New to ducks...have ?'s


Constant State of Confusion
10 Years
May 15, 2010
Friday I purchased two ducks, 1 Welsh Harlequin and 1 Khaki Campbell. They are in a brooder all by themselves because the hatchery said to keep them seperate from my little chicks. I change their water 3 times a day and they seem to be happy. I let my kids get them out and love on them while I change their water. They are covered with down and have no feathers yet. How long does it take for the ducks to get their feathers? The hatchery said I could not put them outside or let them get wet until they get their feathers at least on their bodies. This is a new adventure for me and any information would be appreciated. I have NO idea what gender they are. I know nothing really about their species. Do these two get along? Can they cross breed if they turn out to be a drake and a hen? Thanks in advance.


the bird is the word
11 Years
Sep 14, 2008
Adair Co., KY
You can let them get wet, you just can't let them 'swim'. As long as they are able to stand up in the water they'll be fine. I put my 1 week olds (sometimes they are more like 3-4 day olds) in the bathtub while I clean their brooders out, and haven't lost any. Just be sure that their brooder is dry and draft-free when you put them back in, and that the water is on the warm side.

They start getting their feathers about 2 weeks, usually on the tails. The temperature of their brooder helps determine how fast their feathers come in. With the heat we are having now, my 4 week old pekin is still mostly fuzz, but I've had some that went outside in March at 3 weeks, and were fully feathered at 4 weeks

They don't need heat as much as chicks do, I'm sure you could put them outside very early. My pekin comes in at night, only because we have a predator problem. I had 5, now I have 1
so he comes in to be safe. Before the predator problem I had week old babies staying outside all day and night, and they even had a bathtub.

ETA: Usually by 3 weeks old I've taken any heat source away from baby ducks that were inside. I have 3 less-than-a-week-olds inside now that pant in the brooder. They are with some baby chicks though, so I have to keep the light on for the chicks. That will change shortly, just need to clean the big brooder out so I can put the chicks, quail, guineas, and 1 turkey in the big brooder, and the ducks in the little one with no light
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