“Tips and Tricks on Raising baby Chicks and Ducklings!”Jasmin Homer
Blog by “The Girl in the green wellies”
“Tips and Tricks on Raising baby Chicks and Ducklings!”
This week down on the farm, I was very fortunate to watch some chicks hatch.
Some already had “fluffed up” from being in the hatcher for a while and dried off, and others still having the big task of trying to break out of their shell (although at this point they were helped out and put into a little box away from the others to catch their breath.)
So alien like at first when they have just hatched, vulnerable and small, but then very quickly after a few hours of being in the hatcher to dry off they’re chirping, bouncy and ready for life.
Watching all of these beautiful chicks, reminded me of just under a year ago when I bought my birds from A&J Poultry.
I started with 2 baby ducks, a handsome Dark Campbell Drake which I called “Newton’s” and a beautiful Swedish Buff named “Bo.”
Immediately I fell in love with these two 1day old little ducklings in the palm of my hand & I have to admit that I never knew how much character ducks have.
Shortly after arriving home with my new found feathered friends; I placed them into their new inside house for the next 2months, which my partner built transforming an old bookcase into a little “Brooder Box” and run for my new baby ducklings. Placing it on its side, we covered half of the bookcase with wood and had made a big hole for their heat light to hang in, and then rest of the run was covered over with chicken wire, so when they were not being handled, they were safe and secure from our cats and dog.
I gave them small dish of water; still only a day old and almost instantly the ducks were standing in their water dish splashing around and making a mess! I remember being in ore; they were only hours old and already instinctively wanting to play in the water!
We removed the dish of water when we were not around and just kept their water and food feeders in, of which needed to be toped up and changed on a regular basis! Something to remember is that although ducks love water from an early age, they do not have oils on the feathers straight away, so they can get cold very quickly and also could drown in a shallow dish of water so when dealing with young chicks, allow them to play in water when you can supervise them only, and if they get wet, towel dry them gently and then on a very low heat you can use a hairdryer to dry them off fully, its important that you hold the hairdryer at least a foot if not more away. (Our ducks would always fall asleep when being dried with the hairdryer. It was so adorable.)
Please note: If you are getting both baby ducklings and chicks at the same time, that they need to be separate at first few weeks due to ducks messing their water and making it dirty, young chicks need clean water!
One of the sweetest things about having baby chicks is when they fall asleep in your hand; it really is the cutest thing!
Something to be mindful of is when you baby chick or duckling is small & you are using pine shavings for bedding, they will most probably scratch and kick the shavings into their water and food feeders, so you need to check at short intervals to make sure their feeders are clean.
What Snacks can I feed my Chicks or Ducklings?
PLEASE NOTE- the treats listed below are for chicks and ducklings aged 6-8weeks+ and NOT for new-born’s. In the first few weeks they need chick crumb, clean water, chick grit and heat only. They need to have high protein crumb for their correct development.
- Tomato’s (But not the vine or leaves as they are toxic to birds.)
- Banana’s (Good to mash them for young ducklings.)
- Grapes (Any colour but not ones that contain seeds! Oh and a little tip is that you can freeze them in the summer and give them to your birds as nice treats to cool them down when its hot!)
- Plain Pasta (Unsalted! My duck Newton’s is obsessed with Pasta! When I occasionally give them it for a treat I have to feed him separately because he will eat the entire lot and not share any with the other birds!)
- Poultry (I know this seems bizarre considering they would be eating their own species, but they love left over chicken or meat!)
Those are just some of the yummy treats to feed you little chicks and ducklings!
Do they need any supplements?
- Vitamins and Electrolytes- (This would come in a powder that you can mix in with their food or their water; it can be used as either a weekly or daily supplement and is recommended for young ducklings. All dosages are different dependent on the brand you buy and are normally stated on the box.)
- Flint Grit (Good quality!)
- Grass & Lettuce (Some good ole greens are always good!)
- Oyster shell (Put in a separate container so they know where it is, should they need it! It can be stress to them if they need it to lay and none is available.)
FEATURED BREED “THE RHODE ISLAND RED”
The Rhode Island Red Chicken originated from the USA; it is generally raised for meat & known for its respectable laying and light brown eggs.
Their colour varies from a fawny-red to a deep chocolate red (which is essential for show specimens.)
The Rhode Island Red are very “easy to manage birds” also very attractive to look at!
Andy, the owner of A&J Poultry rescued his “Rhode Island Red” hen when he was five, from a deep litter farm where his father used to go to buy poultry manure for his market garden. Since then they have always been a breed that has been close to his heart.
Blog written by “The Girl in the Green Wellies”