How soon to let the ducks out to play?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CountryMom, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. CountryMom

    CountryMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2008
    South Texas
    Ok, I am new at raising ducks - chickens for that matter also! Anyhow, we received our ducks beginning of the month and have had them in a storage bin I made a brooder from our chicks. Then we moved them to a big rabbit wire cage so they could spread out. With our temps outside, we didn't need the heat lamp except for the first few nights. Anyhow, we have them in that cage at night and then attach it to a fenced playpen area during the day. My father in law warned me that they shouldn't get wet until they have more feathers. So how soon do I let them try their first attempt at swimming? And any other suggestions for housing until then? I cannot simply turn them loose just yet since we have several cats that would snatch them up real quick. Once they are bigger they will leave them alone.

    Thanks!
     
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    If they are 3 weeks old you can let them play in water a little bit but not too long. The water needs to be shallow, I prefer luke warm, and with some sort of bricks or something so they can have steps in and out. 30 min a day to start is good initially.

    They don't make enough oil to coat their feathers now to protect them from chilling water. Once they get chilled they can get ill. So I use warm water and short times actually swimming.

    Without a momma duck to let them climb on when tired baby ducks can easy tire and drown. So check ont hem frequently or sit with them and enjoy their antics while they play for a limited time.

    I hatched some geese and ducks this spring. I let them swim in my bathtub. They love it. Warm water, controled atmosphere. When i let out the water (which they love to poop in) I them feed them a yogurt spinach puree. Then rinse them again with warm water because the walk in it, roll in it, splash in it and make a giant mess. I take the out and straight to a warm heat lamp box. After they dry they go out on the lawn for the day. Lots of food, lots of water. They are very happy.

    Good luck with your babies.
     
  3. ticks

    ticks Pheasant Obsessed

    Apr 1, 2008
    The Sticks, Vermont
    My friend kinda pulled a bonehead move and gave his 5, 3 week old ducks a permanent swim hole that he dug into the ground. It was about 2 feet deep and was always there, without a cover. He lost 2 ducks that could not get out and drown. It was his first time ever raising birds.
     
  4. CountryMom

    CountryMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2008
    South Texas
    Thanks ladies. A short start at shallow water is kind of what I figured to start with. I just wasn't sure how soon. They are 3 weeks to the day today. Our temps outside have been anywhere from 95 to 100 so I figured they would enjoy some water in the heat of the day. I must say that they are much friendlier than our chicks were. I am just hoping that between my attention and all that my kids give them they are still that way when they get bigger.

    My father in law has had the muscovies for years and figured out the hard way about chicks getting wet. Due to a coyote attack a few years ago we were only left with three hens. Hoping these guys will replenish our herd and give him something to enjoy.
     
  5. villnave

    villnave Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2008
    Um, I know this has nothing to do with your ducklings, but I have been letting my 1 day old Silkie chicks run around in my family kitchen and on our front porch for at least 10 minutes like three times today!
     
  6. ticks

    ticks Pheasant Obsessed

    Apr 1, 2008
    The Sticks, Vermont
    Thanks ladies! :mad: [​IMG]
     
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    [​IMG]

    Just a nice FYI - ticks is a boy

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Aurynsdream

    Aurynsdream Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2007
    This spring is my first try at ducks.
    I read lots and lots and lots of books and articles.

    All of my little duckies got their first swim on their 4th day of life- granted it was in a 2 cup tupperware bowl full of warm water, they were in it maybe 2 min after which they went straight to a warm towel to be dried off

    and they loved it.
    They had short supervised warm water swims every day from there on in.
    They are almost 3 months old now and are happiest in the water.

    I don't know if what I did was right or wrong, thats just my experience.
     
  9. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
  10. ticks

    ticks Pheasant Obsessed

    Apr 1, 2008
    The Sticks, Vermont
    Thanks MissPrissy! [​IMG]
     

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