ducklings: integrating flock, cold weather, adjusting them to cold weather

emmad783

Chirping
Oct 4, 2018
41
63
69
starting to plan for winter, I have 4 6 month old Pekins, 6 6 week old blue swedish... I have been reading 12-16 weeks for outside (permanently) for the young babies, how do I go about getting them outside with temps dropping??! I read they can’t handle more than 20* changes, if it’s 60f in the house but 35f outside what then?! are they house ducks until spring?! I’m new to ducks, my first winter... they have water in the house with a heater bucket for water !! do I also tarp the entire run??? it’s huge ‍♀️ starting to feel very overwhelmed!! help
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
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What are your temps outside and have the 6 weeks old Swedish been out at all? You do have your 6 month olds out already right have they met the 6 week olds yet. You'll need to do some meeting with both ages and get them use to each other during the day when tempos aren't so frigid if your already experiencing them. But 6 week old already feathered in ducks can be outside you just don't want to toss them into a pen and house with 6 month old Pekins and expect love at first sight.
 

SniperGoose

Crowing
Apr 15, 2018
302
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Central Pennsylvania
Like Miss Lydia stated, you would need to slowly introduce your 6 week olds to the older ducks before putting them all in together. As for getting them used to the colder temps, maybe give them a little supervised playtime outside during the day so they can adjust. Then gradually increase the time they spend outside over time. It is recommended that you do tarp the place you are keeping the ducks. If they stay in a coop at night, you could just tarp up the coop. That's what I do with mine. However if it's just a run with nothing for them to get into for the night, then yes you would probably be best tarping the entire thing to block out snow and wind. Also remember to add lots of straw for them! It helps them stay warmer. I understand how this can be overwhelming, but once you get this down, it won't be so bad!
 

emmad783

Chirping
Oct 4, 2018
41
63
69
What are your temps outside and have the 6 weeks old Swedish been out at all? You do have your 6 month olds out already right have they met the 6 week olds yet. You'll need to do some meeting with both ages and get them use to each other during the day when tempos aren't so frigid if your already experiencing them. But 6 week old already feathered in ducks can be outside you just don't want to toss them into a pen and house with 6 month old Pekins and expect love at first sight.

I'm in New England, so we have summer one day and winter the next, then fall, then winter... it's anyone's guess whats happening for the day!
I have not introduced them to their older siblings yet, I was waiting for them to be closer to being outside permanently so they won't forget each other.
The babies have been outside, we had a few nice days for a few weeks so they spent 3-4 hours when I was home outside.
The meet and greets will probably need to happen in the evening or on the weekends, I work full time, but these guys seem like a full time job in themselves!
They have a house that is very sturdy and ventilated, they're in a run but it's open, I was planning to keep hay bales and tarp at least one corner for a lean-to shelter for them.
Is it ok for the 6 week olds to be outside full time with temps being in the 40's? I read they would be better off at 12-16 weeks, I'd like to err on the side of caution on that one.
 

emmad783

Chirping
Oct 4, 2018
41
63
69
Like Miss Lydia stated, you would need to slowly introduce your 6 week olds to the older ducks before putting them all in together. As for getting them used to the colder temps, maybe give them a little supervised playtime outside during the day so they can adjust. Then gradually increase the time they spend outside over time. It is recommended that you do tarp the place you are keeping the ducks. If they stay in a coop at night, you could just tarp up the coop. That's what I do with mine. However if it's just a run with nothing for them to get into for the night, then yes you would probably be best tarping the entire thing to block out snow and wind. Also remember to add lots of straw for them! It helps them stay warmer. I understand how this can be overwhelming, but once you get this down, it won't be so bad!

Thank you! I feel like once I get one thing down 12075 more things arise that I have no idea how to deal with! haha
the Pekins are outside 24/7 and they have a pre-fab rubbermaid house they're in every night, it's got a light and a plug for the heated water bucket (today's project!) so I'm not worried about them at night, they've got plenty of straw to snuggle into
As for the run can I tarp one corner? will that be enough? hay bales for a lean-to sort of shelter?
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
114,808
134,352
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Mountains of Western N.C.
Put your tarp and hay bales on the side that gets the worst wind. That’s what is hard on them strong biting wind they need protection from that. If you want to keep your young ones in longer then by all means do it’s always up to you. I’d still get them outside on nice sunny days so when the time comes they are ready.
 

emmad783

Chirping
Oct 4, 2018
41
63
69
Put your tarp and hay bales on the side that gets the worst wind. That’s what is hard on them strong biting wind they need protection from that. If you want to keep your young ones in longer then by all means do it’s always up to you. I’d still get them outside on nice sunny days so when the time comes they are ready.

Thank you! As for which way the wind blows I guess I'll be finding out! some days it feels like its coming from all sides!
Thank you!!
 

SniperGoose

Crowing
Apr 15, 2018
302
1,134
257
Central Pennsylvania
That's part of being a poultry owner! It gets easier over time though! Haha
Ok it sounds like they're pretty well off regarding their nighttime accommodations, so no worries there! How large is their run though? I personally would tarp off maybe half of it so they can at least get out a little bit without having to step in snow, or get a really cold gust of wind hitting them. Of course that's not required, and it won't really hurt anything if you can't tarp off half, as they'll probably prefer to stay inside rather than going out. That's how all my birds are in the winter anyways! At the least, the haybales and tarp idea you have now will definitely be fine too so long as they're placed in the best area for it (where the wind/rain/snow/etc blows in). You seem like you're a very good, caring duck owner, so I have no doubt they'll be just fine over the winter. Best of luck with everything! :)
 

emmad783

Chirping
Oct 4, 2018
41
63
69
That's part of being a poultry owner! It gets easier over time though! Haha
Ok it sounds like they're pretty well off regarding their nighttime accommodations, so no worries there! How large is their run though? I personally would tarp off maybe half of it so they can at least get out a little bit without having to step in snow, or get a really cold gust of wind hitting them. Of course that's not required, and it won't really hurt anything if you can't tarp off half, as they'll probably prefer to stay inside rather than going out. That's how all my birds are in the winter anyways! At the least, the haybales and tarp idea you have now will definitely be fine too so long as they're placed in the best area for it (where the wind/rain/snow/etc blows in). You seem like you're a very good, caring duck owner, so I have no doubt they'll be just fine over the winter. Best of luck with everything! :)

I love these little ducks like no other! They fill my heart with so much warmth and joy I can't even tell you! I never thought I would feel this way about birds!!!
Their run is a little over 200sq ft I think? Maybe closer to 250sq ft, tarping half may get expensive ! haha I have some old pallets, can I make them a lean-to?
Thank you so so much for your help and feedback! I just want them to have happy healthy lives
 

TennesseeFarm

Chirping
Oct 16, 2018
68
173
73
Jackson, Tennessee
My ducks always did fine once they were fully feathered. I know pekins feather out fast, Ive never had blue sweddish. As long as their sleep courters doesnt have much direct wind blowing in it and they are fully feathered I wouldnt worry!

**Also I live in Tennessee so weathers a littler different. So we dont get many harsh below freezing days or snows until after the end of November.
 

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