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Name: sally
Status: other
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001


Question:
My female aylesbury duck has been sitting on her eggs now for 9 days.

As this is hers and mine first time at brooding ducklings, I am very nervous about what to do once they hatch with feeding and water. She has her nest inside our barn in an old feeding sink which is embedded in the concrete floor. It is about 3-4 inches off the ground level. We have covered the area in sawdust and thickly lined the sink with straw. I would like to know what to do about feeding the ducklings. Is there a special mix we should get and what about water for them.

Also will they manage to climb out of the sink 3 or 4 inches to get the food or should we put it in the nest or does the hen take care of all of this? I have spent many hours looking up the simplest of questions like this that I simply do not know the answer to and as yet havent been able to find any answers on the internet. I have also beem told that the ducklings should be kept in the barn for 8 weeks after hatching. Do you think the hen should stay with them for this time or will she leave them before this. She is a pet together with 2 males and they are all loved dearly by my family and have become very tame so I am desperate to do things right for the ducklings as we are so fond of them all. Lastly do you know of any good web pages that I could look up as all I can find are on incubating the eggs yourself.

Thank-you very much for your time

Regards
Sally (Dumfries,Scotland)


Replies:
Sally,

Trust in their instincts. Birds have the motherhood behavior built into their genes. They do not "learn" this behavior like mammals often do. Feed the little ones the commercial food for ducks or just about the same thing as the adults. Let the mother determine what should be done and she will mold the behavior of the ducklings. The ducklings imprint on her so humans should stay away for a day or two during and after hatching. Enjoy this event and don't worry. Nature will control the outcome.

Steve


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