I may appear to be obsessed with ducks lately, but I’m not, really! It’s only one small aspect of the farm I wish to grow, but it just happens to be the one going on right now! My third hatchling died a day after the others. <sigh> My guesses of what happened are:
1) the non-medicated poultry grower feed may have been mislabeled; medicated chicken feed can poison ducklings (and boy did their demise look like toxicity). So, as a precaution, I’m going to discard that bag of feed and will revert to just using my adult duck feed (which is really an adequate grower feed as well, at 20% protein).
2) the electrolyte solution I was using may have caused trouble; though I used it on the last batch of ducks with no harm. Many hatcheries and books recommend using electrolytes, but I noticed advice on Privett Hatchery’s website that they recommend against it, especially in the first week. So, I’m going to skip out on that too.
3) The cilantro- I can’t imagine that being a problem, but just in case, I’m going to stick to very plain, and washed, greens.
I really want to build my flock now, I only have one hen left to lay, and I’m reluctant to use the incubator again until I have a way to control the room’s ambient temperature. So I decided purchasing some might be the best move, for the moment. On craigslist, I found a woman who wanted to go in on a hatchery order with some other people (to meet the minimum order size), so I opted to go with that.
Before those arrive, here is a nice photo of one of the last ducks hatching, just coming out of his shell.