First time duck owner - concerned about them going out too young in cooler night temps..

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by sunflowerparrot, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. sunflowerparrot

    sunflowerparrot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 3 little ducks that I bought at Orshlens last week - I have them in my bathtub for now, but am concerned about what to do with them when they outgrow the tub. I am going to put a dog house on a large pallet and predator proof it with hardware cloth underneath and build a little running pen for them. I am then going to fill the dog house with bedding and put all this down at our lagoon (too far from the house to put any source of heat/electricity). I will make sure there is plenty of fresh water in a rubbermaid container for them.

    I live in Kansas and am concerned about putting them outside with cooler temperatures (high 40s during the night now) - when can I put them outside in the doghouse? (They are about 7-10 days old right now)

    I am not sure what kind of ducks, but told they could be Cayugas.. here is a photo taken the day I got them..

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    They look like cayugas to me. Would you have heat on them outside? Those temps can be deadly for young ducklings.
     
  3. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Do you have a heat lamp on them?

    I stuck my ducks outside at 4 weeks old. They had a heat lamp for the first 2 weeks, and then only at night for the next two.

    I hope you are not filling your tub with water for them? Ducklings shouldn't swim until feathered out. What you have for them in the picture is fine. Mine always had a dish like that after a week. As long as they could get out and under the heat lamp to warm back up.
     
  4. sunflowerparrot

    sunflowerparrot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As mentioned, I cannot get electricity down to that area.. but, I suppose I could set them up closer to the barn for a few weeks and borrow a heat lamp from someone... I'm just wanting them out of my tub :) But, not wanting to rush them either..
     
  5. sunflowerparrot

    sunflowerparrot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not filling the tub :) I have a little plastic container that I keep dry for them with bedding and food - and then got a aluminum broiler pan that I have at the other end of the tub that is 3/4 filled with water for them.. then the rest of the tub is just plain tub.
     
  6. Ana Tidae

    Ana Tidae Out Of The Brooder

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    I keep mine in the house for about a month, unless its ungodly hot outside. I run a 100ft outdoor extension cord to keep a heat lamp on them at night. Its so worth not having stinky duck babies in the house! Once they are feathered in things will be much easier for ya.
     
  7. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm afraid you'll need to keep them inside or somewhere that they can have access to heat for a while. At 6-8 weeks old they will have enough feathering to withstand 50 degree lows but will require heat until they are completely feathered at around 12 weeks (per storey's guide) if temps are cold at night. If your lows are already in the 40's they will not be able to go outside. They will not require heat 24/7 after about 2 weeks if they are inside but nighttime temps can't get that low. A guide is start at 95 degrees as day olds and lower the temp 5 degrees per week until it matches the outdoor temp.
    I have vowed to never raise ducklings in the fall again, unless they are being raised by their mom. Takes too long to get them outside.
     
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    My temps are even lower at night, and they've been out since week 4. It was warmer that long ago, but they are only 10 weeks old, and it was almost at frost temperature last night. They were fine, and were the first to fly out of the coop this morning. And they are call ducks.. They were fully feathered at 7 weeks old. [​IMG] First night in the coop - 4 weeks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  9. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since the OP's are only a week or so old, the temps she is having is not good for that age. I am by no means an expert and I offered the advice from Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks by Dave Holderread. [​IMG] I have had ducklings out without heat but not when temps were in the 40's at night.
    I do agree with many people that exposing them to colder temps will help them feather out faster. I still wouldn't put them out without heat in the temps the OP is having.
     
  10. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Oh no, definitely not. Just wouldn't wait until 12 weeks. That would be too long.

    I think by six weeks they should be fine. Ducklings are better than chicks are with colder weather. I have 6 week old chicks roosting without a heat lamp outside now. Even though I offer one.

    It's going down to 45 tonight. It was down to 41 last night. I wouldn't subject them to this without the option of a heat lamp to go under if they are indeed cold. I find they huddle together enough at six weeks to warm one another up. Plus it's always warmer inside the coop than outside.
     

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