Ducklings in laundry room with backdoor access - is this a good idea??

mypoorducky

Chirping
Oct 7, 2021
59
55
81
Greetings all. After a few days of keeping them in the house, I've decided to move my ducklings downstairs to the bottom-most floor: the laundry room. I chose it because it was rather roomy, messes would be more acceptable, so my parents would stop complaining about their smell, and because it has a door leading to the backyard.

I've considered a few pros and cons of it:

Pros:
  1. More spacious, they've been living in a box all day on my mother's orders and I feel really horrible, so I've turned the box on its side and made it a sort of bed/dining room they can get in and out of.
  2. Would not have to clean up messes inside the house as much
  3. Has access to a backdoor, which I plan on keeping open during the day and closed during the night, allowing them to go outside much more, hopefully meaning happy duckies.
  4. They have constant access to food and water, which I will fill up every day.
Cons:
  1. Not as easy to supervise. I can't exactly check on them from a few floors up, so if they decide to go out during the day, I worry they might escape or get snatched by a predator or one of the neighborhood kids.
  2. Very noisy sometimes, you can hear everything going on in the upper floors from down there, and the laundry machines and water pumps and such are loud, which could be very stressful for the ducklings.
  3. Less human contact. I plan to visit them as much as reasonably possible, but the only other humans that they will most likely see is my unsuspecting neighbors and parents occasionally going down there to do their laundry.
  4. Relatively new environment for them. I hope they will get used to it over time, but for now they are both curious and very cautious.
Is this a good idea for the ducklings? I'd like to gradually give them more freedom over time, eventually letting them be totally free-range and outdoors, but I currently do not have all the resources I need for that, most crucially the lack of an outdoor shelter/coop, so I'd really like to know if what I'm doing is best for the ducklings with the resources I have available.
 

KaleIAm

Free Ranging
6 Years
Jul 13, 2015
3,209
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Carnation, Wa
They are about a week or two old, right? That feels much too young to me to have access to outside. Unfortunately predators view ducklings as a snack, even outside cats or loose dogs are a threat. At that age I would keep them in a brooder.

Ducklings can/often do taste everything so if you keep them in the laundry room I would recommend picking up all lint/strings/ect because these items, and anything that can fit into a duckling's mouth that isn't digestable, can cause fatal blockages. If the laundry room has wood or linoleum flooring you'll need to put down towels/puppy pads/wood shavings or some kind of not slippery bedding material for them.
 

mypoorducky

Chirping
Oct 7, 2021
59
55
81
They are about a week or two old, right? That feels much too young to me to have access to outside. Unfortunately predators view ducklings as a snack, even outside cats or loose dogs are a threat. At that age I would keep them in a brooder.

Ducklings can/often do taste everything so if you keep them in the laundry room I would recommend picking up all lint/strings/ect because these items, and anything that can fit into a duckling's mouth that isn't digestable, can cause fatal blockages. If the laundry room has wood or linoleum flooring you'll need to put down towels/puppy pads/wood shavings or some kind of not slippery bedding material for them.
They seem slightly older, not exactly sure but they are the size of my foot. Perhaps I will let them outside only from noon to the evening, meaning less time out but less likely to encounter a predator. In order to keep them from wandering around too much, I covered their plastic box's opening through leaning the lid on it, but with enough of an opening for them to go out if they so wish and to allow sufficient ventilation. It's seemed to keep them calm in the new environment. The laundry room floor seems to be concrete. I've definitely noticed them tasting a lot, but the room is relatively lint-free. So far, my main concern is them hopping on a comfy pile of laundry and then pooping in it, but I've taken care of it.
 

Quatie

Crowing
Oct 16, 2020
2,341
11,520
441
Northern California
Ducks cannot be on concrete. It will cause them to have bumblefoot. Bumblefoot is an infection of the foot that can effect their ability to walk, and in a worst case scenario, can potentially cause a systemic infection that will kill the bird. You will need to put a thick layer or straw or hay on the ground to prevent bumblefoot.

Also, if it is Muscovy ducks that you have, which seems to be the case, they will eventually fly and easily jump 4 ft or more in the air. I clip my Muscovy's wings so they can't fly, but they easily jump 4 ft.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Oct 3, 2009
118,397
141,143
1,982
Mountains of Western N.C.
From what you have said your ducklings will be wandering around outside possibly into your neighborhood without supervision? No way to protect themselves? Are you in the USA? Dogs, Cats, kids, and adults can be predators along with many flying birds. They will literally be sitting ducks. :(
 

ruthhope

Songster
Aug 16, 2021
112
234
126
I honestly think that the best action you can take for your ducks is to find them a new home. Ducks are social and need a safe environment and good nutrition -- provided by commercial duck food or modifications to flock feeder. They cannot survive just on the love of their owner without a safe environment and proper nutrition.

Ducklings need to be kept warm and in safe enclosure -- yours are way to young to be free ranging and it doesn't sound like your environment is safe for adult ducks to free range.

You will be devastated if one disappears or is injured or dies. It really is best to find your ducklings a new home -- maybe someone who raises ducks near you where you can go and visit your ducklings in the future. If you live near me, i would come and collect -- which city and state are you?
 

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