Ducklings Birth Day -12 November 2010
A few other things i've learnt about taking care of ducklings.'
1. Give the mother lots of space. Don't annoy her too much. This is extremely hard to do i must admit. She gets defensive. Though now three weeks later she's a bit more relaxed with me being around.
2. Diet - Because i can't buy duck food locally, i am using chicken crumbles which are tailored for little ones leaving out who knows what they put in the pellets. You should supplement this diet with niacin so that their legs grow strong. I am using brewers yeast in the drinking water. You can also buy a vitamin B3 (niacin pills) and add it to their drinking water. The only other way for them to get this vitamin is by eating lots of insects. And finally, they love the (rejected) lettuces i give them from my neighbours hydroponics farm. Without these they will try to eat bits of grass and other green things. I've also tried mashed egg for protein but they didn't seem to go for it. The chickens love it on the other hand.
3. They love water. Probably goes without saying. Just make sure their water bowls are not so big that they can't get out of - the cause of drowning. They poo in and drink their bath water so i change it quite often and they do like the fresh stuff. What a pity they can't figure out it would stay fresh longer if they didn't poo in it. Or perhaps they like keeping me on the trot.
4. Predators. I've been a bit lucky so far here. We do have snakes on our property but obviously not many. This nest is protected from above so its not so easy for predatory birds to get them - apparently. My first intention was to put them in the secure chickens pen but in the end this has been a much better solution. It would have been a bit crowded and not as educational and there's a risk of trampling by other ducks - if put in with everyone else. I guess there are many solutions to these problems.
I've moved them now to a nearby location in the duck yard with the other ducks. It's also nice and cool and still pleasant. The first nest was getting pretty smelly. The chickens are a bit pesty, eating the ducklings food and so on. Its tricky trying to keep them out and on the job elsewhere around the garden!
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