FEEDING AND BROODING INSTRUCTIONS FOR DUCKLINGS AND GOSLINGS
- Ducklings and Goslings can be brooded in about the same way as chicks.
- Due to there rapid growth they will need heat a shorter period of time and floor space requirements will increase more rapidly.
- Ducks and Geese are easy to raise because they are very hardy and not susceptible to many of the common poultry problems.
- Small flocks of ducks and geese raised in the late spring with access to green feed outdoors generally have few nutrional issues.
- While ducks are not as good a foragers as geese, they do eat some green feed and farm flocks are often allowed to run at large.
- Cut green feed can be supplied to the waterfowl when they must be kept inside during inclimate weathe.
- If ducks are kept longer than 11-12 weeks new pinfeathers begin to develop making it more difficult to pluck them clean for another several weeks.
- Ducklings will manage nicely on range at 4 weeks of age unless the weather is cold and not acceptible for brooding.
- Goslings can be placed outdoors at 2 weeks of age weather permitting.
- Waterfowl need shade and cannot tolerate chilling rains until they are well feathered on there backs.
- When ducks or geese reach 5 to 8 weeks of age they need shelter only during extreme weather conditions.
- Water for swimming isn't necessary for ducks. However if you do wish for them to swim in a dugout or pond one must wait until they are at least one month old and only then under supervision until at least 5 to 6 weeks of age. It takes up to then for the oils on their feathers to develop.
- Ducklings and Goslings should have drinking water available at all times.
- Avoid having the waterfowl get too wet at a young age as they can be easily chilled at a while they are still in the "down" stage.
- Use a Duck and Goose Starter for the first 3 weeks.
- The use of medicated feed is not necessary and not reccomended for waterfowl. A non medicated Chick Starter is fine for the birds.
- After 3 weeks switch to a complete ration of 16% Grower or if mixing your own grains use a 35% Supplement and mix 4 parts grains to 1 part Supplement.
- Recommended grain combination is 60% wheat, 25% oats, 15% barley.
- The use of medicated feed is not necessary and not reccomended for waterfowl. A non medicated chick starter
- The flooring should be covered with at least 3 inches of litter. Course Wheat Straw, Shavings, or Poultry Peat Moss. Do Not use horducultural peat moss as it is harmfull to the birds.
- Good litter management will require removal of wet spots and frequent addition of clean dry litter. Be sure litter is free of mold.
- DO NOT use smooth surfaced paper such as newspaper as it is slippery which can cause permanent leg problems.
- Have your temperature always measured at head level of the bird.
- Temperature range for starting ducks and goslings should be 85 - 90 F (27 - 32 C) for the first week and reduce 5 F (3 C) per week until 70 F (21 C)