general duckling questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by karmlacres, May 5, 2011.

  1. karmlacres

    karmlacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 3, 2010
    I have one little cayuga duckling that I hatched 2 weeks ago. It had a rough time... twice during the incubation, the temps spiked to 102. I don't know for how long. Humidity dropped to less than 20 early on. AGain, I don't know how long it was like that. Of 8 chicken eggs and 12 duck eggs set, he's the only one that made it and he struggled big time getting out of the egg. He was initially crippled but I got him walking.

    So he's 2 weeks old now. We are calling him Chuck since he seems to think he's a chicken. He peeps! When do they start quacking? I think he's lonely but I'm afraid he's too young to put in with 6-7 week old chicks and my adult hen.

    When will he start getting feathers? I'm assuming that he can't go outside until he feathers out. What about swimming? Does he need feathers to swim?

    All I know is he peeps louder than any chick, louder than 5 chicks combined AND he drinks a river every day!
     
  2. gofasterstripe

    gofasterstripe Chillin' With My Peeps

    If its a girl you will be able to tell for sure by week 4 or 5, if its a boy, he will have a high pitched whistle untill hes a bit older then it will turn into a rasp.
    He will get his pin feathers in in the next week or so and should have his teenage feathers in by week 6 to 8. Then s/he will molt again to get their adult feathers in. Give it a few weeks after that and he should get his drake feather if its a boy.
    Hope that helps
    Oh and yes you can let him swim. Do you keep him in the house or outside. Outside mine had a plastic bowl to swim in and when they are in the house I put them in the bath for a swim. I have it deep enough that he can stand up in it if he gets tired.
     
  3. karmlacres

    karmlacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 3, 2010
    I have the duckling in the house at the moment. We've had some crazy weather, so I've not been too inclined to put these babies outside. I kept my chicks inside until they were 5 weeks old, but I also had to move them on out because 1) they were too big for the brooder and 2) I needed to put this duckling somewhere. I have chick eggs coming next week, so he's got 3 weeks to move on out ... or something. I suppose I could put in the pen on the farm with his bio-parents and a rooster. But just not sure if I should with him being featherless. The farm has a chicken coop and 16'x16' pen. The backyard has an 8x8 pen with a garbage can on its side serving as a coop. The little thing is already looking over the edge of the brooder. He's going to outgrow it very quickly!
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    The big difference between chicks and ducklings is that chicks feather out MUCH faster and ducklings BULK UP and grow much faster than chicks. They put all of their growth into body before feathers, unlike chicks.

    Which means they do chill quite easily. If they are swimming, make sure they don't get waterlogged, because they aren't as buoyant without feathers. Until mine get feathers, I restrict their swim sessions to just a few minutes at a time.
     

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