How long to ducklings need a heat lamp?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by peepsandquacks, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. peepsandquacks

    peepsandquacks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2011
    My babies arnt tollerating heat very well. They are 6 days old, and this mornng I cought them panting when the light was where it has been sence they got here (about 2.5feet above them, 250w bulb). So I raised the lamp about 2 inches. They seemed fine, then a few hrs later, they were huddeling in the corner where the light is dimmer. I watched them for a little then placed a news paper over half of the box so they could excape the heat if they wanted. They have been hiding under the paper all afternoon, and my husband went over there (I took a nap) and they just seemed hot. Not playing, just crouching under the paper. He said he moved the lamp off them and they have been playing and moving again. When I woke up I moved the lamp up another 12 inches.

    Now the light is so weak I can barely feel heat. 6 days just seems to early to remove them lamp, but they arnt tollerating it. It has been 60 outside with sun, and that has heated the house to 73ish. The house is normally 71 with the furnace, so not a huge difference.

    What do you think?
  2. peepsandquacks

    peepsandquacks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2011
    Updated to add, the lamp is now at about 3.5ft over them, and they are up and playing again. Again, not very strong on the surface of the brooder, but just slightly warm.
  3. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    The temperature inside the house alone may be enough for them depending on how many you have- If it is a large group- say ten or more- you may be able to turn the lamp off during the day- But I would suggest keeping it on at night. Low 70's is still a bit cool for them - maybe you could try a bulb with a lower wattage so it doesnt give off so much heat. It does sound like their behaviour indicted they were too warm. I currently have a brooder with 10 ducklings and a gosling- they differ in ages- so the lamp is really only on for the gosling - the others all sit away from it.
  4. treldib

    treldib Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2010
    Southern California
    My advice would be to either move them to a bigger brooder, where they can have a large thermal gradient and self-regulate their teperature or get a weaker heat bulb. 250w seems excessive for 6 day olds not to mention definetly not cost effective. Ours were raised under a 75w bulb from day 1 until they were moved outside. Good Luck!
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  5. peepsandquacks

    peepsandquacks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2011
    I only have 2 rouen ducks. Gosh, 10 or more...I would go crazy! LOL. 250w infrared is all my feed store had. I have a 100w infrared in my bathroom, but it doesnt feel like it gives off much heat at all. Like I said, I kept it about 2.5feet off them (now 3.5ft), so its not directly on them making roast duck.

    I will have hubby look downstairs and see if we have a bigger storage tub.

    How long do you usually have a heat source on ducklings?I remember years ago going into a pet store around easter, and the sales people selling chicken and pekin ducks saying no heat source required, that they were a week old and could handle it. :shrug: I never bought any though because they were 25 bucks a chick!
  6. secuono

    secuono Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    My 6 had heat for 3wks, rarely used it even though it was still kinda cold out. It was a 75watt bulb from the petstore. You can find them at petstores or Wal-mart.
    I would switch to a 75watt and have it 2ft in the air in one corner. If the brooder is 3+ ft long and they stay on the far end, you can just stop using the heat.
  7. peepsandquacks

    peepsandquacks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2011
    Well is it normal for them to need a heat reduction so quickly? They were perfectly happy with the 250w for the past 4 days! Just all of a sudden they hate it!

    We found a box our fireplace came in and I made it into a larger brooder. I then found a 100w infrared heater in my downstairs bathroom. So I switched the bulbs out.
    The brooder is now about 3x3ft. They had a party in it for the first 2 hrs, darting around and trying to eat it. Now they are resting comfortably (again, not in the heat source).

    Here is a pic of it. (the water isnt muddy, I put food in the bottom of the waterer because If I dont, the ducks will drink non stop and not eat. This way they eat and drink and dont obsess over the water)

  8. azhenhouse

    azhenhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2010
    North Eastern Arizona
    I think it must depend on the ducks, the room temperature, and everything else. My Harlequins hated the 18 to 20 inches off the floor of the brooder, and the 98 to 100 degree temps. At that time, I was using the furnace in the house and the temperature was set to 70. I think with the house temperature, and the heat lamp it was too much for them. I quit using the thermometer, and watched them to see if I needed to make any adjustments to the heat. They are now 6 and 7 weeks old, and still use a red 250w heat lamp at night. It measures 57 inches off the floor. Of course, the house is 65-68 degrees inside. I tried keeping it off and using a night light for light one night, and they hated it. Once I turned the heat lamp back on they were happy. I would just follow their lead and adjust the temperatures accordingly.
  9. mominoz

    mominoz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 17, 2009
    North Georgia
    DH book says 90degrees first 3 days, then lower to 90 degrees, then lower temp. 5-7 degree each week. He says you can use two 40 watt bulbs or if you use a 250 watt, needs min. of 18 " off floor to start. Basically if they are staying away or panting it is way too warm. Mine did that too, got warm fast.You made it bigger that is best as they can get closer when needed, like if temp. drops at night. Two smaller lights are better than one,in case one goes out....

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