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Issue 43:  July 2008

In This Issue:

  Caring for Ducklings & Goslings
  Thank you, Damiana & Alice!
  The Month In Photos
  Majestic Newcomers
  Majestic Adoptions
  Recommended Reading

The Month in Photos!

Ahh... Majestic Spa...

The goldfish was this big, Momma!

Conference among the ladies

Mac & Fanny

Ducklings & an umbrella...

Piper's teardrop...

Jezebel splashing!

Majestic Newcomers

Piper

Majestic Adoptions

Goliath

Duran Duran (Moon & Rio)

Wishing happiness and peace to all of our new families!

If you are a loving family and have a predator proof pen, please consider adopting!  Click here to fill out  our online adoption application.

If you canít adopt, please consider sponsoring by visiting our sponsor page.

Recommended Reading*

Blue Goose

Product Description

When Farmer Gray takes a trip, Blue Goose, Red Hen, Yellow Chick and White Duck decide to paint their black-and-white farm. Red Hen paints the barn red and White Duck paints the fence white. Then Blue Goose and Yellow Chick pour their paint together to make green for the grass and trees. By the time Farmer Gray comes back, the whole farm is full of color--what a wonderful surprise! Incorporating primary and secondary colors, as well as animals, this is a simple and engaging way for young children to learn basic concepts.

Click here to order.

* For our full recommended reading list, click here. If you order from Amazon by way of our website, Majestic receives a portion of the proceeds!
 

 

Contact Us

Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary
17 Barker Road
Lebanon, CT 06249
director@majesticwaterfowl.org

 

Our Newsletter

The Majestic Monthly is published 12 times per year. Previous issues are available in our Archives.

 

Caring for Ducklings and Goslings

It Takes Two

It is always best to start with at least two ducklings/goslings. They are flock animals and thrive in their own company. Starting with more than two should be done with extreme caution. Many places will only sell a half dozen ducklings at a time and many will only sell straight-run (gender unconfirmed--you get what you get), and this can lead to behavioral issues down the road.

Once grown, adult ducks do best with a 1 drake for every 3-4 hens.  Separations tend to become inevitable to ensure safety in a flock  that isn't correctly balanced.

Too many drakes results in over-mating and can lead to serious reproductive disorders among hens. It can also lead to excessive fighting among the boys during the spring & summer. Don't be fooled by good behavior among newly hatched boys, they often become overzealous once they mature and encounter their first spring.

Healthy ratios of males to females and not taking on more than you can ultimately handle is the key to flock success and human happiness.

Lilly & Piper in the tub

Draft-free Housing

Ducklings and goslings need their safe house set up somewhere inside that is draft-free.

Aquariums are not a good option for baby waterfowl because they do not allow proper ventilation.

Do not put waterfowl into cages with wire bottoms. Waterfowl need soft bedding or grass under foot in order to avoid serious foot injuries (bumblefoot).

House Size

Our duckling house measures approximately 2' Wide x 3' Long x 1.5' High and is raised about 3' off the ground. It can house two ducklings for about 4-5 weeks. Then it will be time to move them to a larger pen.

Pine Shavings

We use pine shavings (never cedar) for ducklings 6 weeks old and under. It will become evident when the shavings no longer keep up with your duckling or gosling's poop. At this time, we replace the shavings with mulched hay. Most hay suppliers have this leftover hay and even sell it at a better price than their regular bails.

Avoid newspaper, which removes precious oils from your hatchling's feathers. Towels are also not a great idea for bedding since loose strings can tangle in toenails or be ingested.

Heat Source

Young ducklings goslings need a heat source. Heat lamps are ideal in cooler situations. Be careful not to overheat your ducklings during the summer or on hot days.

A heat lamp is not necessarily needed in warmer & draft free conditions. In warmer situations, you can utilize a regular light bulb to provide warmth for your hatchlings. Just hook them outside of your duckling/gosling house.

Remember the heat source must be situated outside of the duckling/gosling pen.

Feather Dusters & Woobies

One of our favorite tricks is to hang a feather duster inside of our "Ling House." We leave space enough underneath for the ducklings/goslings to cuddle under. This mimicks a mothers underside and makes a nice, cozy spot for babies to cuddle.  Your heat source/light should be near the feather duster, but be careful to avoid a fire hazard.

