How do you know if your duckling is healthy?

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pholland14 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A healthy duckling is an active duckling. Baby ducks do not "quack." They "chirp" in a way similar to chickens. One duckling is miserable by itself—the duckling will stay with its flock. Ducklings hatched under a hen will naturally have the oil on their down to allow them to get wet, but ducklings hatched in an incubator should not get wet until they lose their down, usually within four to six weeks. In a brooder, the healthy ducklings should be evenly spread throughout; if the ducklings bunch in one corner, it may mean there is a draft or the ducklings are too hot or cold. Ducklings have a healthy appetite and will eat all the commercial duck starter food you provide them. They also need fresh water to drink, but not enough to allow the duckling to remain wet. A healthy duckling should also have healthy, semi-solid stools. Ducklings' bedding should be changed daily, as they tend to get intestinal parasites, such as coccidia, which can kill an entire flock in a short period of time.

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