My Ducklings still can't swim...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by duck4u, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. duck4u

    duck4u Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2013
    I did what I was told.
    To put them in water everyday to get their oil glands working.
    I am doing that but it has not been working. Sure they preen a lot but they don't preen their oil gland.
    I wet them and sprinkle them in water while they bathe, still nothing.
    They get wet all over. And they still panic.
    Will my ducklings never learn to swim? It's been two weeks now since the day they hatched. :(
     
  2. Britesea

    Britesea Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 3, 2013
    Where are you putting them to swim? My ducks will be 3 weeks this Monday, and I've been putting them in the bathtub with lukewarm water since they were 1 week old. When they hear me moving around in the kitchen, they start making a ruckus for me to come get them and give them their swimtime.

    I started by using just enough water to come up to their tummies when standing. That gave them enough water to swim in if they wanted to. I never sprinkled them with water because when they see my hand they get nervous (my ducks aren't that tame). The first day all they did was huddle in the corner. The second day, a couple of the braver ones tried swimming. The third day, they were all swimming, and checking out the Cheerios I sprinkled on the water. Today, they were zooming around underwater, paddling the surface, and when I threw in the Cheerios they were like piranhas, lol.
     
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  3. duck4u

    duck4u Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2013
    The thing is, they started in deep water 2 days after they hatched, they where fine and could float.
    But now they sink when they start to panic and thrash.
    Right now I am putting the water up to their tummies too, and they dive in but don't actually swim they just stay in the same position and put their whole bodies in while moving their heads.
    I don't see the oil and I don't even know that its working.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    You won't see the oil and it sounds like they are washing which is good. do they rub their heads at the base of their tail? that's where the oil gland is.
     
  5. Ducks should naturally know how to swim. Give them 5-10 minutes in lukewarm water that goes up to they're tummies, then increase it so it goes over their back. Leave them in that for 5-10 minutes. They will be able to breath fine, but will choose to swim vs stand there. Or maybe make it too deep for them, put one in on your hand. So they stand on your hand, and you can slowly make it deeper until they feel comfortable. I put mine in the tub when they were 5 days old, deeper then they were, with a little piece of 'land'. When they were down, they'd climb on the land and just try to dry off vs go back in, then I'd put them away. Some were done sooner then others. Promoted good muscles, too, starting them young. Just be there to watch drowning. I know one of our ducklings was just a poor swimmer, would sink a lot but kept up best she could!
    Best of luck with your duckies.
     
  6. duck4u

    duck4u Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2013
    No they don't but they do preen the back of their tails sometimes.
     
  7. Britesea

    Britesea Out Of The Brooder

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    Sounds like they are doing fine, duck4u. They are preening. The oil gland will do it's job, but it might take a while. My babies seem to have a good waterproof barrier on their heads and backs- not quite as much on the tummies yet. Just be consistent and they will soon learn to love their water time. As you see them being more comfortable, try adding another inch of water. Giving them something to climb onto when they are wanting a break from swimming would help their self-confidence, I think.
     

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