Your Baby Ducklings And Goslings Have Arrived! Now What?

| 10/29/2015 2:04:00 PM

Rachel FalcoDucklings & Gosling from Hatchery

Baby ducks and geese are a joy to raise; at least for the first three days. Raising ducklings from the hatchery is a messy business indeed from day four through day twenty-eight. In my experience, ducklings and goslings are more fragile than baby chicks. They seem to not do as well without a mother to raise them. They have less situational awareness and a less instinctive nature. While most poultry babies seem to know how and when to eat and drink and seem to have bodily awareness, ducklings have less of these life-savings skills when they hatch. Great care must be shown while raising a flock from a hatchery successfully at these beginning stages. Protecting your investment (waterfowl are more expensive than chicks) by implementing a good plan of action can mitigate the issues that arise.

Young Ducks and Geese

Duckling & Gosling Shelter

A brooder's box made by creating a 2-1/2 foot tall frame box placed on a garage cement floor is perfect. Lay down tough, landscaping garbage bags under the frame. The bags help you with clean up later on. Apply 2 inches of hay for bedding at the bottom and mat it down as much as possible. Hay prevents the ducklings and goslings from eating something that they cannot digest as they need a little help in this area. Create a simple lid of hardware cloth with holes no bigger than 1/4 inch and a 2 x 4 frame works wonders. This prevents predators from killing your ducklings and goslings (mice, rats and snakes). Place a brooders lamp on top of the lid and turn it on prior to picking up your ducklings arriving. If your garage is particularly cold, place two brooders lamps on your lid. Most hatcheries like to ship their ducklings in the cooler months as that is when duck egg production is at its peak. Your ducklings and goslings may arrive cold if you pick them up by mail. So it is important that you get them warm as soon as possible — BLAST that heater in your car! Once you get them home, take out each duckling or gosling and dip their bill into water and place them securely under a heat lamp. Keep your ducklings and goslings in this shelter until they are 4 weeks old and are starting to get their feathers. Do a spot check and switch out the bedding daily, especially the wet spots.

Duckling & Gosling Food & Water

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