Help!...Lots of Questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by BickeringToast, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. BickeringToast

    BickeringToast Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 14, 2012
    Jersey, GA
    Sorry about the old pic-I have none of the new pics loaded

    [​IMG]

    I brought these 4 home on March 1st and can only guess they were about 3 or 4 days old since ducklings/chicks are bought out within days at our TSC. That would make them 3 weeks old yesterday. All 4 have a lot of their feathers in, they started getting them just over a week ago. I read that they may be feathering a little early since they have been swimming everyday since I brought them home (always supervised, dried, and kept warm). The 4 are mostly alike in size, but I would have to say Mose & Doc are slightly smaller. Questions:
    1. Daphne (yellow turning black) seems to sit a LOT. She eats, drinks, walks and swims normally, but is often sitting. They eat chick starter and I add the 100mg regular Niacin to the water. She is also the friendliest of the 4 and the loudest! Should I be concerned about all her sitting?
    2. When can they live outside? I am in NO rush to get them out and their outdoor home will not even be ready for at least another week. They will have a run safe from predators and within it a protected 'house. Right now our temps here are mid-high 60's during the day and evenings in the 50's. Like I said, all 4 are pretty feathered already.
    3. While I THINK Daphne is a female (simply because of the mind-boggling volume of her peeps), I have no idea with the other 3. I know their Quacks won't start for a few weeks (Niles is trying to quack and it is adorable!). If it turns out I have 2 or 3 drakes, how long do I have before this becomes a problem for the female(s)? We will be ordering 4-8 females from Metzers but that means new ducklings being raised and then integrated in with the current peeps.

    Thanks for any help!!!
     
  2. BickeringToast

    BickeringToast Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 14, 2012
    Jersey, GA
    Anyone? [​IMG]
     
  3. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    1. Some of my ducks sat quite often. I wouldn't be too concerned about it at this age.

    2. Most of my ducklings are outside by 4 weeks but I usually have heat on them if the night temps are cool. However I'm in Texas so it's almost always pretty warm here.

    3. By 5 months most of my ducks are readily breeding. Some have started breeding as early as 4 months. If you have excessive males and you start seeing any breeding I would separate them until you add in more females.
     
  4. RileyB

    RileyB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not an expert by any means, but I can tell you what I've experienced (I currently have two full grown ducks, two ducklings, and 6 chickens).

    1) I can't say for sure, but as long as she is eating, drinking, and acting normal I don't know that there's an issue. One of the ducklings I have right now is very lazy and constantly laying down or sitting. Although as I said, I'm not an expert, so it might indicate something else.

    2) It depends how cold it is. My older ducklings were living outside full time at 4 weeks old. However, where I bought them from there were one and two week old ducks living outside (it was summer).

    3) Usually at around 4 weeks old you can begin to hear the difference between the male and female quacking.
    Too many males would become a problem at around the time the birds sexually mature. For mine older two this was around 5 months of age. Ever since then my male rouen has mated with any duck or chicken he can find.
     
  5. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    so darn cute!

    1. ducklings can be a bit bursts of energy, if it's acting/growing normal otherwise your probably fine. I feed flock raiser here, so i have never need to add a thing.

    2. Your temps sound dreamy lol We were -14C this morning, i have 4 couple day old ducklings out in a mini barn with their mama and a heat lamp, so i would definitely say if you have your housing set to go, they can go in there home. Get a thermometer out in it so you know where you stand.

    3. It's said 2-3 ducks per drake. My drake babies last year started getting pesty at about 2.5-3mths old... not full on but shall we just say it was obvious they were boys. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  6. BickeringToast

    BickeringToast Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 14, 2012
    Jersey, GA
    Thanks!

    We're in Georgia so very warm nights are not too far off. My 4-pack will probably be 5+ weeks old by the time their house/pen is ready for move-in, and day & night temps should be pretty good by then.

    The hatch date for the new group of females will be April 1st. That will make them only about a month younger than our current ducklings which I hope will be a positive when we start integrating them.

    Thanks again for the info!
     
  7. BickeringToast

    BickeringToast Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 14, 2012
    Jersey, GA
    Thanks Everyone! I have developed a duck-addiction and BYC is definitely my enabler!![​IMG]
     

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