At what age do they go outside?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Nana Allred, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. Nana Allred

    Nana Allred Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 28, 2010
    I have three 6-week old ducklings that I'm ready to have outside full time. I'm in the Salt Lake City area of Utah. Today the high was around 60 and they were in their dog kennel all day without any heat source. Tonight the low will be around 45. Is this too cold? Later in the week it's supposed to be high 45 and low 35.

    What do you think?

    And here they are playing on the grass today so you can see how feathered they are.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  2. leah_c

    leah_c Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    I've been wondering the same thing but mine are 3weeks old.
  3. Hornetkc5

    Hornetkc5 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 1, 2009
    Mine are 7 weeks old and they go out all day in a pen when I am home. Our temp is 70. As a first time duck owner I hope its ok! Mine beg to swim trying to get to our 2 acre pond but we won't let them just yet they have to enjoy their pool in the pen!
  4. Eroc1_1

    Eroc1_1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2011
    Mine have been outside the last week or so and they are about 6 weeks old and are about 70% feathered . They have a heat lamp in their duck house. But I think they prefer to be outside even if the temps are around 55 during the day.
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I totally get wanting them to go outside! They are SO gross.

    I don't think they are ready for 40-degree temps. HOWEVER, you can still get them outside if you have a protected area for them. Put a heat lamp in a doghouse or similar and stick it in their enclosure. I have done this with 4-week-old babies in cool temps, and they do fine. Your biggest worry is them getting wet AND cold at night, so make sure the doghouse is large enough for all of them to get in together. Also, check on them regularly the first night to make sure they're sharing--sometimes a few ducks will hog the doghouse and the others will get chilly outside.

    Do be careful to protect your electric cords from the weather (rain especially), and not to let the heat be anywhere near the straw (put only a thin layer of straw in the doghouse, and hang the lamp securely from the highest point possible, leaving as much headroom as possible.

    This has worked for me with multiple batches of older babies. With younger babies, I send them outside to wire-bottomed brooders as early as a couple of days. I do line the bottom with insulating material (a thick layer of straw, sometimes on top of or under a warm towel) at night (leaving the area around the waterer open-bottomed so the bedding doesn't get wet), and put the heat source in a protected corner so they can get good and warm during the night. I do NOT do this if it's going to be freezing weather, but 40s seems to work fine. I do make sure the heat lamp is hot enough--a 40 watt may not be enough. I also usually have TWO lamps out there because if one burns out I could easily wake up to dead ducklings. I had a batch of quail almost die one night because although the lamp was on, the bulb was a 40-watt and not low enough (I thought it was 100, but didn't actually check before leaving them for the night). In the morning, they were in a pile up against the wire that contained the heat lamp, and all of them fluffed and miserable with cold. I felt SO bad!

    Anyway, experiment with it. You may be up in the middle of the night a few times the first couple nights, but it's worth it if you can get the stink bombs out of your house!
  6. maralynn28

    maralynn28 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2010
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Quote:Great advice!!!! I plan on doing this in...counting down the days...14days when mine are 6 wks. Hopefully, weather warms up a bit plus they'll have each other and "mama" duck to snuggle up to. They're taking a shine to her already! yay!
  7. leah_c

    leah_c Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    Mine will go back in with the 5week old chicks at night. They are all outside in our run in a water tank. There is a heat lamp in there for them and I also have chicken wire along with a board at a slant to try and keep the draft (wind off of them). Kinda hard to explain but think they're doing okay. Can't wait for at least one more week when the weather will hopefully be warm enough in the evenings here to get rid of the lamp!!

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