It was an astonishingly wonderful sight when the mother duck was found standing and showing her young how to fly. The mother duck went, followed by her young, walking in line with all passion, then she stood raising her wings and flapping them until she took off for a distance in front of the children.
They were looking at her staring with passion and enthusiasm. The funny thing is that some ducklings were imitating their mother and trying to fly, but he was falling in a funny way.
Only a few days have passed and this duckling has managed to fly like its mother! Then, after that, the little ones flew day after day until they were all able to fly.
Ducks fly, but their abilities vary from limited to professional. Some ducks can fly great distances and others can hardly fly. Most of the domesticated species that we raise on our farms do not fly well, some of them start flying early, and some of them fly late.
The age at which it flies is affected by factors including duck breed, wing structure, weight, and living conditions. Let’s get to know the age at which ducks start flying and the most important factors that affect how soon they start flying.
What Age Can Ducks Fly?
Ducks begin to fly from the age of 6 to 8 weeks. At this age, the duck’s body is ready to fly, as its feathers are complete. They try to fly and try their ability to jump and stay in the air. Once the ducklings are confident of flying, they leave their mothers and become independent.
The flight age differs between the types of ducks because there are many differences between the different types of ducks. Let’s take a look at the most important factors affecting duck flight.
Factors That Affect Duck Flying
Here are 5 factors that we think have the highest impact on duck flying:
Ducks include domesticated species that we raise in our farms, and wild ducks that go out into nature with other wild creatures. Most wild breeds are strong flyers and travel hundreds of miles in the sky when migrating from colder to warmer climates.
Wild ducks are much superior to their domesticated counterparts in flying, as their body is lighter, which makes them start flying after a young age, as wild ducks fly when they are only 35 to 45 days old! Equivalent to five and six weeks.
While domesticated backyard ducks are delayed in flying because their bodies are designed for weight-bearing and fattening, they are also put on an intensive fattening diet, so they grow incredibly fast and get heavy in no time.
Therefore, they are late in flying, and even when they fly, they do not show high flying skills, but rather their abilities are limited to gliding and jumping for limited distances in the air. They are happy to run and sway as they love to swim very much.
With some reasonable abilities to fly, this will be very sufficient for them. They usually live a safe, luxurious life in which they do not have to fly to escape from a predator or search for food or a warm shelter.
The structure of a duck’s wing affects its ability to fly and when it will be able to take off. Ducks that have long and strong wings quickly find their way to flight, as the wing is able to lift the duck and balance its body in the air. While ducks that have small wings may take some time to fly and eventually have limited ability to fly.
For example, Indian runners have very small wings so they can hardly fly but stand upright like a penguin. But they move by walking or running and swimming and they can spend hours swimming continuously.
Even in domesticated duck breeds, lighter ducks tend to fly younger than heavier ducks. Whenever a duck replaces a large mass of muscle, it will hinder its ability to fly.
For example, Pekin ducks, although they have strong wings that allow them to fly and have hollow bones, are unlikely to fly as younger as other ducks, but rather they may not have the ability to fly, and even if they fly, at best their ability to fly is very limited.
Lack Of Food
Some may wonder about this reason at first. Where it is logical that the presence of adequate food and nutrition is one of the factors that help ducks to grow and fly quickly. This is what actually happens as the abundance of food helps the body and feathers to grow better.
However, if a duck lives in a place where food is not sufficiently available, this will make it do its best and go all the way in search of food. So this may lead to the development of its motor skills at a young age.
It tries to jump to climb up in search of any food. It also tries to fly to overcome any barriers separating it from a food source.
Therefore, you must make sure that your ducks have enough food and water so that the ducks do not run away, as the deprived ducks may try to fly in search of food anywhere and may get lost.
Ducks are social creatures and always like to blend in with their flocks in everything.
If you see any video of any ducks, you will always find them walking in a row behind their leader, but rather they imitate and do the same as each other in everything. If one of the ducks goes down to swim, the remaining ducks will follow.
Therefore, the upbringing of ducks in social conditions in which ducks fly will be a great factor for young ducks to imitate this behavior early.
Ducks raised also with their mother will also be able to acquire the skill of flying. The mother is the one who teaches her young ducks, where she takes them and flaps her wings in front of them, and sets off until she tells them what they have to do in order for them to fly.
If the area is not safe and your ducks are threatened by predators like foxes, dogs, or other predators, they may try to fly from an early age.
Although they may not be able to and indeed they will not be able to get very far, the repeated attacks of predators will make them do their best to escape from it in any way so they will try to fly to protect themselves.
In general, we should not leave the domesticated ducks that we raise in our barns in such situations until they learn to fly. We are responsible for it and we must protect it and not endanger it. Especially since it does not make much difference to us if our ducks fly or not.
In the end, we work hard to raise them well to get eggs or meat or to keep them as pets.