how long to brood ducks?


9 Years
Feb 1, 2010
Okay, my two runners are almost 2 weeks old now - and I've been amazed at how much more quickly they grow than chicks! Last week, they both swam around just fine in the kitchen sink - this week, a bathtub was needed! Anyway, everything that I read addresses the fact that ducklings don't need to be brooded as long as chicks - but doesn't give any more detail than that. I keep lights on my chicks until 4 weeks (when feathered) during the summer. The ducklings have had the option of a light but have never used it (until yday, when one got chilled after swimming in the bathtub). When will they be old enough to go into a run (w/shelter)?


12 Years
Oct 2, 2007
Lincoln, Illinois
at 3 weeks I put mine out in the nursery, a small chicken house with a door, and fence around it, locked up at night, a light inside at night until they get used to the outside, I unplugged the light after a few nights, when they are feathered out they are fine. I lock them up at night, they are 2 months old now and still go back in their little house at night, even though they are free ranging with the whole bunch. the nursery is in the middle of the chicken run and they got used to seeing each other and after a week of them being close neighbors I opened the fence and they are doing fine. I waited till they were about the size of the chicken though, they grow so fast!!!


9 Years
Mar 23, 2010
I think it depends on you, your weather, and your set up. 5 weeks seems to be the magic cut off for me this spring but others have put them out as early as two weeks old and then again others have kept them in until fully feathered. There are several threads on here that address this in detail, you shoud do a search and see what works for you.
And nobody is likely to tell you anything with out pics......It's just this silly rule so we can all get our cuteness fix.
We just purchased seven Runners, and I love them!

Well, except for that other poster...LOL. But pics would still be good.
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