If our house has a garden, it is very easy to keep a duck. It’s even easier than looking at a chicken. Moreover, they give us much more than we can get from a chicken. Ducks are structurally more durable, easy-to-keep pets that provide delicious eggs and meat to our family.
Although ducks and their young are very easy to care for, they have different requirements than other poultry. If we know their needs while feeding our ducks, we can take care of them in the best way possible.
Don’t Raise Chicks And Ducklings Together
Although technically it seems that it is okay to grow up together, ducklings love to be in the water and play in the water. But playing in the water is not healthy for the chicks.
Ducklings grow incredibly fast. We observe that the ducklings grow incredibly after a few weeks. Because they grow very quickly, they are likely to potentially harm the chicks they live in the same house. For these two reasons, it is recommended not to grow these two different species together.
Make Sure That Their Feed Is Free Of Additives And Drugs
Regular feeding of ducklings will be very good for their development. For this reason, we must make sure that the feeds we give are drug-free. We should not give medicated feeds, especially those used for chicks, to ducklings. Medicated feeds can sometimes be given to chickens to be fed. This drug used in the diet of chickens is for coccidiosis, to which ducks are highly resistant.
Add Various Vitamins To Their Feed
The health of ducks is necessary for their development and niacin is more than the chicks need for their development. You can add these vitamins to your feed as a ready-made and inexpensive solution. It will be very healthy for our ducks to learn how much vitamin supplements you need to take in consultation with expert veterinarians.
Control Your Duck’s Protein Intake
Protein is extremely important, especially for small ducklings. For the first few weeks, they should be fed at least 20% protein. After the first few weeks, we need to reduce the amount of protein to 15% levels. High-protein feeds are produced to meet exactly these needs. We can add some uncooked oatmeal to the feed mix to reduce the protein content in their feed over time. When we keep the protein balanced, we help prevent the so-called Angel Wing, which can catch ducks with a high protein diet during growth.
Don’t Put Them In The Pool
Domestic ducks do not have the same characteristics as their wild relatives. In the wild, when a duckling hatches, it is cleaned by its mother so that its feathers are water-proof. This makes them water resistant. Unfortunately, the ducks we take care of in the city or in the farms do not have these abilities and protection. Our unprotected ducklings cannot cope with water and can get cold. They may even suffocate to death, as their movements cannot be followed by their mother.
Of course, this does not mean that you cannot allow the puppies to play in the water. Ducks love water and definitely want to get into it. They can play and swim under your supervision in shallow water that we prepare several times a week. If ducks are kept in a farm-like environment, we need to make sure they are big enough to go outside, then let them enter the water. Once the feathers are completely removed, you can make a pool-like swimming area.
Add Different Natural Products to Their Diet
Vegetables such as chopped cabbage, chard and lettuce are among the favorite alternative foods of these cute friends. We can chop the vegetables a little and throw them in a water to eat. Adding vegetable alternatives to their occasional meals will be beneficial for our ducks to reach their nutritional diversity. You can give as much greenery as you want.
They will also find and eat their favorite food, worms, when they roam freely in our garden. We can supply fresh watermelon, some cooked zucchini, scrambled eggs and almost any food you give to chickens in a balanced way to ducks. Ducks should never eat bread and its derivatives. We need to warn our guests who want to feed ducks as much as possible because the digestive system of ducks cannot grind bread-like food.
Get As Outside As Possible
If our location is warm enough, we can take the ducklings outside for some walks and foraging. These activities are very important for the growth stages of our little friends. When weather conditions permit, we can take a short walk every day and let them explore the surroundings.