Duck and Goose Care Guide
See here for our guide you can print.
Follow the same care as for baby chicks except, ducks and goslings do not need as much heat as baby chicks because of their rapid rate of growth. They will require more care in that they are messier with the water. They love to play.
NOTE: DO NOT MEDICATE WATER FOR DUCKS OR GEESE! We recommend the ducks and geese be raised separate from the chicks and turkeys. Just because of the bedding management.
Make sure the water fount and base are sturdy, as you do not want it knocked over into the litter. Never offer food without water. Ducks and geese can be turned outside at an earlier age than other birds depending on the weather. Goslings love to eat grass and weeds and will begin grazing as soon as they are turned out. DO NOT let baby ducks and goslings out on a pond as they will drown since they do not have a mother to help them. Their down absorbs water. Once they have feathered out, (2-3 months depending on the breed) they can go on the pond. Ducks and geese can be raised together; Once they are grown, ducks and geese can free range with other birds.
The full full guide is here in a printable format.
Your brooder is the place your goslings will call home for the first weeks of their life and it is important that it is set up properly for them. Goslings grow quickly – make sure your brooder provides enough space or they will quickly outgrow it. You will want to allow at least 1.5 square feet per gosling in your brooder.
Use an appropriate bedding in your brooder. Paper towels are great for the first few days while they are learning what to eat and what not to eat. After the first few days, you can switch to something like pine shavings, peat moss, or straw. Make sure to replace soiled and damp bedding regularly. Don’t brood on newspaper as the slippery surface does not give them any grip and and can lead to them developing splayed legs.
They will also need a source of heat. A heat lamp is most commonly used to provide this. Keep the temperature under the lamp at 85 to 90 degrees for the first week and lower it five degrees after that. Their behavior will tell you if they are warm enough. If they are huddled under the lamp they need it to be warmer. If they are as far away from the lamp and each other as possible and panting, they are too hot and the temperature needs to be lowered.
I brood using a heat plate brooder so they will be used to that but will take to a heat lamp easily. If you have a heat plate or want to use the heating pad method, both of those will be fine as well.
Goslings will require feed different than what adult poultry eat while they are young. Make sure to provide a feed with enough niacin, an essential nutrient for waterfowl. They need 55-65 mcg per pound of feed. Check your feed. It may not have enough niacin for them, since it is formulated for chicks and chicks do not need as much niacin as waterfowl. Our farm carries custom NON-GMO fresh waterfowl feed. If you dont have access to this. It is a good idea to add supplemental niacin. You may do this by either adding Brewer’s Yeast to the feed, or adding a supplement such as Poultry Nutri Drench, Liquid B Vitamins to their water. If they do not get enough niacin, they will develop leg problems such as bowleggedness.
Grass is also greatly beneficial to goslings. Just like adults they are made to eat grass. If temperatures allow it would be excellent to allow them access to grass to graze for a little while each day. If it is too cold to allow them outside, giving them fresh grass clippings will suffice.