Originally Posted by dandydoodle
When can ducks come out from under the brooder light?
When are they old enough that I can give them a bowl of water to swim in?
Are ducks a lot then bantam chickens. I feel like my little duckies are on steroids. They are huge!!!!!!!!!!! They are growing like crazy. They are growing so much faster then my baby chicks.
I admit to having limited experience, but, just as those ducklings grow fast, my knowledge is growing equally fast.
I have a one week old duckling who is in her broody cage all day and night .... except ... when I take her outside for a walk. We exercise together for 30 minutes, then she is returned to her cage. If she had her way, she would be with me 24/7
Swimming they can do from day one when they have a mother duck on hand. The perils to be aware of when introducing a duckling to water for swimming are these: they only have down which will soak up water like a sponge. In turn, this adds to their weight and could result in them getting tired and drowing in deep water. However, there is no reason why you cannot put them in some warm water to "play" for 5-10 minutes at a time if you give constant supervision. Ducklings do not have the necessary oil glands to repel water naturally, so will need to be put back under the heat lamp to dry off.
You can "wean" them off the brooder light at night time when they are around 4/5 weeks old. You turn the light off for one hour one night; two hours the 2nd night and so on until they no longer have light during darkness. This is the least stressful way of doing things for them.
I have 2 Indian Runner ducklings which rapidly outgrew their brooder cage. Once Pogo was added to the cage a week ago, 36hrs later the IR's needed to be rehoused - so, off to boarding school they went (aka, into an outside house and enclosed run situated next to my adult trio so they can "watch and learn" how to be ducks). They are thriving!! We've had heavy rain the past week and the result is my heavy clay land is a patchwork of deep puddles Heaven for my trio, but the IR ducklings only take a brief dip and swim before they run home again to dry off.
And yes, they grow exceptionally fast and disproportionately to chicks!
Enjoy your babies while you can