Move ducks outside in winter?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Mutley, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. Mutley

    Mutley New Egg

    Oct 28, 2014
    My khaki campells are now 8 weeks old. They have been in the same building as the chickens since they were 2 weeks. This isnt really a good idea - I know. (We didnt plan on getting young birds in winter, but when we lost the parents we put all the eggs we had in an incubator.)
    Can I move them outside now? Into a run with a duck house, not insulated. The temperature is about -10 celcius, and can go down to -20. The forcast for the forseable future is mild, so hopefully not much colder than -10. At the moment they are in an insulated portacabin. The plan was to have turned the heating lamp off by now, but I havent done that due to the damp, which is of course created by the ducks!. Didnt dare take away the heat because I worry that the chickens will not cope well with the damp then.
    (I know, I will get less damp with less heat. So I am working on drying things out so that I can turn off the lamp.)

    They will get plenty of sawdust (shavings), but havent managed to get straw yet. The duck house is about 2 x 2 and 1,5 high. (meters of course.) So not huge.

    Ideas? Will khaki campbells cope with norwegian winter at the age of 8 weeks?
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    My first thought is, I don't think so.

    Stepping back, 8 weeks times 5 degrees F is 40. The rule of thumb is to start them out at 90F. 90 - 40 is 50F, so 10C is as cold as they should be.

    At this age, they are still developing their internal organs and nervous system, among other things. Not a good time, in my opinion, to stress them with cold.

    I understand your concerns, and I wish I had a quick brilliant solution. But I do think you will compromise their health, long and short term, if you leave them out in this. How many do you have, by the way?

    Also, if someone writes "ducks do fine at ::::: temperature" please be sure to find out what breed, weight, what age, diet, whether there is a warmer shelter to which they go and what temperature that shelter is.
  3. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2014
    Round Rock, TX
    I just wanted to let you know I feel your pain. I also agree they are too young though. Maybe we can help with the damp. How is the water situation going? What exactly is causing the dampness them soiling it too quickly or them getting actual water everywhere? If it is their water have you tried putting the water inside of something with horse stall pellets or something else super absorbent? I don't know what you have. I found out the hard way last time that water is a huge problem because they just play in it and fling it everywhere. This time I have their water inside of a rabbit litter pan full of the pine pellets. I change that daily and change the bedding every few days.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  4. Mutley

    Mutley New Egg

    Oct 28, 2014
    Thanks - not really surprised.

    I think the weather is as much to blame for the damp as the ducks are. We have had really mild weather, even rain in december. Now we have freezing fog just about every day. Its likely to continue for a couple of weeks, until the fjord "goes to bed" - ie until the fjord freezes over. Then we should get bright, clear, cold days. Until then the air is very damp.
    I have tried various options for the ducks water. They do play and spread it around. The last one was to give them a container with a lid and a small opening just enough to comfortably dip their heads. That resulted in them walking all over it and of course tipping it up occasionally. So not helpfull. Going to get a bucket that is low enough for them to reach and that I can surround with bricks so that they cant tip,
    Havent heard of horse stall pellets, but have lots of sawdust. Ill work on finding a way of limiting the spillage to an easily emptied area. And they do drink from the chickens waterer, so maybe I should let them use that most of the time and provide water for head washing just for a short period each day? Not sure about that.

    Thanks for the help.

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