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
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.
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Update: June 2012