New to ducks and need some advice

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by 19trax95, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. 19trax95

    19trax95 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 20, 2016
    Hello all,

    I picked up 6 new pekin ducklings from tractor supply today. I originally only wanted 3 of them, but the state minimum is 6 so I got 6. But im glad I did since they definitely seem to like eachothers company alot.

    I have them in a huge rubbermaid tote right now inside with a heat lamp. The temp in the area i have the lamp aimed is about 95 degrees or so. They seem to sort of sit in the hottest area for w bit then go walk around tye rest of the bin for a bit then go back to the warm. I guess thats normal.

    I have water and food available for them and will make sure they never run out and their bin stays clean.

    And heres where my questions start. I did a whole bunch of reading last night but couldnt really find the answers specifically.

    1. Whats the right temp to keep them at? And when do/can i start to lower the temp until they no longer need the lamp?

    2. When should i expect them to be able to hadle outside temps regularly?

    3. How big of a enclosure should i make for 6 full grown ducks? I plan to keep them in there just at night and when we're not around to keep an eye on them.

    Thank you for any info.
  2. Virus

    Virus Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2015
    I don't know the temp and I've never really measured the temp of my brooders, I just watch them and see how they act with the light at different heights and yes they are behaving correctly. They stop needing heat around two weeks but they may be fine earlier than that since you have six, I usually raise one or two at a time so they need heat longer. You can take them outside and sit with them for a like an hour now, ducklings like being able to play outside and this helps them not be so scared when you put them outside to stay. They should be pretty much feathered out by around four weeks so I usually put them in a big tub on my back porch so they can get used to outside temp full time and be safe. Around six weeks is when I put them in their run to stay and show them their coop. I have five in a 10ft by 6ft run and they have more space then they know what to do with so it probably doesn't need to be quite that big but still pretty big.
  3. 19trax95

    19trax95 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 20, 2016
    I'm not exactly sure how old they are. Tractor supply girl didn't know either. But they are fully feathered and I think I have more females than males since I've heard a few of them make somewhat chirp/quack sounds. Here's a picture of them in their bin [​IMG]
  4. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    A few things...

    1 - you need a bigger tub. What you have is fine as a temp space, but they need something bigger. Left like that, the water and food are going to be a big smelly mess and they just don't have enough space to be ducklings. They really can't get away from the heat in something that small.
    2 - they aren't feathered at all. They have baby fluff.
    3 - it is common to start ducklings at 90-95 in the brooder for the first week and decrease by 5 degrees or so a week. If they huddle under the light, you might want to make it warmer, if they as far away as they can get and seem to be panting, you need to make it cooler.
    4 - you can take them outside on trips - how long at a time will depend on your weather
    5 - general guide is about 4sq ft of space per duck in their overnight house

    They are last weeks hatch, so about a week old.
    At that age, you won't know about gender. Not until you hear quacks and that doesn't usually happen until they are 5-6 weeks or so - sometimes earlier, sometimes longer.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  5. 19trax95

    19trax95 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 20, 2016
    Yeah this is temporary until I build a larger pen for them.

    I have a decent spot picked out that if I use the entire space, could be about 20 feet long and 10 feet wide and as tall as I want.

    Right now the temp stays steady at around 95 degrees in the area the light is aimed. They seem to gather under the light for a little while then walk around and eat/drink then go under the light and repeat. I haven't seen them huddle together much except for when I reach In there to give fresh water and food then they huddle in a corner away from me. But otherwise they kind of spread out under the light.

    I will start on a larger temporary spot for them tomorrow and then plan on the permanent outdoor structure.

    So once they get their white feather is when they are considered feathered then? And that's when they don't need the heat anymore?
  6. 19trax95

    19trax95 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 20, 2016
    I planned out their new temporary house until they can be outside. I planned it out as a 6 foot by 6 foot pen that's about 18 inches tall. This will go in the garage which is somewhat heated to at least 60 degrees. Then I'll but another heat lamp. To put in there and have it so one side has the lamps and the other doesn't so they have plenty of room to move away from the heat if they want.

    Also, at this stage, can I give them a bath? I was thinking to put some water in the bath tub and let them walk around in it to clean them up a bit then gently dry them off and let them warm up under their lamp again.

    One of them pooped on top of the other last night and I kind of took some wet paper towels and cleaned that guy up, but a bath would be best I think, if they can handle it.

    I know time is important to keep track of and obviously they'd be supervised the entire time.
  7. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2015
    Peyton, CO
    Your garage setup sounds good. Their behavior now in their little tub sounds like they are fine with current conditions. But like TLWR said, the tub they are in now won't last long. They're going to be cramped within a week so I'd get the new pen setup asap.

    Yes, you can give them a bath. You can fill the tub up enough for them to paddle. They will love it if it is deep enough to dive. Make sure the water is warm but not hot. Let them swim for about 10-15 minutes. If they look like they are getting tired take them out right away. Towel them off and put them back under the lamp to warm back up.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  8. 19trax95

    19trax95 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 20, 2016
    Well the bath went great for them. They seemed a little freaked out at first but then after I got all of them in there they calmed down and started to paddle and play around. I couldn't find my stopper for the bath tub so filled the sink a little bit. I only kept them in for about 5 minutes just to be cautious. They are currently cleaning themselves under the heat light.
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Never walk away when you have them in the sink even for a second. Jumping out and hitting the floor could be heartbreaking. I have never brooded my ducklings at 95 that is for chicks they are probably going to get very warm. especially with 6 in there try to bring the temp down to between 85-90. Over heated can be just as bad as chilling.
    They sure are cute.

    Welcome to BYC @19trax95
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  10. 19trax95

    19trax95 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 20, 2016
    Oh yeah I was worried about them getting out so I stood there the whole time. I will raise the lamp a bit to get that temp down to around 85 or so. Or maybe I'll go grab a lesser wattage bulb. I have a 250 now. Maybe a 100 or 150 would work better to achieve that temp.

    I plan on starting that garage pen for them tomorrow so soon they will have lots of room to play. At least until they grow some more haha

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