how to raise ducklings

A step-by-step guide

We’re duck fanatics with 10+ years experience raising ducks. Here are our top tips for responsibly raising ducklings:

Tip #1: Reputable breeder

Buy a sexed run from a reputable breeder, not a farm supply store.

Tip #2: Hatching is hard

Don’t try to hatch duck eggs unless or until you’re more experienced with ducklings.

Tip #3: Warmer months

Aim to raise ducklings from April - July. It’s warm and there’s time for your ducks to mature before it turns cold.

Tip #4: Be prepared!

Be fully prepared to raise ducklings BEFORE you get them rather than scrambling to get what you need AFTER you get them.

Things you'll need:

– Brooder – Heat source + thermometer – Low-dust bedding (aspen or pine work well) – Duckling-specific feed – Possibly: Niacin supplement (nutritional yeast or B-complex vitamin capsules) – Organic old-fashioned oats – Small no-tip water & feed bowls – Duckling grit or outdoor foraging time – Sunlight access

Tip #5: Ducklings love water

Allow supervised swims early, but take precautions — young ducklings are at high risk of drowning & hypothermia.

Tip #6: Outdoor time 

Take them on supervised outdoor foraging adventures when weather and time permits.

Tip #7: Outdoor transition 

Around Weeks 6-8, begin your ducklings’ transition to being fully outdoors.

Remember: a coop!

Before an outdoor transition is possible, they need a predator-proof environment, a coop & possibly a run.

Tip #8: Integration

If integrating your new ducks into an existing flock, make sure it’s a slow, gradual, supervised transition.

terrible picture, but this shows the older flock + new flock separated by a temporary fence.

Want to dive deeper? Check out our full “how to raise ducklings guide”!

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