Teenage Duck Brooder or Pen?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Enchanted Sunrise Farms, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Okay, relatively new to ducks, i only raised two previously. Now have 11 who are 2-1/2 weeks old. They have quickly gone from flight cage, to 40-gallon rubbermaid brooder, to shower, to a large kennel brooder (pics attached). But now this is seeming small and it looks like they would like a water source to bath in, so i gave them a pan - way too small. They seem too little to be outside, yet too big to be where they are. i'm not sure where to keep them until they are big enough to join the older one (and that pen will definitely need to be expanded). i've seen brooder pics and then adult pens on here, some of them are pretty fabulous. But how do you house them when they are teenagers? And at what age do they go outside?

    Here is what i'm using now. Large dog kennel put together at openings, food and water on one side, sleeping quarters on the other side. i also have a wood and wire cover for the top, and drilled a drain hole and installed tubing on wet side to drain excess water out.

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  2. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    I kick my duckies out of the brooder at 2.5 weeks. They are outside all day as long as the temperature is above 70 degrees. You may want to cover their outdoor run to protect them from flying predators. A net should be fine. At night you should provide them with a warm house and plenty of hay or pine shavings to sleep in. Keep the temp above 65 at night until they are 3 months old. I gave mine concrete mixing tubs filled with pine shavings to sleep in. They will cuddle in that and keep each other warm.
     
  3. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    So do you give them food and water at night? i've been keeping the light on in the shed they are in, so they get up to eat and drink all night long - perhaps a mistake. Then i read that baby ducks may tend to eat shavings, so i have been using the non-skid shelf liner and changing it out several times a day. But that is getting very labor-intensive. If you think 2-1/2 weeks is old enough to switch to shavings, i'll do that now. Sounds like much less work.
     
  4. Broodica

    Broodica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:My guys are 4.5 and 3.5 weeks old and they are still in my tub.....coop/duck house not quite finished, but the run is. I would LOVE to get them outside, but we're just west of Snoqualmie Pass in the foothills and it is getting really chilly at night. While it's supposed to be 80F today, at noon it's barely even 60F. I really want to get them outside....but...[​IMG]

    So if the temp doesn't get above 70F ever again this year (after this summer, my hopes are not high..), how long do I keep them inside? They are getting too big for my bathtub especially with the Rouen in there. Do I have to keep them inside another 2 months? [​IMG]
     
  5. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    I hear you, we are up at 4200 and temps go down to freezing at times. That's why I stop having ducklings at a certain time so I don't have to deal with chills. I still ran into trouble with the temps late this spring, so I kept the heater on in the duck house to keep them cozy. Ironically they did not mind running outside at 65 degrees. I kept a real close eye on them and they were fine. I think I did not let them out for 2 days, because it was really cold, wet, and windy. They say that duckling eat shavings, but mine never did. I guess they try and will eat it, if they run out of food. Mine had access to food/water 24 hours so they never saw pine shavings as a food source. BTW they did not get pine shaving until they were out of the brooder at 2.5 weeks. I guess they are mature enough to know better at that point. I do have a night light in the duck house, and they still have it as adults. I think it calms them and it does not take much energy to operate. I give food and water at night and have a 2" deep tray underneath it. That catches the water mess.

    Snoqualmie Pass is more like my climate. We are up in the Oregon cascade mountains. A dryer climate. I would let them out at 60 degrees at their age. They will move around anyway, plus sunshine is warming them up too. See how they are doing. It's to cold if they pile on each other trying to stay warm. I bet they wont do that. They probably find a sunny spot and enjoy it. Plus the cool air helps them to feather in faster. Do you have a duck house or a garage you can use. I would not keep them to long in the bathroom, they are just too messy. I bet they will be much happier moving out. I know they look still tiny, but don't underestimate them.
     
  6. MrsDuck

    MrsDuck Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2010
    Western WA
    I've been putting the little one out during the day whenever it's not raining (and I think of it). Not that she minds the rain, but I figure until she's fully feathered - getting close! - that's the safest bet. She's about 6 weeks old now. I still bring her in at night because she doesn't have anyone to cuddle with and it's been a bit chilly at night. At least this keeps the mess WAY down. Also, she's getting some time with the other ducks around so they can get to know each other (with a fence in between, of course). Last night I fell asleep trying to figure out a way to set up a heat lamp in the space we have for her, so we can move her outside full time. I haven't figured that part out yet.

    I'm admittedly torn... she's so sweet and cuddly, that I kinda like her in the house. My little one (almost two) LOVES having her in the house - especially when its pea time. [​IMG] But the part of me that has to do the cleaning up, is ready for her to become an outside duck for sure.

    We have been using pine shavings. Yes, she tries to eat them sometimes, but oddly enough only when we're letting her wander around the kitchen, not when she's in her "house." I clean them out daily, which isn't too bad.

    Can you put them outside at least during the day?
     
  7. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    i'm thinking i might be able to rig up an outside enclosure for them right on our back patio. Our two adult ducks are allowed to walk around during the day, so they would be able to see each other. It would make a mess on our patio, but easier to hose that off than wiping down that brooder 10x a day.

    i think that would be very fun having a duck in the house - messy, but fun. i have to try the pea treats. Haven't given mine anything much other than hard boiled eggs and chopped romaine lettuce as a treat. They LOVE the egg!
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  8. Broodica

    Broodica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 20, 2010
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    Well it was 64F and I couldn't stand it any longer....took them all out for walk. Not too long and while my son watched them, I did the big tub clean out....yuck! I shower it down twice a day and change their food/water mat and towel 3-4 times a day....Love 'em, but they are soooooooooo messy! They have to get out of the tub, but I don't know where to put them. I wish I had an enclosed porch....Might have to be the basement, but still need a brooder/pen big enough for them. They are all feathering in nicely, except the Rouen...he is sooooo slow. Is that normal for Rouens? I've heard they mature much slower than the mallards? The older female mallard has almost lost all her fuzz and she's the same age as the Rouen.

    Somehow I cannot fathom a duck in diapers!
     
  9. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Broodica - how many babies do you have and what kinds?
     
  10. Broodica

    Broodica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 20, 2010
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    Quote:I have a 4.5 week old Rouen, 4.5 week old Mallard, and two 3.5 week old mallards - no idea the sex of any of them.

    Now I am thinking if I can hold off another week or two, maybe sooner if the weather holds out, my 4.5 week old chick's coop will be ready. They are almost feathered out, just the necks and heads to go, so they'll be ready to go outside. Then I could use their 12 sq. ft. brooder for the ducks until they are ready to roll. It's that big galoot of a Rouen who is crowding the dainty little Mallards [​IMG] Once the coop is done, then the duck house is next. From what I understand it just needs to provide good weather shelter, so it should be easy. I was hoping the ducks would use the coop with the chickens at night, but I can't imagine what the mess would be like. My poor chickens would be horrified [​IMG]
     

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