Ducks 101 was a nice start to gathering information for raising ducks. I’m now 3 weeks into actually raising ducklings and I’ve been making a few adjustments. I read many articles telling me raising ducks is similar to raising chickens…not really.
Through experience, I’m learning how much ducks LOVE the water! Most, if not all the information I’ve read says ducks need water to drink and eat, but don’t “need” to swim. After seeing how my ducks respond in and out of the water, it seems cruel not to give them a place to swim. I would say ducks NEED to swim! Chickens on the other hand, prefer a nice dry dirt bath.
Ducks are messy! I looked through many pics of open duck houses with water containers in them, so that’s what I made. If you’re keeping water in your duck house, your bedding will be wet all the time. If you have open (netting of some kind) sides, plan for rain to get in. I built an open sided duck house with the bedding, food and water all inside. Mistake. I had to move the food and water to a “play pen” in the grass. So now every morning I have to move them from the house to the play pen. Then it rained. I am daily trying to plan ahead to build a bigger area so I don’t have to move them every morning, to include the pool and their house and keep all water away from the bedding. It looks like their house should be more like a chicken coop after all. I think I read that somewhere…
I have baby chicks in with my ducks because ducks are very nurturing. I am discovering two problems with this:
1. the chicks need space to learn to fly and roost. The roost isn’t hard, but that means my covered space needs to be tall enough for them to fly a little. The other problem is that the baby chicks are starting to dig up the plants that the ducks like to forage through.
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