baby duck care?


i’m getting a baby duck. it will be one day old when it arrives. i’ve been told that to start out i should keep it in a box with some often changed towels, food: what kind of food and if brand food please specify, water: how big should the dish be if it’s not supposed to be big enough for the duck to get in it? i’ve heard they’ll freeze, and a heat lamp: can i use a heating pad instead in or under the box? i see my baby duck going blind when it looks up. now when it gets older, someone told me that their duck lived in a doghouse. i don’t have one, but i do have a really big dog crate. it’s at least as big as a doghouse and comes up past my waist. it plastic with small holes in the side (i can cover those up if i need to) last question: i have a cockatiel so do i need to quarantine the new duck first? he’ll be staying in my bedroom with my cockatiel and i for awhile. thanks a lot!

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    3 Responses to “baby duck care?”

    1. corin l says:

      to be honest with you dear.. i really don’t think that you should have a duck. They are not like other pets(dogs, cats)…but if you are going to insist on haveing one you need some things. you need to provide it with a heat lamp a heating pad will not work, the duck needs to be able to get away from the heat if it wants to, and don’t worry it will not go blind from looking up at the heat lamp… you are going to need to provide it with a heavy 2" diameter water bowl so that if it decides to climb on the edge it won’t spill it ( which is another reason why a heating pad is not a good idea… ducks are not naturally clean animals like cats.. that make messes and having a heating pad underneith just opens up oportunity for problems) It will probably eat a corn meal mixture.. something small enough for it to swallow, you should be able to find somekind of food at a pet shop-ask for help when purchasing.
      You will need to know alot of things about when it gets older you can’t just keep it in a dog cage.. it needs to be able to walk around and go into pools of water.. will you be able to have that? do you live in a city? do you know how to clip it’s wings so that it can’t fly away and get itself into any trouble?
      I think that you should really consider the wealthfare of the animal before you commit to taking it and you need to do a lot more research on how to take care of it.

    2. juditutie says:

      , i know we had a bay duck but not that young, and we used a box with a heat lamp, and we put straw in the bottom of the box and fesh water, the duck was not as young as yours so we fed crunched up corn.. i would suggest u call tractor supply as they sell chicks and ducks for farmers, and they can teel u some information and ur vet can also, and yes i would keep the duck an bird apart for 30 days. enjoy the new baby duck!

    3. Courtney says:

      A dog crate would be OK for when they are adolescents, but for an adult it wouldn’t be a good place for them to live. Ducks need space to forage, and it really wouldn’t be fair to keep them in a dog crate all day. Especially if it is plastic, and only has small holes in it. That would be like living in a coffin! & where do you plan to keep the crate? Outside or in the house? It could possibly be done, but I don’t really know how your house is, your yard, etc. You’d have to take the duck out many times each day. It’s not ideal. So that’s something you should play by ear, I suppose. Go to some websites ( is a wonderful one!) and try to find out what would work best for you.

      Pet ducks also shouldn’t have free reign of the yard all day, due to predators. I left my duck out once, unsupervised, for no more than ten minutes. But that was all it took for a hawk (we assume) to take his life. :[ So be careful! The ideal thing to do is to build a pen out of wood and chickenwire. It sounds more difficult than it is, and your duck will be happier for it. Also, make sure you put some chickenwire underground to keep out digging predators.

      As for baby duck care, you cannot use a heating pad. They need to be able to get away from the heat if needed, and as a previous poster said, it would be messy. They may also spill water and that would be bad with a heating pad. Not a good idea. The baby won’t go blind, so don’t worry about that! 😛

      What I did with their water was, I got some tupperware and cut a hole in the lid. They could stick their heads in, but they could not get into it because the lid was on. Make sure they can submerge their nostrils. At a day old, just a shallow dish will do. As long as they cannot get their entire body into it. They’ll need a lot of supervision at this age, anyway, so you’ll be able to make sure they aren’t getting waterlogged.

      Also, I would tell you that if you don’t have a LOT of time to spend with your duck, you should consider getting two. It’s not really more work, and your duck will do better. They are extremely social, and if you are at school all day then want to go out with your friends, your duck could get pretty depressed. I raised 2, and it wasn’t any more difficult than one.

      For food, you feed them duckling starter food (brand doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s duckling starter). For the first 3 weeks or so. Then start mixing it with duck grower food until about 7 weeks, which is when you can go on to adult food. Make sure it’s duck food, and especially NOT medicated chick feed, this can kill a duck.

      For snacks, each duck is different. :] But you should always supplement the duck food with veggies and fruits. My ducks LOVED tomatoes, so that’s a good one to try. Dandelion leaves, clovers, grapes, lettuce, broccoli, strawberries. They love them. So you just test and see what your duck likes best. :]

      It is always a good idea to quarantine a new bird from the other for a while, just in case. :]

      Good luck! A good book that helped me out was Storey’s Guide to Raising Ducks, by Dave Holderread. It’s sort of geared to people raising lots of ducks, but it still has loads of helpful info.