Hey everyone! We are first time duck owners! A local 2nd grade school teacher has a farm of her own, and has done two different hatchings of ducklings as a part of her science unit to teach her students about life cycles and so on. She doesn't have the time or space to take care of these new ducklings, so she is giving them away to anyone who wants to take care of them and give them a safe and happy home. Unfortunately, only 1 duckling out of 8 hatched and survived. That duckling is ours, and will be coming home to us next Wednesday. We are so excited! We originally wanted 4, but will make do with this one and add a few more come spring.
When we thought we were getting 4, we were planning on setting up a space in our garage for them for the winter, heat lamp and all, for the winter and then purchasing or building a coop in the spring and housing them safely outside. Now that we are only getting one, we are thinking of keeping him inside through the winter. We were considering housing him in a large plastic tote, rabbit cage, or aquarium of some sort with no cover on it, so it would house him, his water, and his food, along with containing the mess of course, and seeming as we have 4 kiddos, he would get plenty of play time and socialization inside, and we wouldn't have to worry about him being okay in the garage through the cold months of winter, as we live in Vermont. I am prepared to change the bedding and what not daily, whether the duck is inside the house or in our garage. I am also concerned about the heat lamp being used in the garage where if, God forbid, a fire was to start from that, we wouldn't know until it was perhaps too late, where if he was inside the house, we would know immediately. I know that is probably me worrying too much, but a friend of ours just lost their home, their vehicle, and everything in it as a result of the use of a heat lamp outside in their chicken coop near their home, so it worries me.
Would a tote inside me okay for the one duck through the winter? Would he be able to jump out at all at any time before spring came or not really? Does anybody have any other suggestions or tips? We are new at this but want to be successful! Perhaps it is good that we only ended up with 1 right now, so by the time spring comes and we add a few more ducks to our property, we will be experts! ;) Oh, and by the way, we only have about 1 acre of land, a fairly sizable back and front yard but a good portion of our land is wooded and wetlands, so space is fairly limited as far as outside time. Oh, and can we take the duckling outside in the winter to waddle around a bit in the snow, or is that a no no?