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Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Bullitt, Mar 19, 2012.
At what age can ducklings come out of the brooder and start swimming in a pond?
Outdoor pond..? Probably not until their fully feathered at least..
You can give them a "bath" earlier though! I usually wait until mine are 2-3 days old and then put some warm water in the sink and let them play. Helps develop their oil glands so that when they go outside, they'll be well protected from rain and water in their pool. I usually dry them off a bit with a towel and then watch as they seem to know what to do after that. They go back into their brooder when they're all fluffy again and usually all have a nap after all that exercise
They can start swimming as young as one day old (as long as the water isn't too cold). You could probably put them outside once they start to feather. You definitely don't want to put them out too early. I put two khaki campbell ducks outside when they were about a month old. At first, they seemed to be fine (I also had a brooder light out there for them in case it got too cold). Well, the brooders lamp broke (I cleaned it up so they didn't get cut), and a few days later, I went outside to one of them dead. I immediately put the other duckling inside with two chicks I had (she was like three times their size, but they still got along). After I felt that she had been inside long enough, I put her back outside. I don't know exactly how old she was but I would estimate about 2-3 months. At that time I had several pens that they were being separated into. One had three ducks in it, the other had one (she was laying on a nest so I separated them), and the third pen had the khaki duck. Well I got worried that my broody duck was getting lonely, so I put one of the older ducks with her (a cayuga). I know she hatched the chick on the 26 of June, I know I got the ducklings in early March, and I have a picture of my cayuga and khaki sitting next to each other (with a fence in between) while she was incubating the eggs, so 2-3 months would be my best guess at what age MY duck was when she lived outside.
Just a thought.. Are these ducklings hatched under a broody duck or incubator..? The moms will usually take their ducklings out to swim sometimes hours after they've hatched. I don't have any experience with that as none of mine have gone broody, but I just recently got some call ducks this weekend and I'm hoping they'll hatch out their own..
These ducks were shipped from a hatchery, and the ducks are 3 weeks old and living in a heated brooder.
At what age will ducks be fully feathered?
Well, my duck started feathering at about a month and a half. She was almost fully feathered (and outside) by about 3 months. I don't know if that depends on the breed or not though. (I've had other breeds, I just don't know what age it was that they were feathered)
Yah I think 3 months is about right for larger domestic breeds. Not sure of the others though..? I'll have to observe ducklings that I get this year to know approximately how long each breed takes.. Will have 5 different kinds to go from.
Hhmm well I guess I go against the grain. I have a 2 week old Pekin and 1 week old cayuga and rouen outside in the coop with 25 3 week old chicks right now. It's been getting up to the 80's here and all the ducklings and chicks love it outside. I use a sled as their temp shallow pool. They are out in the run most of the day and go in the coop for naps. I do have a heat lamp on just in case they want some warmth. So far everyone is doing great and they've all been outside for about a week and a half now.
Thanks for not making me feel too bad about putting our 2 Pekins, 1 Runner, and turkey outside today. They are 2 1/2 weeks old and starting to get some feathers (they aren't as fluffy as before). They have a fully enclosed wooden dog house and heat lamp in there keeping everything warm, plus some straw to bed down in. The lows here over the next few days are going the be like upper 50's but they do have the heat lamp and they don't have a pool in there yet. I am a little worried about them, but they were in a 55 gal aquarium inside and it was just too much. They weren't really using the heat lamp anymore either. Spent most of their time on the other side of the tank.
So the 3-week-old ducklings can come out of the brooder. But it is probably too early for them to be left unattended in a pond.
I guess the ducks and chicks can be in a pen together. The ducks were running over the chicks in the brooder, so the ducks were moved to a separate brooder. They shouldn't have that problem in a pen, especially since the chicks are getting bigger also.