Discussion in 'Ducks' started by DrChickenKev, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. DrChickenKev

    DrChickenKev Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2011
    I have a 6 wk old Muscovy duckling, and I've been putting her outside for a couple hours during the day to get used to the other three hens and single drake

    When can I let her outside full time, bearing in mind that winter is now here.

    She is almost completely feathered with a bit of duckling down remaining on her head and some around her legs
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Size is part of the story, certainly.

    By the way - congratulations! Muscovies are lovely!

    A couple of other parts of the story are internal development and incorporation into the flock.

    How is it going with her and the adults? I would watch closely to see how each adult relates to her. I think she's a little young to fend for herself if someone decides to throw their weight around.

    I'm not a Muscovy expert, but I think that ducks get up to size externally first, then develop their internals for a while, finally maturing fully over several months. For that reason I was cautious about leaving my runners outdoors until they were three months old, and that was in the spring, when the weather was mild, and they went into autumn at closer to 7 or 8 months old.

    Ducks need energy to stay warm and energy to finish internal development. I would not want to risk slowing or impeding development by leaving them too cold too soon.

    Many ducklings do pretty well in chilly conditions with good dry shelter from wind and precipitation, but some don't. And ducks hide discomfort and illness, so watch closely.

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