At what Age can ducks go outdoors to freezing weather?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Jacob Duckman, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. Jacob Duckman

    Jacob Duckman Out Of The Brooder

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    This question has been asked before but never truly answered.

    I have two 4-week-old ducklings that have outgrown every container I have including the kiddie pool and changing the litter daily is getting to be a huge mess. If this was summertime, I would let them outside at this time (fenced yard, with a duck coop (20watt heater, no door on entrance)

    The problem is, in this part of PA the lows are in the 30's right now and likely to dip to 20's in a couple of weeks. WHEN can I safely let my ducks outside? Am I safe to do it at 5 weeks? 6 or 7 weeks? even longer than that?

    I am looking for answers from other cold-climate duck people. any little bit of info helps. thanks! (the ducks are Rouen/crested)
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  2. Bills vs Beaks

    Bills vs Beaks Overrun With Chickens

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    When they are fully feathered. Not when they lose all the baby fluff, because then they will molt right after. After they molt, then you can put them out in freezing weather.
    If you have to put them out now, I recommend a good heat lamp. Or two. And no swimming outside. Dont want them to freeze because the water goes right to the skin with the baby fluff
    I live next to you guys, NJ.[​IMG] Weve been freezing our butts off the last couple days.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  3. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agreed. But you also need to make sure you acclimate them to the outside temperatures slowly. They can't go from 72 degrees inside the house to 20 degrees outside in one step. If you can, put them in a place in your house where you can control the heat and slowly reduce to none. This should also help them grow feathers faster. Periods outside when it's a little warmer is good too.
     
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  4. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    You can start by putting them outside during the day....I have raised Duckling for three years...Ducklings are tough....As long as they have straw to huddle up into, they will be fine.....That down they have will keep them warm...Provide a wind break....You have a heat lamp so they will not freeze to death....If you can? Lock them into the Duck house at night with straw, no food and water till morning.....As soon as Ducklings start swimming the oil gland works and the feathers /down become water proof......

    I have a covered run with a tarp on the top....Keeps out rain/snow......As long as you keep the weather off of them, so they stay dry....They are fine in cold weather....


    Have no worries.....


    Cheers!
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Jacob Duckman

    Jacob Duckman Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! I'm saving up for an automatic coop door off ebay. Hopefully that will help.

    I'm curious, how cold do the nights get by you?
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    You will be wasting money on the Door for Ducks.....They usually stay out until put inside.....Not like Chickens that go into roost at night......

    Winter here is COLD!!!!
    We can get as cold as -32 celsius.....Normal though is around -15.....The worst is Windchill......Right now it is -4 celsius with a Windchill of -8.....


    Cheers!
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an automatic door for my coop that can be either set to sensor, timer, or manual. I have it set to manual at night. I herd the ducks in and then close it. It is set for sensor in the morning so it opens as soon as it is light enough outside. I love having it because it means I don't have to go out at 5:30 in the morning during the summer to let them out and they don't have to stay cooped up because I'm not a morning person. They get to be in the enclosed run with food and water until I come let them out later. It is well worth the money I spent for it.
     
    2 people like this.
  8. duckitup

    duckitup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I want one! Will have to look this coop door up! For mornings this would be fantastic.
     
  9. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is called the Chickenguard. The other bonus is you don't have to mess with changing the timer as the daylight hours change throughout the seasons. I ended up ordering mine online from a company in England. I think it was the manufacturer's site actually. It was pricey but worth every penny to me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
    2 people like this.
  10. Jacob Duckman

    Jacob Duckman Out Of The Brooder

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    Brutally cold!!

    I noticed that as long as I turn all the lights off outside and just leave the coop light on, they will go in, but sometimes an hour or two after sundown... I was thinking to get a door and set a time for later at night.. don't know how useful it will be as some predators get active around those times
     

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