How hot is too hot to put duckings and chicks outside?


11 Years
Jul 31, 2008
Yuma, Arizona
I read a lot about beating the cold, but not much about extreme heat. I've been wanting to get Muscovy ducks, and sometimes hatch out chicks, but I'm worried that we're too close to the hot season (temperatures over 100 from about May-Sept). On one hand, it doesn't seem like a good idea to put babies barely out of the brooder into that kind of heat. On the other, I have seen a couple different free range flocks in the area where the hens were naturally hatching their own babies and seemed to be doing well even at almost 120 degrees. I'm assuming that their free-ranging had something to do with it. I just lost a batch of duck eggs and want to try again, but I'm thinking it would be wise to wait until the weather becomes sane (so that I don't lose any in transport, for one thing). Still, I would love to hear anyone's experiences and tips in this area.
I agree with you about being cautious during extremes in weather. Littles have not fully developed their regulatory systems, so it could be fatal.

We have a half-below-ground shelter for the ducks and I move them into that when it's 95 F outside, for at least a couple of hours in the afternoon. I also provide shade (the pen is under a sugar maple) and refresh their swim pan around 2 p.m. so they can cool off that way.

And these are adults. If you don't have a moderate-temperature relatively spacious area for them, I might hold off. And the transit risks are high, I feel.
I've heard about using underground housing for rabbits as being the only possible way to raise them here, but I didn't think about it for ducks. I'm thinking right now of making a cave-like house for them. Thanks for the idea!

We'll definitely wait until September or so to start any more eggs, then. It's just so hard when I was looking forward to those eggs hatching and nothing came of it.

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