Raising ducks in your home can be a rewarding and interesting experience. However, it's important to know the proper steps to take in order to ensure that your eggs hatch correctly and produce healthy ducklings.
Provide your duck with a comfortable area where she can hatch the eggs and where, after they hatch, the ducklings can live while they're small. This brooding area should have a thick layer of litter material such as wood shavings, chopped straw or peat moss, and it should be warm and dry. A good rule of thumb for spacing is to provide about a half foot of space for each duckling, increasing the size as they grow.
Both duck eggs and ducklings need some form of heating. If your duck is incubating the eggs, you won't need to worry about heating until the eggs hatch. If you're incubating the eggs artificially, keep the eggs at about 99 degrees, turning the temperature down one degree after the 25th day. After hatching, hang a high-watt heat lamp over your ducks to provide just enough warmth.
After your ducklings hatch, they'll need a special type of food. Before three weeks of age, use a nonmedicated starter mash with about 20 percent protein. From three to six weeks, use a similar mash with about 16 percent protein. Always provide ample clean water.
- Photo Credit Ducklings image by Moyra Miller from Fotolia.com
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