Lead Young Ducklings To Water?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by vfem, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Well, my pekins finally hatched, so I'm a officially a duck mama.

    My question is when should I let them have some swim time? Also, I've been thinking of taking them inside away from mama and raising them in the brooder. My concern is the cold, their need to swim, and wanting them to have lots of people contact to give them good vibes toward us.

    Now, remember mama is a chicken...so she's not going to just let them go jump in a pan full of water.

    [​IMG]
    This is just the first one, I gotta get pictures of #2. #1 is 2 days old now, and #2 is barely 24 hours old.
     
  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Awwww!!! Congrats!

    Don't you have to wait until they lose their baby feathers (so to speak)?
     
  3. Jenlyn9483

    Jenlyn9483 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    Too cool! I have 3 duck eggs under my broody silkie hen. This is my first time attempting this and I wasnt sure if it would work out, Thanks for posting this. I think the duck eggs will be due around 12.1. ( I put some in the bator the same day). I think the chicken eggs should start hatching next week or this weekend.
     
  4. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Found a good link....
    http://www.rspca.org.uk/servlet/Sat...opic=1152286792304&previousPage=1114778749280

    "Ducklings gain their waterproofing by contact with their mother's plumage and so start to become waterproofed from the day they are born. As soon as the brood have all hatched and their down has dried, the mother duck leads them off to water.

    However, ducklings reared away from their mother, for example under a foster hen, lack this protection, so can become wet and waterlogged when they first attempt to swim.

    The down which ducklings are born with seldom lasts much more than a week and is replaced with a denser down. During this first week the mother has to protect the ducklings from becoming chilled."
     
  5. Jenlyn9483

    Jenlyn9483 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    btw, if you do or dont take them away from their chicken mom, let them chill for a few days and then just offer them shallow bowls of water to drink from, they will naturally play in it. I dont think the chicken mamma will be able to provide them with the oils on thier feather they will need to be able to swim this early.
     
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Forks, Virginia
    I would take them from the silkie and brood them myself.

    At about 2 weeks you can let them swim in your kitchen sink with shallow warm water for about 15 mins.

    Make sure you dry them off and get them under a heat lamp in a warm room after swimming.

    I always made my goslings and ducklings a slurry of yogurt with enough water to make it slurpy and pureed some lettuce and spinach to make a soup.

    They love it!

    I always fed it in the bathtub.

    Then when they finish (and they will make a huge mess with it) I rinsed the tub and filled it for them to swim and preen.

    Then they went in a warm brooder box and would slep about 2 hours.

    They got into the habit of standing at the brooder at the same time waiting for their milkshake and swim class. LOL

    Around 6 weeks they were making their own feather oils and could go for longer timesin the bath. i always made sure the water was warm and they had a warm brooder.

    The main thing is not letting them chill and realizing they can't waterproof thei feathers and can drown.

    not until they have been swim 3 or 4 weeks would I deepen the water. I always keep it just deep enough they can still touch the bottom but when they pull up their feet they can float and swish.

    My last goslings. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  7. Ducklove334

    Ducklove334 Off to another pond

    Nov 4, 2008
    Virginia
    I've let most of my ducklings swin as early as just a few days(atleast 5) and that is with REALLY warm water, not hot, and only for about 2-3 minutes at most, then up the time every few days, and they've done fine with it, even ducklings are messy and need to be able to clean out thier eyes and noses with water, or they risk eye infections and URI's from dirt or poo getting sucked into thier lungs

    that baby is ADDORABLE! I wanna steal it! [​IMG]
     
  8. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    Well here's both of them, my only 2 to make it from 4 eggs... but 1 never developed, and the second stopped on day 13. I'm just THRILLED to have 2.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'm planning on bringing them in about a week from now. Let the mama's get it out of their system now that the little one's have hatched. Maybe they'll get back to laying. I haven't had an egg in about 2 weeks now from ANY of my chickens.

    I will set the ducks up in the downstairs bathroom since no one uses it. Plenty of room for their brooder and plenty of bath space for them to go to town on some yogurt and lettuce soup. They'll even be safe from the dog and cat there.

    This is so exciting... I just want to give them a full life [​IMG]
     
  9. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Forks, Virginia
    Watch them carefully. If she figures out they are not chicks she can kill them. Not all hens do this but some will.

    Very cute babies!
     
  10. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    I just wanted to echo what's said here. When they are covered in down, they will sink and drown in water which is too deep for them to walk out. Bathtubs are great. We used cat litter boxes with bricks in the bottom to start ours.

    We had adult ducks and geese in with our ducklings who kept guard of the flock. I'm just not sure how a chicken will mother waterfowl. I know my neighbor had 6 of my duck eggs hatch last year under a hen and she consequentially killed them all.
     

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