Friday, October 13, 2017

Getting Ready for Your Ducklings and Goslings: Brooder and Bedding


BEFORE your ducklings and goslings arrive, there is a lot to do and we understand that prep can be stressful for new duck owners. We are here to help! Future posts will cover more of what you will need including feed, water, heating, and things to have on hand for your ducklings and goslings upon their arrival.

Brooder
 
 This is a kiddie pool brooder with wood shavings. Please note that brooders should be in a well sheltered area, not outside.

The brooder is where the ducklings and goslings will stay for the first few weeks in their new home. A brooder can be anything from a box to a kiddie pool so long as they cannot escape and they have enough room to run.

No matter if you get two or eight ducklings, start with a space about 2’x2’. For each duckling over eight, add ½ square foot. Double these numbers for goslings.

Baby ducklings grow quickly! As they grow, however, the space needed grows with them. By three weeks, the minimum space for ducklings is 4’x4’ and an additional 2 square feet for each duckling over eight is required. Again, double the space for goslings.

Bedding

Hay and orchard grass.

The bedding in the brooder is important. Keeping the growing ducklings and goslings on a slick surface can cause them to develop splayed legs.

Splayed legs is where the ducklings and goslings legs stick out to either side and they cannot stand or walk.

We recommend that the material be hay, straw, or wood shavings as they provide easy cleanup and absorb moisture. While sawdust might seem like a good substitute, the ducklings may decide to eat it which is not good for their health.

Our brooder room setup.

Another alternative is ½ inch hardware cloth. This is fine for the first few weeks, but extended use of the hardware cloth can cause problems and discomfort for the ducks later.

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