My winter Muscovy ducklings are amazing me.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jdywntr, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so surprised at these little guys. They hatched under mom on Dec 5. I have been so worried about them being able to stay warm enough. Here, the weather changes alot. For instance, yesterday was sunny and the high was about 35, today drizzling all day and its in the low 50s. We have had several freezes since they came.

    They are always outside. Yesterday, they were stretching out in the sun when it was about 34 out and they looked like those happy content very warm little babies I've had in a 80ish degree brooder! I don't know if its because they were incubated and born in the cold or if they may be getting feathers a little faster. Today, they have been out in the wet with mom quite a bit. I check on them often and never even see them shivering. At night, they have access to the brooder, which has a 250 watt red light. It stays about 20 degrees warmer in there than the outside temp. Most nights and mornings, they are just in the coop, waiting to come out. They only way I can force them to stay in is if I close the little door on the brooder or close the coop door.

    I was herding them into the brooder if it was drizzly or cold and they stay in for a minute but as soon as I'd turn around, out they were coming. Mom has yet to leave them but for a few minutes and they do go into the brooder on their own when they are chilly. Once in a while, I find them laying in there but its usually a few are in the brooder and the others are in the coop.

    Now, I would never advocate raising ducklings in this way without mom. I just can't believe they are doing so well. All 13 are thriving. They have been on a limited diet for about 1 week. I give them feed (starter now mixed with wheat) 3 times a day and they finish it (with a little left) in about 10 minutes, thats with mom eating too.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I really think that 'winter babies' both chicks and ducklings grow their feathers faster. I feel that winter molters tend to do the same thing. I'm stating this as just an impression not hard core fact. Has anyone else noticed that this happens?
     
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree. I had a few chickens that molted after the weather got colder. I felt so bad since they looked so naked. It took maybe 2 weeks for them to look fully feathered again. This compared to chickens, in particulr a silkie I used to have, in FL that took probably 2 months to completely regrow.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Great report on the ducklings! And it does seem my winter molters go through it pretty quickly.
     
  5. coonhoundmama87

    coonhoundmama87 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aww ive got 10 little ones that a sneaky mama decided to hatch. I decided to take them from her tho. Being in wisconsin i dont think they would have survived. Its been around 0 at night lately. Best of luck with your little ones!
     
  6. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congrats on your 10. Best of luck with yours too. I was a bit surprised when mine went broody at the end of October but I figured I'd see what happened. We've gotten into the teens overnight here but only a few times, usually in the low 20s.
     
  7. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm glad they are doing so well! I would never dare lol My ducks in general are doing ok, i still have some who are not so happy, others who are the opposite extreme and bathing in these temps. Er, pictures? i miss the fuzzies.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    oh yes pics [​IMG]
     
  9. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its a balmy 28 right now and overcast so they are in the coop. The sun is scheduled to pop out for an hour or two a little later. I'll try to get some pics then.
     
  10. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pics! They are 4 weeks old today. Its now 30 degrees out so I guess 2 degrees made a difference. LOL

    [​IMG]

    With mom, I can't believe how big they are getting.

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    They all look like they are going to be black barred. I hope they don't get as solid as their dad.
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    [​IMG]

    These are the 3 smallest with the least amount of feathering. If I have 3 girls and 10 boys, that will suit my purposes. :)
    [​IMG]
     

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