Ducks are coming!!! After 6 weeks on our farmland, we have ducklings coming. Here are all the things we are doing to prepare for their arrival.
WHAT KINDS OF DUCKS DID YOU DECIDED?
Our family can not wait for these little sweet things to arrive. After a ridiculous amount of research (if you know me, you know that’s how I am), we chose 4 different breeds.
Pekin ducks are what most people think about when they hear the word “duck.” The adults are pure white and the ducklings are that gorgeous yellow we all know and love. We obviously didn’t chose just because they are freaking adorable, but they are excellent egg producers. Yes, we plan on eating duck eggs. Ducks are much more cold hardy (can withstand cold without a heat source-as adults), their eggs are healthier to consume, and have a healthy appetite for bugs and grubs. Growing Wild Roots has a great article all about the benefits.
Welsh Harlequin ducks are a fairly new breed and came to the United States in 1949. Again, same demeanor of the Pekin including great egg production and people friendly lol.
Khaki Campbell are a line of the more popular duck breeds due to their egg production. They are a smokey brown when ducklings and will make a great addition to the farm.
Last but not least, the Blue Swedish duck. I think out of the 4 we picked, they are the funniest looking ducklings. They have this smokey brown/black as well as yellow. I’m super curious how these will look when they get here. Very hardy, egg production, and developed in an area called Pomerania.
We ordered 2 of each and they are being shipped from Metzer Farms. I like that they are a family owned hatchery and have been in business since 1972. They also control all aspects of their poultry and we think that’s a big deal.
WHAT DO THEY NEED?
Our farm is set up and ready to care for ducklings. It’s important to have everything you need prior to them arriving. Ducklings are fragile and have to get immediate food, water, and a heat source. They can’t yet regulate their body temperature and this is crucial for their survival.
STOCK TANK (aka: Something to keep the ducks in)
We chose this Rubbermaid Structural Foam Stock Tank from Tractor Supply because we knew we could use it at a later date to house fresh water outside for other livestock.
Like we said before, ducklings can’t regulate their own body temperature so they need a constant source of heat, but also need to be able to move around to a cooler area of their housing. This brooder is perfect!! Why not a heat lamp? We didn’t want the risk of fire.
What do you feed ducklings who will eventually give you fresh eggs? The best food your budget can take. A few tips: duckling food can be hard to locally find and their diet is specific so we are using this kind. Just make sure it has 20% protein for the first couple of weeks. You can then move to a grower feed. Also note: non-medicated is what we have chosen. A good brand is Manna Pro.
Yes, you can use chick feed but you’ll have to add brewer’s yeast to their food if you do. Ducklings have higher niacin requirements than chicks so add a sprinkle of brewer’s yeast on top of their feed to assist in building strong bones.
FEED & WATER CONTAINERS
I originally bought some that were way too big, but we kept them so we’ll have them when we get our chickens 🙂 Ordered these new ones off Amazon. Perfect size for our stock tank.
Our plan is to keep them in their stock tank (in our sunroom) until they are fully-feathered (anywhere between 7-9 weeks if we have above 50 degree weather). During warmer days, we will take them all outside supervised to get them used to foraging around and just being ducks lol. Side note: you may want to follow us on IG here. I’m sure I’ll be posting lots of little duckling videos.
They will then head to their brand new (built by my husband with his own hands) Quack Shack by this lovely pond.