Sabtu, 09 April 2011

Thinking of Raising Baby Ducks? What You Need to Know

Raising baby ducks is a fun task, usually a little delicate the younger the ducklings are but the difficulty of taking care of them gradually lifts when they grow older.
After artificial incubating of 28 days, the ducklings now need a brooding spot. The brooding spot is a place with good conditions so that the baby ducks will live. It can be a corner of the barn or in the garage, as long as the area is well ventilated-not directly exposed to wind, and well lighted. The usual brooding nest is a cardboard box that is enough to house all the baby ducklings. It must be enclosed in a cage to prevent entry for predators, even dogs and cats.

The brooding spot is then kept dry by the beddings which is usually made up of hay. Wet spots on the beddings should be replaced. Do not use moldy or dusty beddings because they might affect the young ducks negatively.

The temperature of the brooding area should also be kept warm-warm not hot. This can be done with a single 50-watt reflector bulb for about 10 to 20 ducklings. A 50 to 100 incandescent bulb can also be used in heating. The important thing is to position the bulb at the right distance in the brooding area so that the ducklings can move towards it if they feel cold or away from it when they feel hot. In raising baby ducks for commercial purposes, more bulbs or with higher wattages are used.

Another important element in raising baby ducks is the food. They cannot digest whole grains yet so don't feed them with rice or corn. Don't give them bird seed and dry bread too. They may be fed with finely chopped fruits and vegetables. You may catch small worms for them too. 
Unmedicated chick or duck starter can be fed to them too. A special water dispenser should also be used so that a water height is maintained; so that the ducklings can drink without drowning if they jumped onto it.

Note that raising baby ducks can also be done in a contained environment, like an incubating system where the temperature, humidity and air can be easily adjusted, especially when they are 2-3 weeks old only.

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