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Advice re moving ducklings outside

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Jen1979, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. Jen1979

    Jen1979 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi
    We have 4 runner ducklings, they are 6 weeks old today. They are almost fully feathered (small part on their backs still looks like it has baby feathers, it's still a bit fluffy). We have been raising them in a bathroom shower until they're old enough to go to their outdoor enclosure.

    They're now quite big and really look a bit cramped and uncomfortable where they are. I take them out for a bath twice a day but otherwise they are in there all day while I'm at work and all night.

    Question is: do you think it would be ok for them to go outside full time at this stage? A few of the nights are still getting down to 6 degrees (Celsius) that's about 42 degrees Fahrenheit. I wanted to start taking them out in the day and bringing them in at night for a while but my husband works away and goes back to work for 2 weeks early Tuesday morning. I can't carry the ducks on my own.

    So, what's the better option? Keep them in the shower for the next 2 weeks until they're 8 weeks old, or put them outside in the weather? They have a dog kennel with straw and an undercover section in their pen but I don't know if it would still be too cold for them.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    That's about 20 degrees F lower than recommended - - - I can see your concern. Our runners stayed in the house for three months, but we had more room than a tub. Of course, we had eleven runners, too.

    My biggest concern aside from the temperatures is predator safety. Do you have half inch wire mesh on the house? Can you write more about the security of the pen and duck shelter?
     
  3. Jen1979

    Jen1979 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks Amiga
    The only predators we have here are foxes. We have chickens as well and we've never had a fix in our yard. We have 8ft asbestos fencing the whole way around our property and the duck yard is enclosed with 1/2 inch mesh wire.. Do you think that would be ok? We don't have raccoons or anything here
     
  4. mightymax

    mightymax Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there. Exactly what do you mean when you say the duck yard is enclosed with 1/2 inch mesh wire? Are you referring to hardware cloth? (that's really not cloth at all, but is a sturdy fencing material) Or are you referring to something more along the lines of chicken wire? (wire that is not as strong and is thinner, or a smaller gauge, wire than hardware cloth) Sorry if I sound like a duffus, but I just want to make sure we're on the same page here. Also, you say it's enclosed...meaning it has a top on it?
     
  5. Jen1979

    Jen1979 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh sorry, I mean like chicken wire but smaller holes. It's not enclosed on the top, just 8ft walls
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Southern New England
    For our night shelter (before moving them into a pen we made in the walkout basement) I had half inch metal hardware cloth on the porch area, top, bottom and sides. That is securely attached to a wooden box house, with all ventilation openings covered in the hardware cloth.

    The Day Pen has 2"x3" coated woven wire top and sides, with coated chain link underneath, attached at the sides - the perimeter - to prevent anything large from digging under and in. The woven wire is also now covered in 3/4 inch chicken wire to keep slightly smaller visitors out.

    We have foxes, too, and raptors, bobcats, fishers, coyotes, stray dogs (the most trouble).
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  7. Jen1979

    Jen1979 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks Amiga, that's so helpful, we'll get some more security stuff today.

    Luckily for us we don't have an issue with stray dogs, our yard is secure from them and we have our own large dogs to keep them out :) I have once had an insanely large feral cat in our chicken yard though, in the middle of the day too! Chased it off and I've never seen it again thank goodness! The council set some traps for it because they suspected it had been attacking some of the wild kangaroos
     

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