Articles, Blog

Raising Baby Ducks – Common Questions

this duckling is two weeks old it’s
really starting to feel like a duck and get from the big over the last two weeks
it’s been so much fun having these ducklings and you guys have just been
given me a ton of feedback and asked me a whole bunch of great questions and so
in today’s video I’m gonna take a little time out to answer those questions for
you guys they have a chick starter which is just like a blend of a bunch of
grains and corn readily available at all times but I’m finding that they go
absolutely nuts over these greens this means I’m gonna have to get them outside
pretty soon plus they’re getting so big I’m worried that they could jump over
the edge of the brooder there you guys are gonna do so good on pasture someday these aren’t even really good greens
these are just carrot greens and they’re going nuts so my first question comes from my
friend Camilla and she asks can the ducklings come inside and the answer is
technically yes but practically no when it comes down to it we keep them in the
brooder here in the barn the ducklings make an awful stink and mess you know
the water splashing and I’ve made countless videos about the water
splashing and dealing with the water situation just make it really
impractical and kind of gross to keep 40 ducklings inside the house you know
generally speaking we actually try to keep all the animals out of the house so
the cats live here in the barn the Ducks lived out here in the bar and
forget any other animals maybe other than a dog probably live out here in the
barn too hey that’s why farms have barns right to
keep the animals so the next question comes from my friend Lael in Washington
DC and she asks are they calling you Papa yet and I would say absolutely not
you know you can look on the internet and see all these videos about people
who have raised ducklings to think that they the human or the mama duck our
Ducks are not that way at all they cower and terror every time I walk into the
brooder room they absolutely despise when I change their shavings and bedding
they freak out like I’m I’ve had times where I’ve been worried that they were
gonna kill one another because they just pile up into one corner freaking out
from me trying to do a change of shavings or just put down a fresh bed of
shavings so they do not call me papa they are very skittish the kaki Campbell
breed which is the type of duck that we have is in general somewhat skittish
they cluster and inform together as soon as there’s danger and they try to move
away from it as far as possible as quickly as possible for these ducks
that’s not such a bad thing once we put them out on pasture there’s going to be
predator situations where you might have coyotes at the the fence or you might
have foxes or Martens at the fence you’ll have Hawks swooping down and
you know that can all those can all be sort of problems that we’ve got from
predators my hoping is that that skittishness and that clustering
instinct actually helps keep these guys alive a little bit more by you know
alerting the whole flock to the predator and having them cluster up
so speaking of Hawks our next question is from my friend Bridget who asks would
Hawks grab the Ducks and and the answer is that yes absolutely Hawks could grab
the ducks I’ll probably make a future video about some of my Hawk deterrent
systems that I’m gonna put into place but it’s probably the biggest predator
risk I’ve got going this next question is from Mike who’s now living in New
Jersey and Mike says and it’s not so much a question I’m calling it right now
you’re going to adopt that little run and I gotta be honest with you Alison
wanted to do the exact same thing she was the one who spent a ton of time
those first couple days hand feeding that little duckling jamming little
grain pellets in its mouth putting you know moisture and water into its mouth
and dropping it in there and so she absolutely fell in love with that thing
and if she had her way we would have adopted it but I actually put my foot
down and you know really explained hey look these are farm animals they can’t
be treated like pets and and we really can’t be running like a home for wayward
ducks here at the farm that’s just not in the vision and that’s not in the plan
and I don’t even think that that’s all that’s sustainable so we will not be
adopting the runt and I think the good news there is – I don’t even know who
the runt is anymore he’s he’s pretty much impossible to pick out of the pack
at this point their growth is all sort of caught up and you know he’s gotten so
big and successful that he’s looking really good all right Oh another
question from my friend Bridget so do the Ducks have parents do they see a vet
so I guess that’s two questions Bridget and the answers are number one yes
obviously the Ducks have parents Ducks are you know bred so they have like it’s
just known as breeding stock at the hatchery the hatchery collects though
eggs puts it in a giant incubator and they sit in that incubator I think it’s
for like 28 days and they hatch in the incubator and then once that happens the
ducklings are packed in a box and shipped off almost immediately and so
you know we got our ducks they were probably about two days old I made a
whole video about that as well and I was really worried about them
having the cross country transit going from California to Vermont but that was
just I guess unfounded on my part they do it all the time I shouldn’t have
thought that I knew better yeah as far as your question Bridgette about the vet
no they will not ever see a vet you know animals like this you know just the
cost-effectiveness of going to a vet doesn’t make sense I’m trying to raise
these guys on completely organic feed with no antibiotics and no medication
I’m putting a lot of attention to making sure that they’re raised in a healthy
clean way which keep a lot of the diseases down any other things that
happen are generally just probably defects on a genetic level with the
Ducks as they get older I might have issues in terms of the whole flock and
maybe if there was a problem with the whole flock I might call the vet out
there but again it’s only 40 Ducks and let’s see these guys cost me I don’t
know about $220 or so the cost of getting a vet out to here to the farm
would probably be at least that if not more and so just you know from a
financial perspective doesn’t make much sense for them to see a vet I’m just
gonna focus on good animal husbandry tactics and hope for the best
so Bridget’s brother Pat actually has a question as well and Pat’s question is
this if I send you a recipe for vegan duck confit can you let some of the bros
off the hook Wow Pat that’s a tall order a pardon for some ducklings and you know
what I will make this deal with you my friend if you provide me with the recipe
for vegan duck confit I will put it out here on the YouTube
and I will pardon two additional male ducks just for you just for the recipe
I’m not gonna go get into the whole ethics of veganism versus eating me I’ll
just say I feel really good about eating these guys they are animals that have
been leading very healthy happy lives they’re gonna leave you in greater lives
once they get out on pasture as they get older and get their feathers and so I
have no ethical qualms about eating them I know that it can bum some people out
especially as I’m making all these cute little baby animal videos right now
about the ducklings and you know you guys know that probably about 40% of
them are going to head off to the freezer that said I’m planning on
carrying a handful the males over to next year and yeah they are I will give
them a pardons and like I said I was only probably gonna do three but Pat
because of you if you provide that vegan duck confit recipe I will pardon two
ducklings just for you my friend so that’s the deal so that’s all I got for
QA for right now might if you guys like this video let me know down in the
comments section I will maybe make another one in the near future keep
sending me your questions and comments whether they’re on Facebook or Instagram
or YouTube and we’ll keep watching the Ducks grow up and very soon they’re
going to be going outside probably earlier than I originally planned so
stay tuned

