How to Care for Baby Ducks

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How to Care for Baby Ducks

Baby ducks can be relatively easy to care of, but like all other baby animals, need care and patience to raise. Here are the things you need to have and the things you need to do when caring for baby ducks.


  • Brooding area
  • Heat lamp
  • Specialized duck food
  • Plastic or galvanized feeder
  • Straw or hay bedding
  • Clean and fresh water


  1. Set aside a place where the baby ducks can grow peacefully and away from predators. Glass aquariums, cardboard boxes or a small fenced-off portion of your backyard will do fine.
  2. Use straw or hay bedding for the ducklings’ home. Don’t use wood chips or similar bedding, as the ducklings might end up eating them. Wet bedding should be removed daily and replaced with fresh bedding.
  3. Install a heating lamp in the ducklings’ home, preferably an infrared bulb. A four bulb, 250 watt brooder lamp can warm 100 to 150 ducklings, while a one bulb, 250 watt brooder lamp can warm 30 ducklings. If you’re taking care of only a few ducklings, a one bulb, 50 watt reflector bulb will do. If the ducks seem settled, it means it’s warm enough. If they huddle too much, it means it’s not warm enough. If they are loosely scattered, it means that they’re getting too much heat.
  4. Feed your ducklings specialized duck food appropriate for their age using a feeder. Do not feed your ducks human food like bread, popcorn and chips. Do not feed them chicken feed. These rarely have enough nutrition in them to keep them healthy and growing.
  5. Do not feed your ducks the following food items: Onions, wild birdseed, caged birdseed, whole grain and dry bread
  6. Ducks don’t need to be taught how to feed. They will figure that on their own pretty easily.
  7. Provide clean and fresh drinking water. You can use shallow bowls with small and clean pebbles in them to prevent the ducklings from drowning.
  8. You can teach your ducks to swim by providing them with a small moat. Keep the water only at a quarter of an inch depth to prevent them from drowning.
  9. Allow your ducks to swim only when they are fully-feathered, which is anywhere between nine to 12 weeks of age. They can drown if they get too wet and too cold, and shouldn’t be left in the water beyond a few minutes. Once they’re done swimming, take them out of the water and gently dry them off using a towel.
  10. Don’t let younger ducks swim with older ducks, because the older ducks can drown the younger ones.