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Mama hen pecking ducklings at 4 weeks, but nights are cold!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by HeatherD42, May 18, 2016.

  1. HeatherD42

    HeatherD42 Out Of The Brooder

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    My neighbor's chicken has been raising my five ducklings outside for the past four weeks. Just before they turned four weeks old she started pecking them to get them to leave her alone but she was still protective of them. At night it seems she still sleeps with them, but I'm not sure if that's because she doesn't like the roost I made for her. I was going to go catch her today to take her back to my neighbor, but she was sitting on them! Ten minutes later she was back to pecking and driving them away. I'm so confused. Temperatures are in the 40s at night this week and I don't want them to be too cold, but I don't want her to hurt them! Will five four week old ducklings be able to keep themselves warm at night?
     
  2. HeatherD42

    HeatherD42 Out Of The Brooder

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    I peeked at them in their house tonight after dark and the babies were all snuggled around mama hen
     
  3. HeatherD42

    HeatherD42 Out Of The Brooder

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    It's awfully hard to get a response around here. The long and short of what I'm asking is will five four week old ducklings be able to keep each other warm at night when the temperatures are in the 40s? I might be able to put the heating pad I use to germinate my pepper plants in there
     
  4. pattyhen

    pattyhen Chicks Ducks oh my

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    I would provide them some sort of heat source because I think that is to cold for 4 week old ducks. They are still not feathered out good enough to keep themselves warm. It sounds like the hen is trying to seperate herself from them. I would take her back to the neighbors before she hurts them and get some heat for the babies.
     
  5. HeatherD42

    HeatherD42 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! I'm a little worried about starting a fire, but I guess the heating mat will be ok as long as the wires are in good shape and I keep it away from their water
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    What is the house like that you will have them in. asking because I have 11 Runners who just spent their first night on their own with out their mamas and they did fine. They are 3 weeks old. They are in a house that is draft free and I closed up the windows. Lots of deep shavings.Is this a heating mat for poultry?
     
  7. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    I find it hard to get responses to sometimes. I think part of the problem is the headlines go by so fast, unless you see the question as it pops up, it disappears down the list quite rapidly. I don't have the answers, but wanted to acknowledge you at least.

    Good luck!
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. HeatherD42

    HeatherD42 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, EggSighted :)

    Miss Lydia, the heating mat is for germinating plants. It's a very mild source of heat. It's supposed to take the root area of plants 10-20 degrees above ambient air temperature, so it's not hot at all.

    The house is a wooden dog house that I made a wire mesh door for. I put a towel over the door at night [​IMG]
     
  9. pattyhen

    pattyhen Chicks Ducks oh my

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    That's cute pic of the hen and the baby ducks. Usually the momma hen stays with the babies until they are 6 weeks old. She may have decided they are big enough to fend for theirselves. That house doesn't look insulated and with a towel over the door it's not going to keep it that warm.
     
  10. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They should be piling up together so as long as they look comfortable and they are not shifting constantly to get to the middle of the pile, the heat source you have may be enough combined with their body heat. If they look warm enough they probably are, assuming the house is dry and free of drafts.
     

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