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Will they- or could they drown?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ChucktheChick, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. ChucktheChick

    ChucktheChick Songster

    Sep 24, 2012
    The coop
    I have 3 7 day old ducklings. I would like to give them a chance to swim in my bath tub, but I've heard that they will drown if they don't have their grown up feathers. Is this true? Can I let them swim?

  2. jdywntr

    jdywntr Songster

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    Yes, they can drown. Ducklings chill and tire easily and can drown in very little water. If wet, they can chill and die.

    They do not start to produce their own oil that waterproofs their feathers until they have them. If the mother was raising them, she would rub oil from her gland on her babies. IF you decide to let them swim care must be taken. Water should be lukewarm and they should only be given very short 5-10 minutes in the tub. They must then be thoroughly dried to prevent chilling.
  3. cymbaline

    cymbaline Songster

    Jan 31, 2012
    central WV
    That's about the time I start letting mine swim. I run just a few inches of pretty warm water, and they only stay in for a few minutes usually. Then they get towel-dried off and put back under the heat lamp for a while. They can get chilled easily because they don't have their waterproofing yet, so definitely don't leave them in there long.
  4. Take a flat bowl where they can easily get out by themselves. Ducklings prefer shallow water to deep water. I suppose that they feel safer there.

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