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Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jimmythechicken, Apr 1, 2011.
we have a few baby duck an was woundering at what age should we start giving them bathtub time.
A lot of opinions vary. I would let mine swim, supervised, for 10 or so minutes when they were about 4-5 days old. Then take them out of the water. Some people say 2 weeks and some say 2 days. I think it comes down to supervision, comfort level (you and ducklings), wiping them off, and putting them back in the warm brooder.
Eroc1_1 pretty much covered it. At day two, my runners "swam" in an inch and a half of 90 degree water in a cake pan for five minutes.
My general guidelines were to have a clean, warm, dry brooder ready for their return from the water, to dry off any that did not immediately begin preening after bathtime, and to keep the water only deep enough to hit the tops of their legs - that was deep enough for floating or swimming, shallow enough to stand. The older they got, the deeper the water, the longer it took for them to get tired (when a couple of them just seemed to stand there, staring around, that was my signal to pull everybody back into "the bus" and back to the brooder. The bus was a deep cardboard box with a towel in the bottom, to get them from room to room once we began using the tub, at about day four.
I stood by every moment. Without full feathers and oils, they get soaked and don't float so well. But a few of them were excellent torpedoes! Enjoy those babies! They grow fast!!!
thanks for the help everyone i am thinking about maybe sunday monday for the first swim.
don't forget the camera!
i wont the kids are pretty excited about having duck for the pond
I have two-week-old Khaki Campbells I'm planning to give some swim time to tomorrow, in conjunction with moving them to a bigger brooder. ("Brooder" in this case being a large straw bale enclosure with a heat lamp in one corner.) And a decent handful of greens (endive) to make it over-the-top awesome for them
Sorry guys, mostly bad advice.
If a duclking is hatched by momma duck, momma will put protective oil on the ducklings, so they can swim and bath safely soon after hatch.
For ducklings hatched in incubator or by chicken hen it is a BAD IDEA to let ducklings in the water before they are fully feathered. It can do them more harm then good.
All the baby ducks need is, a pot of water deep enough to dip their beaks in to flush their nostrils and drink after just every bite of feed they take.
They should not be able to get wet besides their heads.
ducklings down is naturally oiled and waterproofed, usually by 1-2 weeks of age. I would recommend starting with only around an inch and a half at the start of the swim and gradually build it up so the get used to it and don't panic to much. however swimming comes very naturally to ducklings and they should take it to heart very quickly. good luck!!
I did some research on ducklings swimming, and found a study had been done. Ducklings who are allowed to get into water (supervised constantly, warm enough not to chill them, and dried off immediately afterward) start preening earlier than those who are not. This preening behavior is considered a good thing.
So I followed that - water only up to the tops of their legs, at about the same temperature as the air in their brooder. At first they would last about five minutes before appearing tired, then I would take them out, dry them if they did not preen, and set them back in the warm clean brooder. That worked well.
But I watched over their every move. No one got chilled, no one got over-tired.