Need advice

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Miss Ducky, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. Miss Ducky

    Miss Ducky Chirping

    Jun 29, 2010
    I'm worried about one of my ducklings, Scuba. Scuba always shivers when I take them around in their basket, (Stops when I hold him) and he's breathing faster than the others. I think that Scuba is developing a little bit faster than the other two, he is a bit bigger (always has been) and has more feathers coming up on his back. I'm going to move them to an outdoor pen today*. They are about about 2 1/2 weeks old. Should I be taking any measures or just attribute to growing and carry on? Scuba has a great personality and I want to keep him healthy! Thanks!

    *We will have a thermometer in there and will be keeping an eye on the temp, and bringing them in on cold nights. It's really warm where I live right now.
  2. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    At 2.5 you need to keep the temps above 65 day and night. I actually had an oil filled heater in the duck house kept at 70 at night when I moved them out for the first few days. Then reduced it to 65. I took the heater out when they were 4 weeks old and the temps went down to 62 at night. They were all fine. I have a thermometer with remote sensor from Walmart. That allows me to check on the temps in the duck house from our house. I don't think there will be a cold temperature problem right now anywhere in the US. Give scuba a concrete mixing bin filled with pine shavings. That allows him to cuddle in it and stay warmer. Don't be surprised if more then one ducks sleeps in the same bin. Mine used to sleep in them, but now no longer do so. They just lay down on the floor wherever they like to.
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I would watch closely - I followed Storey's Guide on temperatures, and the rule of thumb was 90 degrees F the first week, dropping about 5 degrees a week after that. Based on that, we are talking more like 75 to 80. Granted, there are all kinds of experiences with people keeping very young ducklings at very chilly temperatures. I cannot speak to that. But I kept mine at the recommended temperatures, with some cooler areas so that if they got too warm they could move away. And I still have everyone.

    They are now over four months old and fine outdoors (but then, we have had unusually warm nights the last few weeks).

    It may simply be a matter of optimizing their growth. If they need to spend energy keeping warm, they are not spending it on developing.
  4. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    I don't believe in that weekly temp rule from Storey's book. They also state that you should monitor their behavior. I also have a print out of a sheet distributed by Holderread's duckling shipments. In there he also goes by behavior, and it kind of contradicts the Storey book written by him. My ducks where off their heat lamp by the time they were 2 weeks old. They lived in my kitchen until they were 2.5 weeks old. You basically reduce the wattage when they move away from it until you are down to no heat source needed. I always use a regular white light bulb suspended from 2 feet above. I start off with 90 watts and reduce until 40 watts. They are usually done by the time they are 2 weeks of age. I agree to add heat, if they shiver and pile on each other or move close to the heat source. Go by their behavior and you can't be wrong.

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