New to ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by kirrty, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. kirrty

    kirrty In the Brooder

    Jan 3, 2015
    Gold Coast
    Hi there everybody. I'm new to BYC and new to owning poultry. I just recently brought home some khaki Campbell's (3 weeks old) and 3 austrolope hens (9 weeks old)
    I've tried to google as much as I can but get mixed answers. I'm wanting to know at what age can I let the ducks free range (I've kept them in their coup/run since they came home as they are still a little frightened and I'm hand feeding them a little each day)
    How do I get them to return to their coup at night as I've heard they can be quite stubborn.
    When should I expect eggs and how to I train them to lay in one spot?
    Thanks for your help.
  2. Crazy4Fowl

    Crazy4Fowl Chirping

    Nov 20, 2014
    My duck coop
    Hey welcome to BYC. We have 3 austrolop chickens (hens) as well. Their eggs will be brown. They started laying at 22 weeks old. It is the same for ducks. Its normally 20-24 weeks for ducks and 16-24 for chickens. My chicken will go into their coop at night. They used to jump on the top of the coop and roost but now they just huddle up inside. I would recommend (for the ducks and chickens) taking them out when they are 6 weeks old. Train them by putting scrapps in the house at night/ any treats.
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    What season is it where you are? Today in Southern New England, it's 15F and dropping down to 0. The night shelter stays above 40F, for which my Runners are happy.

    Rule of thumb for ducklings is 90F the first week, dropping five degrees per week of age. At three weeks old, they need to be around 75F to avoid chilling. Yes, there is some variation. But this is a good guideline, because even if a duckling survived much colder temperatures, why would one not want them to develop as quickly and healthy as possible? Stressors can lead to illness, it seems to me.

    So at three weeks there would be no free-ranging, in part because every predator loves to eat ducks, and they really enjoy ducklings. A predator-resistant (preferably predator-proof) enclosure at least for night time, and an environment during the day that provides security as well will avoid death, injury and heartache.

    To get ducks to go into their night shelter for us has involved both positive reinforcement - giving them treats in the night shelter - and herding them in if necessary. Most nights they go straight in from the day pen.
  4. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Songster

    Feb 9, 2014
    Mississippi Y'all
    I would recommend letting the khakis out by about 4 months or around this area as soon as they have about fully molted into their adult feathers is when mine begin to free range.

    they should start laying at about 8 months to a year is about average but with warm weather they might begin at 6.
  5. kirrty

    kirrty In the Brooder

    Jan 3, 2015
    Gold Coast
    Thank you for your help. Here I live in Australia sub tropical weather. At the moment it's 30 degrees daily and around 20 degrees at night, don't think they'll have any problems getting cold.
    Seems as though they'll be living there for a few more mknths before being let out. I can't wait to take them down to my dam for a swim [​IMG]
    I hope I don't have to heard them in at night my property is too big haha. Thanks again.

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