Lil Bo Peep lost her sibling when she came to us. Her rescuers put a plush duckling in her house with her as a surrogate sibling.

Food

We highly recommend Mazuri Waterfowl Starter. It is a great blend to get your duckling or gosling off to the best start. Mazuri has a dealer locator on their website, or you can have a bag shipped directly to you. We put their food in weighted feed dishes to prevent spilling. Food should be available 24/7.

Drinking Water

Ducklings and goslings need fresh drinking water. Grain stores sell small plastic water founts for ducklings and goslings. Small bowls are not recommended because ducklings can stumble in and out of them, which may lead to serious leg injuries.

Bathing

Ducklings and goslings loved to swim! When beginning this activity with your little ones, start by first filling your sink or tub so that the water line only comes to the top of your bird's legs.  Let them splash around to ensure that their feathers are properly oiled. Sometimes newly hatched birds will not be quite waterproof yet. If so, you don't want to fill the tub any higher yet. Let them splash around in this level of water. Add duckling food to the water to get them foraging and playing. If your duckling or gosling is waterproof, you can continue to fill the tub a little higher. Stop filling when their webbed feet can no longer touch the bottom. Give them a couple minutes to swim and then begin draining. You want to increase swim times slowly. Initial swims should be brief.

Never put ducklings or goslings straight onto a pond. Small birds do not necessarily know how to get in and out of water or forage for food on their own. Baby birds that become trapped on water or are too afraid to leave often get chilled, succumb to pneumonia and do not survive. They are also extremely prone to predatory attacks of every kind, ranging from snapping turtle to hawks.

Panting

Panting is a sign that your duckling/gosling is either too hot in its environment or it can be an early sign of illness.

Abdominal heaving is a sign that your duckling/gosling needs immediate vet attention and most likely antibiotics. Abdominal heaving is sometimes accompanied by tail pumping and panting.

Fever & Medication

Hot legs and a hot bill are a sign of fever. Antibiotics will be required immediately. Vets commonly prescribe Amoxi Drops for birds under 4 pounds and Baytril for birds over 4 lbs.

The tricky thing about medicating ducklings and goslings is their rapid growth rate. You will need to weigh your duckling/gosling every day and your vet will need to give you a dosing chart that tells you how much medicine to administer as your hatchling grows.

Fever is the body's means of fighting infection. Cool baths should be used with discretion. Always ask your vet for advice. It is vital to keep your duckling/gosling eating and drinking. Swimming activities are often a means to this end. Lings that won't eat or drink will often do so in a tub filled with an inch or two of water. Just sprinkle their food in the water while they're swimming.

Transitioning From Inside to Outside

Moving your ducklings/goslings from indoors to outdoors can be very stressful on both you and your baby birds. We do not move our sanctuary babies permanently outdoors until they are at least 6 weeks old.

We bring our rescued hatchlings outdoors when they are about 2 weeks of age and only in positive weather conditions. Outdoor excursions begin for 15-20 minutes a day for a 2 week old duckling and grow to an hour or two a day during their 3-4th weeks of age. By their 5-6 weeks of age, they are spending daylight hours outside on good weather days (again, avoiding extreme heat, cold or heavy rain). They are brought back inside at night.

If a thunderstorm comes and you have young ducklings/goslings outside, you will need to teach them to go into their house until the storm is over. Just close them in during the storm and reopen their house when it stops. Avoid leaving baby animals out in the rain. They can become saturated and become ill.


Thank you, Damiana and Alice!

Special thanks to Damiana and Alice yet again for running a successful flower bulb fundraiser to benefit the ducks and geese here at Majestic.  It was great seeing you again! And as always, we thank you for thinking of us and all of your support!

       Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee in connection with any guidance provided on this website. Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility for loss or damage resulting from its use or for the violation of any federal, state or municipal law or regulation with which such guidance may conflict. Any guidance is general in nature. In addition, the assistance of a qualified professional should be enlisted to address any specific circumstances.
 

© Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary 2008