Ducklings outside???


9 Years
Mar 19, 2012
New Hampshire
I have searched the forum and havent found a comprehensive answer .... my two Pekin ducklings are just two weeks old so I know that they won't go outside yet I am just trying to figure out the next step...

My questions is what do the temperatures need to be for them to be outside. I plan on setting up a pen for them in the garage as the next step where they will live for a while and I can take them out into the yard during the day and then back to the garage at night for a while.

I am not sure at what age I can do this... we are in Northern New England (new hampshire) and while it is starting to get warmer it still gets fairly cold at night. I assume that they would need to have adult feathering or at least mostly adult feathering.

So I have a few questions....

At what age can they start going out? is that based on their feathering?

What should the temperatures be during the day for them to go out?

What temperature does it need to be at night with supplemental heat lamp??

What temperature does it need to be at night without supplemental heat lamp??

thank you so much... I appreciate your help
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Mine have been outside since day one. They were outside at the feedstore as well.
We had daytime temps in the 60s/70s and nighttime temps down to the mid 30's. Now we are back up to 50s at night and 70s during the day.

They had the heat lamp full time for about a week and then when they were running around on the deck or in the yard in their brooder, no lamp. They only get that at night now. I raise/lower depending on night time lows.

They are 3+ weeks now and on the deck. Dogs are sprawled out in the sun, ducklets are in the shade.

Watch them - they will let you know if they are cold or not.

You can also put them out on nice days for a bit, bring them back to their heat lamp and back out for a bit, repeat.
I have asked all the same questions. But my 3 Pekins and 3 Runners made the decisions. ;-). When they got to messy and out grew the water tank they were in I sent my month old chicks to the coop with big ones. They had already been free ranging together. I then put the 6 ducks in the cage ( 4x4x24" finch flight cage laid on side). This is all in our garage. But the ducks knew that there was a ditch a few yards away that had water in it. When I would set them in the sun while I cleaned cage they would sneak off of water. So we just let them go. With supervision of course. They are about 5 weeks old now and come into garage at night on their own. I do have a kiddie pool for them. They like that also. I am now working on plans for their permanent housing. I do know that it will be at end of fenced in garden. It is where I can watch during the day time hours. We have a small water pond in there also. they have found that and the fish pond. Not been in it yet. How much space would you think for 6 ducks. I was thinking about 4x6 and using a small area with water drainage in one end. about 12". I saw somewhere that someone put in an "attic" for food. I liked that idea.
Forgot to mention that I watch the ducklings. If they huddle or shiver I add the heat lamp. Usually still do at night. We are in KY and weather has been all over the place. If they move from heat they are warm.
in PA my pekin babes stay in until their first molt & a safe secure pen & run are available. They do come outside to play or swim in their pool if we are right with them & PA has a good weather day.
USUALLY FOR PEKINS AT 6+ weeks. If you can see them preening & more of them is now white & not yellow, then they are in their molting phase.

Just like everyone is different, so are all Pekins. :) We knew from our other Pekins they were 1 day old whenever we got them from a friend. The ones we got at the Tractor supply company we were guessing from previous experience that they were under a week old. :)
I am in southern maine, and was going to ask a similar question. I have khaki campbells though :) they are 3/4 of the way feathered in thus far, and they're 4 weeks old today. awww! they don't seem to mind cooler temps like chicks do, so it is all throwing me off. they're getting too big for their brooder, so part of me wants to put them outside, but the other part of me really likes them in the house bc they're so much fun!
Yeah this is very different than the chicks who at a week older do not seem to be as cold resistent .... I would like to get these guys outside sooner than later although I know that right now they are to young... but I am hoping that in a couple weeks we will be able to move them... but yeah its throwing me off to

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