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time of year to start hatching ducks in the uk?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by kitchy1, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. kitchy1

    kitchy1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 22, 2013
    storrington , uk
    anyone hatch ducks in the uk with incubator? what time of year do you start? its feb now so 28 days it will be march, is this too early?
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    [​IMG]

    I apologize for my slow response . . . between my ability to miss seeing some posts, and a really busy day yesterday in which my "major accomplishment" was coming down with some kind of virus, well, I missed it.

    So.

    I live in New England. Does that count? [​IMG] Depending on how well you are set up to brood the ducklings, you may be okay to start, or you may want to wait. Due to a miscommunication, the runners I ordered for 3/23 delivery arrive on 2/23. !!! This was not a huge problem because I had converted our guest room to what I called The Brüderhaus. (Strange sense of humor, I know). Anyway, that meant that it was easy to keep my baby-duckies warm enough, dry enough, safe enough, etc.

    That year, spring came very, very late. Very late. We had indoor ducks for three months. My inner nine year old was delighted. And we had absolutely no odor problems. I had the luxury of being a SAHDM, so I could keep up with cleaning the brooder.

    While there is a wide variety of experience in this regard, Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks recommends brooder temperature of 90F the first week, dropping 5 degrees F per week until the ducks are feathered and the outdoor temperatures line up with the ducks' healthy temperatures. There is variability here depending on duck breed, individual ducks' constitution (Fünf and Sieben are my least cold-hardy ducks). Since I had nothing to prove, and no problem keeping them in until nighttime temperatures were above 40F, they stayed indoors at least at night for that three months.

    They did start getting outside during the day from about six weeks of age. Days were pretty nice and warm. Nights, however, were very cold.

    Here is something I have noticed about new duck owners. Many are surprised and appalled that ducklings splash so much. They splash their water, their feed, their poop, in our case, they splashed the soil from a potted plant one night (long story) all over the room. And if the cleanup schedule does not keep up with the splashing, there develops a distinct and unpleasant odor.

    That is the point at which we see threads asking when they can get their stinky ducklings outdoors. I feel for the people and the ducks. But I tend to side with the ducks. Yup. Unfair, but true.

    So, again.

    If you have accommodations that will keep the ducklings warm enough and dry enough and safe enough, even if there is an unusually cold snap of weather, go for it.
     
  3. kitchy1

    kitchy1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 22, 2013
    storrington , uk
    thanks for the advice, i have a brooder in the spair room for them, i plan to keep them there for a week then put under a heat lamp in my stable until big enough for outdoors
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Do you have a thermometer? I would "test drive" the setup and make sure you can get the temps up to 85F, then drop them down slowly. I used multiple ceramic heat lamps.
     
  5. cooprunbuilder

    cooprunbuilder Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 9, 2011
    London
    If you have the right conditions you could do, a large well insulated shed with plenty of lighting, a heat lamp, plenty of bedding and a thermometer, I have done it plenty of times.
     

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