ducks moving outside question

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by dot n'dave, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. dot n'dave

    dot n'dave Songster

    Jan 11, 2010
    Our Black East Indies turn three weeks old tomorrow and they are being brooded currently. They seem to visibly grow everyday and we are getting nervous, because their outside home is not close to being ready, and there is snow on the ground. We'd like some opinions on when we should plan on moving them outside. We live in Connecticut, and the temperture could be anything in the next two months.
    Holderread says duckings 6-8 weeks old can withstand temps 50f or lower, but I dont want to make a mistake!
    They will be 8 weeks old towards the end of Feb. Maybe we will plan on March 1st or so. Never did this before, so we want to do this right.
    What do you folks think?? [​IMG]

  2. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    I wont say too much about temperature coz i will just confuse myself, being from Australia. And since you have snow there too- its a different climate to what I experience.

    But my first ducklings of the season were hatched during the midddle of our winter here. I kept them inside the house for 5 weeks and then they spent another 2 weeks in the shed outside. They were given a lamp but didnt seem to use it. After that they were outside day and night.
    It was still a bit chilly at night. But by then they had almost all their feathers too. I had 3 at that stage- so a bit of body warmth was shared through snuggling too im sure.
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Greetings, dot n'dave, [​IMG]

    I am in Connecticut, also, and building a pen and house for 10 runners I expect to get in a couple of months.

    My feeling - nothing scientific here - is to keep them indoors for several weeks yet. It could get interesting, but a few extra weeks with birds indoors beats the feeling you would risk if those guys get sick or worse, being exposed to the elements too soon.

    If you know what kind of accommodations you will have for them, can you step up the schedule? You may be able to find something less than esthetically perfect, that will keep rain and snow out, hold heat in, and stay properly ventilated and predator-proof.

    Actually, predators are another reason not to set them out too soon. This time of year predators need more calories and there may be less food available to them.

    Ideas for helping you not go crazy with them indoors . . . hmmmm. . . inexpensive vinyl floor covering and an old playpen? Until they are closer to eight weeks old, and have had some time outdoors to adjust (in gardening it's "hardening off") I would really hesitate to get them out.

    Glad to see you are conscientious.

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