Two week old Pekin Ducklings

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Deerling, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. Deerling

    Deerling Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2013
    King County, WA
    I've been searching for this information and haven't really found what I needed, but if anyone would like to point me in the right direction I can research the answers for myself. I would love to hear what people with more experience with ducks are thinking, too, though!

    So we have two Pekin ducklings who turned two weeks on Sunday. We currently have them in a little plastic kiddie pool with wire around it in our office. They have a 100 watt bulb, but they never lay under it and I just started turning if off during most of the day, as it's been in the high 60's here and the office stays really warm. We have been using pine shavings as bedding and they have a small food bowl (Purina Unmedicated food with Brewers Yeast sprinkled on top) and chick grit bowl, and a waterer which I have up on a brick with a pie pan under it. They also have a little plastic hut they like to sleep in. We usually let them swim around in the bathtub and catch little pieces of leafy greens that we throw in there once a day. So that's our setup.

    The problem is they are sooooo filthy! I have to completely clean out their bedding twice a day, really. I put them out on the front porch for a while yesterday and they loved it, but it's very hard to move the whole set up back and forth. So I guess my question is, at what point can they transition to outside? It's still pretty cold here at night, mid 30's, so I imagine they'd have to come back in at night. But could they be outside during the day? In the garden, which is fenced (and just weeds [​IMG]) or would they need to be in a brooder with a light, since it's only in the 60's?

    What have you all done as far as brooding ducklings and transitioning them to outside?

    We wanted to get a few more ducks to avoid heartbreak if one of these died and the other was left alone, but I just don't think I can handle anymore of these smelly, pooping machines! They're wonderful, but [​IMG] I need a break.
     
  2. Deerling

    Deerling Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2013
    King County, WA
    I found this on the Metzer Farms site:
    http://www.metzerfarms.com/RearingInstructions.cfm?CustID=1368505

    I'm just posting it here in case anyone else finds this and is curious. Would still love to hear anybody's ideas or input :)

    "Poultry (and especially waterfowl) grow very fast. Make sure you enlarge their pen as they grow and add clean bedding as necessary. Typically it is better to add clean bedding on top of the old bedding instead of removing the soiled bedding every day. Clean it out once the birds are moved to a new pen. The bedding can be removed from their permanent pen every several months.

    Typically the temperature can be dropped about 5 degrees a week and turned off during the day by 2-3 weeks and turned off completely by 3-5 weeks in cooler weather. If you are raising them in a warm climate, they may not need extra heat after a week or two. You will just have to observe them. As they grow and add weight you can allow them to venture outdoors for brief periods during the day. Once they are fully feathered they can stay outside all the time (7-9 weeks) though they should still have some shelter from the sun and heavy rains.

    Waterfowl can also be very messy with their water. For them it is best to make a wire platform on which the waterer sits. For babies it can be 1/2" hardware cloth and for adults it can be 1" welded wire nailed on to wood cross pieces. This can be placed over a pan for the babies or over a pit in the ground for the adults. The platform should be large enough to extend at least 6" out from the edge of the waterer for the babies and 30" for the adults. With this platform, any spilled water goes through the wire and out of reach. They cannot track it back to the bedding or make a mud puddle with it. Their drinking water stays cleaner, too. All of our birds (from babies to adults) have some sort of wire or plastic platform under their waters to keep their pen or pasture drier.

    Ducklings and goslings can be introduced to swimming water as early as one week of age but you must be very careful. They must be able to walk in and out of the water very easily. The water should not be too cold and they must be able to find their heat lamp for rewarming without difficulty. As they have no oil on their feathers at this age, they cannot be in the water for long periods or they will become waterlogged and chilled. Do not allow this to happen! But this exposure to water speeds the development of their oil gland and they can probably be swimming freely by five or six weeks of age."
     
  3. Jmanvanatta

    Jmanvanatta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2012
    Cool im getting some soon! cant wait for my smelly poopy machines!
     

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