I'm so nervous - ducklings outside tonight - bad idea?????

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by dehave, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. dehave

    dehave In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2008
    I built my duck house this weekend. My 3 ducklings are only 2 weeks old but one of them is a few days older. He/She is a black runner/Rouen cross and is just too big to be in the house already. Here is the setup. Tell me if I should go and bring them in.

    I have a wooden dog house that is about 3.5 ft x 3.5 ft. It has a wall inside next to the door so that when they walk in they have to walk around the wall to the inside room so they are protected from drafts. It's about 2.5 x 3.5 in there. I put down 2-3 inches of pine shavings. There is a 250w red lamp in the little room. Directly under the lamp it's 88 degrees right now.

    Outside the door there is a ramp going into a 3x6 foot enclosed pen built out of 2x4's and 1/2 inch hardware cloth. It's got hardware cloth on the top and bottom too. They have a refilling water bowl hooked up to the hose with rocks around it and in it, so the little one can get out. Their food is out there too. I also put a waterer in the hallway of the doghouse so they can drink at night without having to go outside.

    Ok, will they be ok or should I bring them in? I should also mention that one of the ducklings is a possible failure to thrive. She is 1/3 the size of her hatchmate. She is progressing, but not really thriving. She is happiest with her 2 buddies though, and they snuggle her to keep her warm.
  2. momma's chickens

    momma's chickens Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    If they will stay in the doghouse they should be fine, because of no drafts and the temp as long as it is predator proof. I say "if they will stay" because I still have to bring my two three week old ducks in the house every night because they don't stay in the house and wander around their pen and then I believe are cold.

    My ducks are definitely not like my chickens, they don't just go to sleep at night, but stay awake and wander around and make a water mess. [​IMG]
  3. dehave

    dehave In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2008
    Do you think they won't go in if they are cold? I never thought about that! Should I go down and close them in somehow? It's almost 11 here. The little weaker one seemed to go in and snuggle under the heat when she was cold today. If they have water inside will they maybe stay in then? Oh boy, what to do, what to do..............
  4. alex

    alex Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Hey, if they dont go in i would close them in somehow and open it next morning...becasue i f they wander around in the cold...you wouldnt want anything to happen to them [​IMG]
  5. kodiakchicken

    kodiakchicken Songster

    Apr 18, 2008
    Kodiak, Alaska
    You didn't say what your nighttime temps are like. I couldn't have left my babies out when they were just 2 weeks old. They are 4 weeks now and we are just getting ready to put them out. Granted, they are in the garage now, but 2 weeks is awfully young. Definitely put them in the house for the evening. If they got wet and chilly it would be pretty bad.
  6. dehave

    dehave In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2008
    Well, I went out last night to check and they were all snuggled near, but not directly under the heat lamp. I decided to leave them. Like I said, they had water inside the doghouse too so that they wouldn't have to go into the cold run for water at night.

    I kept an eye on the temp all night. The coldest it seemed to get was 84 under the lamp. When I went out to check on them this morning they were in the doghouse hanging out. They weren't huddled under the lamp, the were dispersed in the inside room, so I figure they were comfortable temp wise. So all looks well. I think they are much happier outside than inside.
  7. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Songster

    Apr 2, 2008
    Sounds good! My newest ducklings have been out in the barn since day one. No more ducks in the house for me. I have two 250 watt heat lamps positioned over them at different heights, they have a 3 sided brooder (4X4) with hardware cloth on the open side. I also put up large sheets of plywood over the pen walls to keep out the drafts.

    They are fine - over 2 weeks old now - and our night time temps went down to the low 50's for a few days there.

    Ducks are pretty hardy I think. Mine are all runners.

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