when will my duckling get feathers?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by cmfarm, May 19, 2011.

  1. cmfarm

    cmfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 2 1/2 week old duckling that still doesn't have any feathers. When will it get some?
     
  2. misscrazy24

    misscrazy24 Out Of The Brooder

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    what do u mean feathers? Is it bald? Or still fuzzy?

    They should have some tail ones coming in - and I read somewhere about 4 months [​IMG]
     
  3. cmfarm

    cmfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It just has baby fuzz.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    With my runners, tail feathers started at about two weeks. They just looked like little pieces of straw on their tails. At four weeks, they still had a bunch of fluff, but their bellies had feathers.

    At about ten weeks or so they were fully feathered, then they had their first molt not long after that (if I recall correctly).
     
  5. julie75

    julie75 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mine were almost completly feathered between 6-8 weeks. Then at around 10-12 weeks they will start molting and getting in their adult feathers. Usually they will start getting their tail feathers and their chest/stomach feathers in first. If you rub down their chest you can usually feel them when they start coming in. Hope that makes sense to you.
     
  6. cmfarm

    cmfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:From what you describe I think it is starting to get tail feathers. I wish it would hurry up so it could go outside. Can it stand 70 degree night temps. yet with no feathers?
     
  7. DurhamDuck

    DurhamDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At about 3 weeks my ducklings all started showing tail feathers first.
     
  8. gofasterstripe

    gofasterstripe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:From what you describe I think it is starting to get tail feathers. I wish it would hurry up so it could go outside. Can it stand 70 degree night temps. yet with no feathers?

    Does it have anone else to keep it company on a cold night or is it a lone duckling. It amazes me that everyone is wishing their ducks would hurry up and grow to kick them outside...me, I wish I could keep them in longer than I do.
     
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  9. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In summer, I put ducklings outdoors as soon as they are two days old. They go in a wire-bottomed brooder to control water mess and stench. Half the wire is covered with straw to protect their feet and insulate against cold drafts. The other half is left open and that's where their water goes. In the half with straw, there are TWO 40-watt heat lamps, lowered enough to keep it very cozy at night. This works just fine for me. If your nights are only getting to 70 degrees, that's as warm as many peoples's houses. Just make sure they have supplemental heat, and I suggest TWO lamps in case one burns out--you won't be close to hear them peeping in alarm when they get cold, so make sure you have back-up. Also make sure, whatever arrangement you have, that they can't spill their water into the bedding to the point that it gets soaked and chills them that way. Again, since you won't be nearby to hear them if they are making alarm calls, it's important to be extra careful in these regards.

    And, of course, make sure you locate and defend them against predators, which are many, even in urban and suburban areas (raccoons are particularly dangerous to little ones--they are strong, smart, dexterous, and hungry. They will open latches, tear chicken wire, and climb through small spaces for a scrumptious duckling dinner. They can also pull body parts through relatively small gauge openings and eat them alive. True story, too gruesome to detail here. Make sure wire openings are 1/2" or less, and latches are either locked with key or combo, or require a fair amount of strength to open). Our wire-bottomed brooders have chicken wire installed about eight inches BELOW the hardware wire mesh, to prevent a raccoon from easily grabbing a toe through the mesh (this happened to a quail once--tore its leg off). The extra layer of wire may be overkill, but it's peace of mind for us. I solid-material tray installed below the mesh would have the same effect.

    Good luck. I understand why people like to keep them indoors, but I am one of those who likes the smell and mess to be OUTDOORS (and a wire-bottomed brooder is just easier to clean!). So I get it completely. [​IMG]
     
  10. cmfarm

    cmfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:You hit the nail on the head. I keep the duckling (he is the only one) with some chicks. He/she is starting to really make a mess with the water and it makes it smell much faster (not to mention the wet bedding). I have a cage brooder that is well protected that has some 7 week old welsummer chicks so they can help keep him/her warm. Last night it was a warm and humid 75 so I think he/she will be alright with the older feathered chicks.
     

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