Easter Pekin babies

by Theresa Irvin
(Orange Springs, Fl)

Last Easter my DIL and I decided to get Pekin ducks. We went and looked at babies and traded 8 hens for them. We chose 2 and came out with a male and female Pekin!

I started collecting eggs and then decided to leave them alone completely. In October after 21 eggs accumulated in the nest, Daisy started sitting. All but 3 hatched.

The first day one died because there were too many in the nest and one was easily smooshed by momma. The next morning I saw that she had taken them out and back in but had miscounted her brood and 3 were left out. I placed the 3 back in and poppa stepped on it causing the neck to kink. I took that one immediately to safety. I went out later and robbed her of 6 more babies and left her with 10, thinking she could handle them. On day 3 I discovered ALL but 2 dead. These two died in a week because they were malnourished and deprived of water the whole time. They thought water came from feathers and didnt know how to eat properly.

The 7 I robbed on the day after hatching are growing FAST, even Crook with the kinked neck. It is a couple of days after Christmas now and Daisy, momma, is making another nest and covering the eggs again. This time I will leave her with only 2 babies and take the rest to raise.

I use my food processor to grind up, allstock pellet, corn, alfalfa and chia all mixed together. I grind this VERY powdery. I feed in a small bowl and the food is ALWAYS wet.

Just enough to make as moist as baby food. At first they are fed 4 times a day, one bowl, it is a small bowl.(approx 6 heaping teaspoons from your drawer)

As they get older it goes down to 3 times (they are more interested in the water dish at this point). They get a fresh, washed out water dish with each meal. My dish for 7 babies is a plastic sandwhich container and I always put warm water in it. I have them in a plastic bin with a light bulb hanging over, 2 paper feed bags line the bottom, one on top of the other to keep water that spills from babies and moss from the trees on top.

Ducks poop A LOT. Especially 7!!! Changing a bin 2 times a day will keep you busy sooooo, I put enough moss in for the babies to stay off the paper and then add to the top to keep them off the poop 2 or 3 times a day.

If you have a problem with wildlife taking your chickens or ducks, pen them with a goat!! Pekins imprint and that goat becomes a duck to them (part of the flock). If you introduce a second goat later it will get attacked by the ducks. I hope this helps. Happy duck raising. Florida

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