It's getting darker earlier; how does this affect my ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by brandilly, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. brandilly

    brandilly Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 3, 2013
    Kelso, Washington
    Hey, All! New member to BYC but have found tons of useful information over the last 4 months just searching forum threads.

    Some info: I live in Kelso, Washington in the great Pacific Northwest! I have 4 ducks and a goose. All female. I have a totally fenced in yard that they free range on while we are home and a 10x10 dog kennel with a duck house (with a predator proof door/lock) for times when we are gone and to overnight. No artificial light source is currently around them.

    Right now, we let them out between 7 and 8 a.m; it starts getting light around 5:30, which I assume they can see due to the ventilation along the top of their house. They go to bed at dark. In the time I've had them (around 4 months) that is around 9:30ish. So now it's getting darker earlier and come fall and winter here dark will fall around 5; earlier when the weather is bad. I obviously don't think I should lock them in their house at dark during this time so what do I do? Add an artificial light source and lock them in their kennel for some protection and then overnight them around 9ish to keep the same routine? Any advice would be wonderful!

    As an aside; this website is SUPER WONDERFUL and chock full of info for anyone curious about raising, as in my case, ducks and geese! THANK YOU!!!

    Brandi
     
  2. Majd

    Majd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2012
    Keep it natural.... as I read... you want to let them out during the night?? With lights?? Ok I would say... NOWAY?? That will stress them more... as they want to get in the coop when the sky in dark... and any predator will get them in the run..and with the lights he wouldn't find any easier meal in the middle of darkness....if you want to keep them laying as if that what you want you lock them up and keep the light on inside the coop... it should be bright enough... and you don't keep it the whole night... just to the time they get light in summer days... about 7 is enough. .. :)
     
  3. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    On, Canada
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    Follow the same pattern just adjust by light, so in other words, my birds were pushing almost 10pm some nights now... there all in by 9:30, come winter it's like 5pm, they only know they should be in by dark, they don't know "time" in the proper sense.

    I do not use lights ever, i let nature guide the laying and the rest is good for ducks anyways(chickens too!)

    We'd love to see your flock! you should post pics.[​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Majd

    Majd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2012
    I agree.... winter is to give them and their bodies a brake from consuming their nutrients and calcium.... etc..... you'll have a much better flock and a healthier one if their bodies produce naturally....
     
  5. brandilly

    brandilly Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 3, 2013
    Kelso, Washington
    Thank you for the info!

    Let me be a little more specific; I was just concerned that, as the night came earlier and earlier that they would be locked up longer and longer and I felt bad for them! I wasn't looking to use artificial light to either force them to produce more nor because I wanted them to be out at night; again, it was just because I felt bad that they would be locked up for so long.

    Someone posted a comment though about them wanting to go to bed when the 'sky got dark' and it dawned (no pun intended) on me that they couldn't see predators in the sky at that point, either in the sky or on the ground and I was, in my desire to give them more day and time to play/forage/etc, just spotlighting them! Silly me!

    Again, thanks for replying everybody!!!
     

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