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

18 thoughts on “Raising Baby Ducks – Common Questions

  1. I'm very curious to see how you handle them in the pasture. And way more curious than seeing if Donlon finds cheeseballz at his local Wal-Mart. Lol!

  2. "Can they come inside?" Great answer and spot on. I recall reading that homesteaders from the turn of the 19th century often built the barn first because "you can always live in the barn but you don't want the animals in the house." I'm sorry I can't find the book to cite the quote but I remember it well, and how true.

  3. I somehow missed this video. Darn!!! 😮😌 @ what age (weeks) do the ducklings transfer to living outside? When do you transition chicken feed to normal duck food? or does it stay the same? I've got so much to learn before I feel comfortable getting ducks. Thanks for your videos.

  4. I'd NEVER be able to spend the time raising an animal, only to kill them and eat them.. I really thought this was gonna be a nice story – like I bought ducks to raise and keep in my lake.. but no – it's once they get used to me holding them – I'm gonna start cutting heads off..

  5. What I learned from watching Matt McDougall hatch ducklings on his YT channel, 50 Ducks in a Hot Tub, is that the incubator and hatcher have different needs for temperature and humidity. Also, the ducks who free-ranged for most of their food produced egg shells that were easier for the 'lings to escape than those who ate mainly bagged food. He did autopsy videos on the failed eggs and assisted an heroic number of tired, struggling birds, many of whom got trapped by that white inner egg lining when it dried out and turned into what he described as shrink wrap. Very interesting.

  6. Really cool to know there’s another duck raiser in my state on YouTube. When you said you received them from California, was that Metzer farm? That’s where we got our Cayuga’s and Blue Runners. Except it took close to 4 days for them to arrive. But they made it, their safe now and a great addition!

  7. Advice to raise ducklings successfully in the winter in vermont. I have 4 ducklings coming home but winter is here and is very cold. I am planning having them in our basement until they are ready to be outside( I am aware about the smell and messiness, I just believe they won't make it outside with the other ones unless I am wrong and i dont have to worry about them? ) . How do you know they are ready? And any tips for the space they are going to be?
    We dont have a barn, our chickens are in a small shed on the backyard and our 2 ducks in a coop. Will this work out 😬

  8. Hawks will mess up a duck/goose easily. When I was young one of our goose pets got some horrible injuries from something one day and we had to take him to the vet. A few weeks later my dad and I happened to be nearby working when a hawk swooped in to try and finish the job. Luckily we got it off the goose before any more damage was done, but the vet said it was almost curtains for the poor dude that first time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *