Heat lamp or not? New to Ducks!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by JamieR, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. JamieR

    JamieR New Egg

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    I've just ordered 2 ducklings from a hatchery near me, I'm getting 1 cayuga and 1 peckin. I've never had ducks or any bird ever and i'm super excited to try it out! I've been doing some research on how to keep them warm and I was wondering if you all could give me your opinion and advice. I've seen online that you can buy a stuffed hand puppet and put a hand warmer in it and not use a heat lamp. They say that the ducklings will snuggle up to the puppet and be warm enough. Does any one know if thats true or if i should just buy a lamp? Also Do I need to keep the ducklings in the house for a little while or is it ok to put them outside in their coop? When should I introduce the ducklings to swimming water? Will ducks really eat wood chips that I have in flower gardens? Sorry if these questions seem stupid, like I said I have no idea what i'm doing and want to have an idea whats up for when I get the ducklings mid august! Thanks for all your help in advance!
     
  2. lightchick

    lightchick Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! I'd just buy a heat lamp. It depends on your coop and your weather outside.
    I like to keep chicks inside until they are about 4 weeks old, but you could have them outside in the coop. Ducklings shouldn't be in water until they are fully feathered.
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

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    Welcome, JamieR!

    Please ask all the questions you want. We would like you and your ducks happy and healthy.

    This will help.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750869/raising-and-caring-for-ducklings#post_10611711

    Heat lamps are usually used, but whatever you use needs to be safe, and not too close.

    Ducklings need to be 90˚F the first week, dropping 5 degrees a day till the brooder is the temperature of the rest of their world.

    Is it winter or summer where you are? If summer, then you may not need a heat lamp at all. I got a simple round thermometer to keep in the brooder to monitor temperatures, since we got our ducklings in late winter.

    I used old towels for bedding.

    Ducklings are very very susceptible to predators and if they are out where black flies and mosquitoes are, they could get illness from the bites. I would keep them in till they are feathered.

    Please read that link and let us know your additional thoughts and questions.
     
  4. JamieR

    JamieR New Egg

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    Thanks so much for the link it was very helpful! I did come up with another question, Will ducks really eat wood chips that I have in flower beds? Also what is your recommendation for flooring in and around their coop? I've been thinking about sand for outside and straw or maybe wood chips inside? What are your thoughts?
     
  5. lightchick

    lightchick Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't think they will eat your wood chips. They don't eat their wood shavings.
    I'm using the same wood shavings I used in my chicks brooder.
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

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    My ducklings did eat shavings but once grown they don't eat those or the wood chips on the gardens.

    Their night shelters have flooring on the bottom - either vinyl sheet flooring or Manning. Over that is shavings.

    The Day Pen has chopped straw that composts with their manure and is not stinky. I have smooth pea gravel and sand under their swim pans.
     
  7. JamieR

    JamieR New Egg

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    What is the difference between a red infrared light and a regular one? is one better than the other? Will the light bother them at night?
     
  8. RachelleM1986

    RachelleM1986 Out Of The Brooder

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    There's no difference in wattage or heat, but if it's chilly at night, the red light will put out less "irritating" light so your ducklings can sleep properly :) Definitely be sure to only have the heat lamp on one side/area in your brooder, so if they get too hot they can find a cooler spot to hang out.


    My ducklings picked at their wood shavings, but no one ever got hurt from it. The only thing I'd be concerned about from back yard sand would be the possibility of poultry mites (or worms/parasites of any sort). If you decide to use sand, make sure to clean it well - wash it and "bake" it lol...the heat will kill any bugs. Or you can buy "play sand" from Home Depot or Lowe's, but that can get spendy quick :p

    Congrats on the ducklings, they're SO MUCH FUN!!!
     
  9. RachelleM1986

    RachelleM1986 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh, and ducks can be introduced to swimming water as early as you'd like, but when they're itty bitty, make sure the water is NO DEEPER than about 1/4-1/2 inch deep! When they still have all their down feathers, they can get "swamped" very easily...they get too wet, then they get tired and can't climb out of the water and drown :(
     
  10. lightchick

    lightchick Overrun With Chickens

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    x2 and make sure that they have a nice warm place to dry off.
     

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