how old do ducklings have to be before there fully feather'd ???

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by chickens&ducks_RULE, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. chickens&ducks_RULE

    chickens&ducks_RULE Chirping

    Jul 27, 2010
    South Wales!!
    hey, how old do ducklings have to be before there fully feather'd and can go outside ???

    mine are 5 weeks old and now starting to get feather's but 1 of them her wings are not far off feather'd

    if its got anything to do with it 4 of them are indian runner's and 1 is a khaki campbell X black swedish


    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  2. jrobertson

    jrobertson Robertson's Rare Poultry

    Apr 24, 2010
    NW Alabama
    i dont know if there are any breeds in particular that feather out faster than others but i do know that some have a much faster growth rate and i believe that refers to size and not feathers. anyway, a lot of factors go into producing feathers such as genetics, diet, and general health of the duck. i'm always raising a group of ducklings and there are always those who are ahead of the pack and those who are "late bloomers." anyways if a duck is the "runt of a litter" that means he is smaller and trying to compete with ducks half again as big as you are can be tough. if they don't get as much feed, their feathers don't come in as fast. genetics, like i said before, could be the cause. if, the parents had a slower feathering condition, it could be passed on to the offspring. it's the same principle as hair. some peoples hair grows faster than others. i'm not sure of your temps but i usually move my ducklings outside way before 5 weeks but keep a light in the house so they don't catch a chill. it helps with attracting bugs they like to eat too. hope this has helped.
  3. T Hi

    T Hi Songster

    Mar 7, 2010
    Bonney Lake, WA
    It will also depends on how cold the nights get in your area. It is better to keep them in at night until it stays above 50-55F at night. All 5 of my runners were pretty much fully feathered at about 7-8 weeks. Hope this helps! Good luck and enjoy their cute babyness!
  4. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Mine get outside time when they are 2 weeks old, and usually move out of the brooder when they are 2.5 weeks old. That is the time they move into the duck house, where they have to sleep each night with an oil filled radiator depending on temps. All my ducks sleep in the duck house regardless of age. It's protects them against predators, plus you can collect the eggs in the morning so they don't hide somewhere outside incubating eggs. My ducks go back into the duck house at night all by themselves. This is a routines they have been taught since they are young, and they have no issue with it. All I have to do is lock the door.
  5. Do you guys put food and water in the duck house? My runners are 5 weeks and am worried that they will choke on their bedding without water but also don't want their bedding wet! What too do!
  6. jlord

    jlord In the Brooder

    Jul 26, 2012
    Some species of ducks feather out faster than others. We raise mostly ornamentals, ring teal are fully feathered and can fly in about a month, while wood ducks and mandarins take twice as long. Having access to clean water and proper feed makes a difference as well.
  7. FluffyDucklings

    FluffyDucklings In the Brooder

    Sep 15, 2013
    I have two ducklings that are about 4 weeks old and the temps where i live stay in the mid 60s this time of year. Would it be ok to put them in the duck house now without a heat lamp?
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member 8 Years

    I wouldn't unless fully feathered, they can chill, They should be in temps about 70*
  9. FluffyDucklings

    FluffyDucklings In the Brooder

    Sep 15, 2013
    How long does it take for them to be fully feathered? I have heard 8 weeks. Is that right?
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member 8 Years

    They should be fully feathered by 8 weeks but will look pretty close by 6 weeks. And since it's only the 2 of them they won't be able to rely on each other much to help with heat. not like if there was 4 or more.

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