally just used a piece of thin old wood that used to be part of a shelf and put a heavy rock on the end to stop it falling in. The ducks like to use the ramp as well, they spend a lot of time just sitting on it
- If you want to hatch your own ducklings, you’ll need an incubator like this one. They are quite expensive but worth paying extra for, i bought a £30 one last year and it completely broke within a few months. This is the hatchmaker 3000 or something and I borrowed it off a farmer up the road, so far it’s been great.
- You will probably want a hose to wash down the house and pond area to stop dirt just building up
- Get wellies, you don’t want to ruin your normal shoes with duck poo!
- I don’t think ducks smell that much but obviously the smell and noise will affect your neighbours so keep that in mind :)
A few extra things, you may want get a feedbin, one for duck food one for chick feed, also a scoop or bowl to move the food around :)
Ducks aren’t too expensive after you get the basic things, you can buy straw in bales at really cheap prices, and this 20kg bag of food costs around £10 and lasts up to a month :)