I know I had sworn myself off any more ducks, but well, I just couldn’t help myself. I saw pictures of Indian Runner Ducks and I just had to have some. The problem was no one around me sells them, so I was going to have to mail order them. When mail ordering ducks there is always a minimum order. I wanted ducks but I sure didn’t want 10 of them. Thankfully my friend said she would go in with me on an order. Once she said that, it was on. I ordered from Metzer Farms. I decided on 3 fawn and white runner ducks and 2 cayugas, all girls. They hatched on October 5th and arrived bright and early on October 7th via the post office. Metzer farms gives you the option to pay $.50 extra per bird for some grow gel, food in gel form. Since the babies were traveling from California to Florida I thought that was a good idea. They ate all the grow gel and were very hungry and thirsty when they arrived. One extra ducky came in the order. Unfortunately one of the ones my friend got was blind and sadly didn’t make it. Metzer Farms sent out 2 more duckies to replace the one that didn’t survive, so I would recommend them.
I have never had any baby chicken or ducks in the fall, but here in florida I would say I love it. The day temperatures are not too hot and night temperatures are still very mild. Last time I had baby ducks in the early spring, they stayed inside for the first few weeks, and let me tell you, ducks are messy!! So this time around there was no way I was going to keep them inside. I got these fabulous brooder/hutches from my friend’s mom who used to rescue rabbits. Sadly her health has declined and she is no longer able to care for so many rabbits, so she needed to get rid of the hutches and I needed brooders.
Here are some pictures of the duckies.
Here are the things I had learned the last time I had baby ducks:
-Make sure their water dish isn’t too deep. They can drown.
-They must have enough water to cover their bills when they drink. They need to flush the vents on their bills.
-They must have water when eating in order to help wash down the food.
-They need a place to go to warm up after they are done playing in the water.
-Feed the growing babies a feed that has 20% protein, which is a higher percentage then the baby chick’s food.
All those things are still true but I would like to add:
– Make sure you do not feed them medicated baby chicken food, it will stunt their growth and possibly kill them. The reason for this is they eat a lot more then baby chickens and will overdose on the medication.
– I realized they did not need as much heat via a lamp as I originally thought. This may be because the ambient temps have been so mild. I was surprised how young they were when they chose to sleep away from the light.
– Make sure their area is large enough for them to get way from the heat if they choose. They will move closer and further away as needed.
I am so glad I decided to go ahead and get more ducks. They just make me happy!