After the Brooder

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by DanceswLabs, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. DanceswLabs

    DanceswLabs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2010
    Wake County, NC
    OK, my adorable but piggy runner babies are outgrowing the brooder. I have 7 babies, and they are in a big horse trough as a brooder. However, it is too small to accomodate all the poop! I knew ducklings were messy, but words can't describe the reality. Anyway, I need to move them, and I am thinking of a rabbit hutch or something like that until they get bigger. I can still put a light in it to keep them warm as we are starting to have cold nights. What do some of you pros do with yours after they leave the brooder.

    BTW, I took the ducklings to visit my younger daughter's 5th grade class today. I was a little nervous because I always hear how flighty runners can be. They were great! They loved the kids who sat in a circle on the grass to meet them. I was really pleased to see how much they like people. I wish I had taken pictures, because it was a precious visit!
     
  2. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    How old are the ducklings? They may be fin in a shed with some warmth like an oil filled radiator.
     
  3. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    Jan 11, 2010
    Australia
    Two weeks old is a little young to be outside in cooler weather. In another week they will be starting to grow thicker down and the first feathers will be starting to poke through shortly after- once they are getting to that stage they would be better equipt to be outside. My two week olds huddle together at night- but not always under the light. Mine are inside the house though and we are heading into summer here. Seven is a large enough number that they wil help keep each other warm and they will need the heat source to be continued for a while yet- but ensuring they are in a draft free area is the most important thing until they are alot older.
     
  4. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    I didn't see the age listed, but I did kick mine out when they were 2.5 weeks old. Into the insulated duck house it was with an oil filled heater keeping it above 65 degrees. They did fine and loved being outside in the sun. Now winter temps are a different issue. I don't consider ducks fully winter feathered until they are 4 months old. They may have been feathered in, but they still have to get the downs and some fat onto their ribs.
     
  5. DanceswLabs

    DanceswLabs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2010
    Wake County, NC
    I was thinking I would bring them in at night for quite a while. And just let them be outside when the weather is warm enough. I was even thinking of running an extension cord to the hutch just in case they need it during the day. But I don't want to take a chance that they would get too cold. Maybe they just need an outdoor playpen for a while.
     
  6. Quote:That's pretty much what I did for my duckling hatches and it worked well. They got to be outside during their most active pooping times which cut way down on the brooder clean ups. I used a variety of different set ups outside, considering predator protection, too much sun, too much wind.

    After they were week old I didn't give them food 24/7 and after two weeks they didn't have water overnight either, that helped too. So depending on the outdoor temp they might get a meal in their brooder before they went out in the morning, and another indoor meal when they needed to come in.
    If it was still too cold outside and the group was outgrowing the brooder I would set another "brooder" (big clear plastic bins) next to the first one and divide them up. They could still hear and see each other.
    But having them outside during the warmer part of the day when they can get sun, fresh air, room to run a bit, and hopefully some greens to munch are so good for them. It also gives them the opportunity to "harden off" before they face the winter nights outside.
     

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