do my new ducklings need water to play in?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by tazzy, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. tazzy

    tazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kentucky
    We have four new ducklings, two pekin and two mallards, and they are less than a week old. Do we need to put out a water source for them to play in? We have drinking water available to them right now.

    We have them in a brooder, with a red light, in our barn. Are we giving them enough attention having them out there? We have dogs and a cat inside our house, so I don't think they'd be safe in here, even for a little while. Wouldn't want to take the risk.

    Yet I see the other posts with ducklings in the bathtub inside houses and being cuddled indoors, etc. Am I neglecting my ducklings by keeping them in the brooder and checking on them a few times each day? We took them out and petted them today for a few minutes, and they quacked and quacked and begged to go back into the brooder. Are we making our ducklings anti-social?

    I hope I don't sound nuts. I simply don't know what is appropriate to do with ducklings.
     
  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    They shouldn't play in water until they are 2 or 3 weeks old, that's when their oil gland comes in.
     
  3. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    I was going to wait because I had one duck that was a week old and one that was a new hatch. The new duck I bought from Big R. While I was there buying bungie, every water dish in the stock pen was FULL of ducklings playing and floating.

    I went ahead and started giving both my ducks bath time together right away (they bonded to each other quickly and do not like to be separated). As long as you are supervising, I say give them bath time.

    DON'T just leave a big open pan of water in their brooder though.



    (The baby is already a week old in this video, but we started giving them bath time earlier than 1 week old)
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2009
  4. tazzy

    tazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks so much for the info!!!
     
  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Waterfowl need water.... when they are older.

    And remember, without geography, you're nowhere.
     
  6. Brickman House

    Brickman House Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We start giving our ducklings swim time when they're about a week old.

    We brood them in the bathtub in our spare bathroom, so it's not that big a deal for us to rinse the tub, fill it with a few inches of water, and watch them go to town for 20 minutes or so. Then we drain the tub, rinse it down again, and re-bed it with puppy pads. We do this every day as part of our bathtub brooder cleaning routine.

    Strictly speaking, I guess they don't NEED the swim time, but they sure do love it, and they're a hoot to watch! Also, I don't see many people mention it, so maybe it's just in our experience, but it seems to keep them cleaner, and as messy as ducklings are, anything that helps keep them cleaner and the stink down is a good thing!

    It also seems to encourage them to groom themselves and shed the baby down faster. We also have very little problems with picking and fighting, despite the small space, so I think the swim time helps to keep them exercised and occupied.

    If they're in a brooder in your garage, and you only have 4, I'd highly recommend bringing them in periodically for a bathtub swim, if you can! We have two cats and two dogs, and though they'd be interested in the ducklings I'm sure, we just close the bathroom door.
     
  7. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I've always let my call ducklings have their first swim when they're a couple of days old. Supervised, not too long and make sure they have a heat lamp to get under to dry out when you take them out.
     
  8. tazzy

    tazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks again! they're actually in the barn, about 300 feet back from our house, not the garage. My husband is afraid they'd get too cold toting them back and forth since the temps keep varying from the 50's to the 60's around here.

    we'll figure something out...they are happy as a duck can be, and quacking and healthy.
     
  9. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Just make sure they have drinking water deep enough to get their whole face in so they can keep their nostrils clean.

    I don't think you're neglecting them, but just remember the more you interact with them now the tamer they'll be as adults.
     
  10. tazzy

    tazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks, katy!
     

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