Adult Feathers Are In, can they go outside for the day?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by FunnyBunnies12, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. FunnyBunnies12

    FunnyBunnies12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I know many say not to have the ducklings go outside until late January, early February, but all the ducklings who are 8 & soon to be 6wks old have all their adults feathers. Can I start letting them outside on our deck for a few hours if the temps aren't to terribly cold since they have their adult feathers in?? I would not have them outside in extreme conditions, which will be in the next 24-48hrs. We are due for a monster of a snow storm. But other then that, when weather permits can I do that? And when should I claim it "safe" to put them with mom and dad? I will be putting them side/side in cages at night so they can get use to each other. But if they shouldn't or can't be outside even with adult feathers, why is that??
  2. gofasterstripe

    gofasterstripe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Let them out. A bit of fresh air never hurt anyone. Oh...and take lots of photos. [​IMG]
  3. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    They don't have down feathers or winter fat reserves yet. It's ok to let them out for a little bit, but not all day. Watch their behavior and look for signs of being cold. They cannot fend for themselves yet, so you have to watch out for the father. See how it goes. Best to wait until they are 12 weeks old, before you have them deal with daddy. At 12 weeks they will have some downs and some fat reserves. That is when they can be out a little bit more.
  4. roocrazy

    roocrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2009
  5. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    I went back to your post with photos from the other day just to remind myself of how big your guys are already. They really arent " ducklings" anymore are they? - Fully feathered but still with some growing and filling out to do. I had my own last winter here inside until 8 weeks old - And will not be hatching so many over winter next year. At 8 weeks old they were moved permanently outside-It does get down to freezing point here at times - but we dont have the extreme weather conditions you would. They were in a shed day and night for 2 further weeks before going outside during the day when I was home so I could monitor how they were coping- and didnt have extra heat provided.

    Day time for a few hours in a warmer sheltered area on your deck as you said in your post - and not out in the snow is what I would suggest. Especially not in a " monster of a snow storm". Having so many that size inside is ALOT of work- and they will enjoy being outside despite the cold. Being that there is a large group of them- they will huddle together if cold- so you will know if its too much and need to bring them inside. One or two of that age- and I would say leave them inside longer- But its really incredible how much warmth they can actually generate in a larger group.

    Providing a wind break on your deck would help too. While its calm their feathers are all in place insulating them- they chill faster on windy days as it blows their feathers around letting the cold air in closer to their bodies.

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