at what age can ducks start to swim

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jimmythechicken, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack

    2,653
    1,054
    296
    Apr 22, 2014
    Montana
    With my first ducks I waited a while before I introduced them to water because of the oil issues mentioned, but one of them was constipated for the first 3 or 4 days and had weaker legs even with niacin supplements and electrolytes so she was "floated" in a warm bowl of water under tight supervision and gradually moved to the sink, then with the rest of the flock when they got water time at about 10 days or so. When that flock was fully feathered, she was the first in the water and the last out and was the best swimmer out of all of them even though she was small because of her slow start. Also she had better oil on her new feathers and the water slipped off better (the others eventually caught up). Because of this, I started my second batch swimming on day two with a thermometer in the sink. They started in a 100F bath (still cooler than their body temp) and came out when they slowed down a bit or the water cooled to 90F. They seemed very happy and excited about it and both of them had oil on their fuzz well before they had feathers. By two weeks, they were diving for peas under water (100% supervised) and coming up dry. They are also in the most likely swimmer category today and they are runners. I think the biggest considerations are 100% supervision - they can drown in an instant in 6" of water or in 1" of water. Don't fatigue them - ducklings need to eat and sleep frequently and shouldn't be prevented from either for very long. Keep them warm - they can't regulate their temperatures yet so don't give them the opportunity to get cold. Oh, and 100% supervision [​IMG]

    Edit: when I say day two, that is my day two. They were hatched/shipped Monday, I got them Thursday, they Swam Friday so they were actually 5 days old.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  2. Mccluckers

    Mccluckers Chirping

    701
    9
    96
    Jun 5, 2014
    uk
    Hi guys, I let my 2 ducklings swim at day 2, I had a shower first so the room was warm and steamy, I then put warm water in the sink and let them go! We'll not exactly, I kept lifting them out and putting them on the side and when they were tired they wouldn't jump back in. Because I did this so early they were pretty much waterproof by 1 week. Good luck!
     
  3. 2ducksmomma

    2ducksmomma Hatching

    4
    0
    7
    Mar 5, 2015
    alabama
    Can you explain what "preening"is?
     
  4. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Songster

    3,421
    223
    221
    Feb 9, 2014
    Mississippi Y'all
    when a duck drys itself from water and grooms it feathers , that preening.
     
  5. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack

    2,653
    1,054
    296
    Apr 22, 2014
    Montana
    On the top of the duck's tail area, they have a gland that produces oil. This is the preen gland or uropygial gland. They will repeatedly go to this gland and get the oil all over their bill and head, then smear it around on their feathers while they are grooming themselves. This is why you see them rolling their heads on their back and this gives them the "waterproof" coating that allows them to swim and dive without getting very wet. When they are first born this gland doesn't work yet and they don't know how to do the grooming yet. As they get older and more experienced with going in the water, then preening afterwards, they both produce more oil and get better at applying it to themselves. This combined with temperature and fatigue are the concerns that are expressed here regarding ducklings swimming.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
  6. 2ducksmomma

    2ducksmomma Hatching

    4
    0
    7
    Mar 5, 2015
    alabama
    Thank you!
     
  7. cnd416343

    cnd416343 Hatching

    9
    0
    6
    Oct 13, 2014
    HI I HAVE SOME BABY DUCKS AND THEY ARE 8 WEEKS TODAY AND I WANTED TOO KNOW IF I CAN PUT THEM IN THE TUB WITH SOME WARM WATER AND KEEP AN EYE ON THEM OR DO I HAVE TOO WAIT FOR THEM TOO BE OLDER JUST ASKING THIS IS NEW TOO ME AND JUST WANTED TOO MAKE SURE THEY WILL BE OK. THANKS AGAIN
     
  8. Mccluckers

    Mccluckers Chirping

    701
    9
    96
    Jun 5, 2014
    uk

    At 8 weeks they will absouloutely fine, the earlier they swim the quicker hey become waterproof. Mine started swimming daily at 3 days and were completey waterproof by two weeks because they had been in the water.
     
    Goldfire7 likes this.
  9. cnd416343

    cnd416343 Hatching

    9
    0
    6
    Oct 13, 2014
    THANK U VERY MUCH SO I SHOULD PUT THEM IN THE TUB WITH SMALL AMOUNT OF WATER RIGHT? THANK U I WILL GO AND DO THAT AND WATCH THEM THANK YOU AGAIN.
     
  10. cnd416343

    cnd416343 Hatching

    9
    0
    6
    Oct 13, 2014
    WHAT PART OF ALABAMA U FROM.. WE LIVE IN TALLASSEE ALABAMA I JUST SAW THAT.. I WANT TOO GET MORE AT LEAST TWO MORE SOON.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: