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

mypoorducky

Chirping
Oct 7, 2021
64
76
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
3,291
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701
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.
 

ruthhope

Songster
Aug 16, 2021
267
591
186
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?
 

HollowOfWisps

Previously AstroDuck
Aug 28, 2020
1,563
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Iowa
Even with a mother duck to warm them wild ducklings often die.

https://www.ducks.org/conservation/waterfowl-research-science/duckling-survival

"It takes 50-70 days for ducklings to attain flight status, and survival during this period is highly variable, ranging from less than 10 percent to as high as 70 percent."

Your parents may think they have spent a lot of money on the ducklings, but keeping them will cost a lot more. And if they don't spend quite a bit more money you'll have no ducks anyway. I invested a couple hundred in my brooder set up. Several thousand to predator proof my coop/run. Every few weeks I buy more bedding, about $40. And every couple months more commercial food, about $60. Plus medical expenses, those costs are very real and add up into the tens of thousands. My ducks are pets and not livestock. But even livestock need appropriate food (not bread), shelter, and a brooder for ducklings.

I encourage you to use Nextdoor, Craigslist (do a home visit first), and post in your state thread here to rehome your ducklings and give them the best chance at a good life.
I agree 100%. My husband jokes about how I've spent more money on my ducks then dogs and he's not wrong. I've spent thousands on my ducks at our old house then we moved and I've had to shell out thousands more turning the new place and barn into a duck safe space.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Oct 3, 2009
119,355
143,474
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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. :(
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Oct 3, 2009
119,355
143,474
1,982
Mountains of Western N.C.
Sounds like you are writing a death sentence for your ducklings. Please try and convince your parents that for these duckling's health and well being they need to go to someone who can take care of them properly. Are they buying your ducklings proper feed? They are not old enough to be out in freezing temps. They may have put out a lot of money on these ducklings [how much] but that won't matter at all if they die from not being kept warm and safe and fed. Muscovy aren't tiny bantam ducks and doesn't sound like they will be kept where they can grow normally. Are you located in the USA I bet if your parents would agree we could help you find a good home for these ducklings.
 

HeatherKellyB

Stars can't shine without darkness
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2019
5,556
13,139
737
Moore County, NC
One thing you can mention to your parents is that in the wild, yes ducklings roam around in cooler temps and do as they please, but they have their mother with them at all times to oil their feathers, warm them when they're cold, help them find stuff to eat that's consumable, and to help protect them from predators somewhat. Since your ducklings don't have a duck mother, they're not capable of taking care of themselves, especially in the great outdoors. I wish you and your ducklings the very best
 

KaleIAm

Free Ranging
6 Years
Jul 13, 2015
3,291
9,684
701
Carnation, Wa
Even with a mother duck to warm them wild ducklings often die.

https://www.ducks.org/conservation/waterfowl-research-science/duckling-survival

"It takes 50-70 days for ducklings to attain flight status, and survival during this period is highly variable, ranging from less than 10 percent to as high as 70 percent."

Your parents may think they have spent a lot of money on the ducklings, but keeping them will cost a lot more. And if they don't spend quite a bit more money you'll have no ducks anyway. I invested a couple hundred in my brooder set up. Several thousand to predator proof my coop/run. Every few weeks I buy more bedding, about $40. And every couple months more commercial food, about $60. Plus medical expenses, those costs are very real and add up into the tens of thousands. My ducks are pets and not livestock. But even livestock need appropriate food (not bread), shelter, and a brooder for ducklings.

I encourage you to use Nextdoor, Craigslist (do a home visit first), and post in your state thread here to rehome your ducklings and give them the best chance at a good life.
 

Quatie

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Oct 16, 2020
2,548
12,319
461
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.
 

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