How long outside?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by suenotto, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. suenotto

    suenotto In the Brooder

    Jul 27, 2010
    Hi, I'm trying to figure out how long to let the ducks outside the pen during the day. I am new to keeping ducks and got an assortment of 13 around 5 weeks ago. We have a 10' X 16' pen built for them (no roof yet) for nighttime but I want them to free range during the day. The last 2 weeks have been exceedingly hot in Pennsylvania and they have not been much interested in wandering the field, rather they just hunkered down in the base cover of a large pine tree.

    Anyhow, they could be left out at 6am and then checked on again at 1 or 3pm. Is this too long to be unsupervised? They could be left into the pen around 5 pm or 8 pm. What is a reasonable and safe schedule for ducks? I want them to scavenge the bugs and fertilize the yard but obviously I don't want them to be killed by predators or wander off. What is a prudent schedule?

    Also, I noticed 2 ducks have a spiny bone on one or both wings, any thought about it? I did see some posts about "angel wing" it doesn't quite look like that, but one duck had some blood on that spot and the other duck was picking at it. I washed the blood and put EMT gel on it and it seems fine, the other duck stopped picking. Still, I noticed a 2nd duck with the same ruffled and pokey bone on the wing..

    Thanks for your thoughts,
  2. AdamD77

    AdamD77 Songster

    Jul 1, 2010
    Bedfordshire, England
    Mine are't properly outside yet but from what I've seen other people say, they have their ducks out when it's light but keep them safe inside when it's dark or getting dark. I guess that varies depending on the time of year and when you wake up/go to bed [​IMG]
  3. jrobertson

    jrobertson Robertson's Rare Poultry

    Apr 24, 2010
    NW Alabama
    once you are sure they will stay around and not wander off i would let them out first thing in the morning. anytime after daylight, and allow them to free range all day. even if they seek shelter under the shade tree, they will still forage when they can, plus there is a little something to be said about letting them have the extra freedom. i would plan my feeding schedule for late in the evening and feed in the coop or pen. that way they become trained to come in every night and after a few days they will likely be waiting on you in the pen.
  4. LuckyDuck411

    LuckyDuck411 Songster

    Jun 16, 2010
    I've had mine outside since they were alittle over three weeks old. With the heat we've had I did not have to worry about them getting too cold. We have a fenced in backyard that they can run around all day and then in the evening we have one of those puppy playpens with a dog igloo inside that we put them in. They hardly ever seek shelter in the dog igloo. However, we live in the suburbs and do not have many predators that roam around day/night.
  5. Red Maple Farms

    Red Maple Farms Wish Granted

    Feb 25, 2010
    NE Wisconsin
    Quote:Well, a predator can strike at any time so you may as well realize that your ducks will never be truly safe if they free range unsupervised.

    Even with electric poultry netting and a livestock guardian dog, I still lose animals to predators. My worst predator is the bald eagle that likes to grab ducklings off the three acre wooded pond. Next in line is the hawk, followed by the owl.

    I think I should receive a stipend from the US Government for feeding the national bird and helping to bring it off the endangered list.

    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010

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