Moving ducks outside on the cheap

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by AppleChicks, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. AppleChicks

    AppleChicks In the Brooder

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    Feb 12, 2018
    Hello! I have 3 Jumbo Pekins that I got from Rural King 5 weeks ago (it will be 5 weeks on Friday). I used a ton of tips I read on here, and ended up with VERY happy, healthy ducks. I could not believe how fast they grew, and how healthy they have been! I wanted to share what I implemented since it worked so well for us :)

    We are in Wisconsin, so it is cold, way to cold for baby ducks to start outside. They started out in a brooder inside with mama heating pad. I also had a "play pen" for them, a cardboard box with food and water that I could bring in my office with me while I worked. I think that really helped keep them social. I fed them tons of treats from my hand throughout the day and always said "Heeeeey ducky ducky duckies" in a super annoying voice. If I say it now when they are in the yard they will come waddling over :)

    Ducklings.jpeg
    You can see in the picture I used a 2-liter soda bottle and cut out a hole for them to drink the water through. I put it on an old cookie sheet to help contain some of the water splashes and keep the bulk of the bedding dry. I think I had peas, meal worms, and chick starter in different wells in that egg carton just to keep things fun for them ;) Temp duck brooder.jpeg
    We moved them outside last weekend because they were getting so big. They were probably 5 weeks old at that point since it was 4 weeks since I bought them. They really weren't comfortable in the brooder anymore. I didn't want to spend a ton of money on a temporary set up, they need to be by electricity right now for mama heating pad and a heated water bowl overnight. Eventually they will move further out into the yard. For now I semi blocked off a little corner by the house and deck. It actually works great!

    For continued warmth I put mama heating pad in a cardboard box on its side. I cover with a light layer of fresh bedding daily. That is their little roost. It is blocked from the wind on all sides by bushes, the deck, or the house. I added a tarp yesterday before it rained and it stayed totally dry!

    I added about 4 inches of pine needles from my yard to their little corner. They LOVE hanging out and pecking around all day. Even on days with temps in the 20s they will be out in their little yard instead of on mama heating pad or under the bushes. They have a little tunnel behind the bushes that they go through to get out into the main yard. The will go out and explore in the afternoon, especially when its sunny. Sometimes they camp out under the bushes for a nap too. I put pine needles and raked up grass under there too for their comfort.

    In the picture below you can see their little tunnel behind the bush, they use that to get out into the yard. I just used a big dog crate to block off their little area. They go in there to get on the grass and still be fully protected. And they can use their tunnel to be more adventurous and venture out.

    Temp duck yard.jpeg
    Overall the only things I bought were the heating pad and the heated water bowl. I do have an amazing LGD, my Maremma, Spot, so I don't have to worry about predator protection. He even warns me if the horses get too close to his duckies :)
     
    Miss Lydia and CarleeAnn like this.
  2. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    You have a great little setup. Your ducks have everything they need, and they look wonderfully healthy and happy.

    I have a friend and neighbor who found an Orpington duck years ago at the local lake, brought it home, then ordered a baby Orpington drake to keep it company. Peach and Lance now have had generations of ducklings that all sleep under her house and have a pool much like the one you have.

    Give ducks basic shelter, clean water to dunk in and they take it from there.
     
    Miss Lydia and AppleChicks like this.
  3. AppleChicks

    AppleChicks In the Brooder

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    Feb 12, 2018
    The fancy black pool is a horse feed bin ;) it is a thick rubber and works really well!
     
    Miss Lydia and azygous like this.

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