My ducks don't like the dark and one can't swim

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wanderingfox, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. wanderingfox

    wanderingfox New Egg

    Jun 10, 2011
    Hello all,

    I live in Michigan and we purchaced 12 chickens of various breeds and 2 peking ducks they were all about 3 days old at the time. Now they are 7 wks old when they were about 4wks old I moved they to a very nice coop with pen out back. I have a heat lamp for when its cool and have to use a 40wt light at night. When they were in the house they did not need the light at night, but now that they are out side they wont go into the coop with out it. For about the fitsr week I would put them in and closr their out side door. I leave it open now so when they get up they can go out on their own. If I have the light on in the coop they go in on their own at night to. They will lay by the outside door no matter how late it gets but they wont go in if the light is not on. they are all very happy and love all the attention they get. So is having the light on for them all night ok?

    also a friend gave us a 1year old peking she was not raised the same way so she is a little stand offish with us but gets along with the flock well. We have a small tub for water and face washing throughout the day and then a deeper tub for taking a bath where they can swim a little. The new duck will purch (yes purch) on the side and splash water on herself but wont go in. One time she slipped in and paniced like she could not swim. I don't feel this is good for her she should be able to swim. Do I need to teach her?
  2. jinxschuh

    jinxschuh Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2011
    Northern Utah
    O dear, I think you have some very eccentric fowls... LOL... I leave a low watt light on in the chicken room during the day because their room in the barn doesn't get a lot of natural light in the back corner. After sun set when they have all gone in for the night I lock them in first and then turn the light out. I think that all fowls need darkness for at least part of the day... don't they? As far as your none swimming duck, I've never heard of such a thing. If she hasn't had access to water all the time from day one maybe it will just take her longer to realize she is a duck and is suppose to be able to swim, it sounds like she thinks she is a chicken. Maybe you could start out with shallower water to where she can stand in it, encourage her to stand it in and when she is comfortable and getting in and out on her own then slowly start increasing the depth of the water? I really don't know anything about ducks, but that is what I would try if I was in that situation.
  3. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    I have all my ducklings brooded inside the house until they are old enough to go outside. Once they no longer need the light for heat- they are still in the house for anywhere between 1 and 4 weeks before going outside depending on the season. That way they can get used to being in the dark at night before they go outside to live. My adults live in a shed- I look them up just before it gets dark but because they get fed inside- and I like to go and check on them again later I do leave the light on for a while. They chatter for a few moments each night when I turn it off but they are well used to the routine now. They will go in and put themselves to bed in the dark if I am late coming out though as well.

    You may find over time that the older duck will learn about swimming form the younger two. I have had a few disabled ducks that were terrified of water at first due to their disabilities making them unstable in the water. I did actually have to get into a pool with one of them a few times before she really learnt to relax- but after that she loved to play in the water and was great at swimming even though she only had the use of one leg.
  4. hcppam

    hcppam Chillin' With My Peeps

    give the duck treats in the water, maybe put your hand under it feet in the water to let it know its not going to drown...a little comfort gose a long way. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  5. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

    Sep 4, 2009
    Post your question on the "Duck" section down toward the bottom of the Index page and I think you will get more help there.

    I do believe that all poultry need 'dark time' or they get a little whacked out about night and day and all. It is good to let them have down time (no pun intended) to fully rest. I wouldn't worry too much about them being out, maybe they are just more comfortable outside, mine are. It took a few days for my Calls and Laying ducks to go inside in their hutch, they stayed in the outside part for the first few days, then started finding comfort in the enclosed part.
    The Pekins only go in the house I built them when I put them there. Silly birds.

    As for the one with the phobia to swimming, I have no clue.
    Good luck finding the answers.

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