What age can ducklings stay outside 24/7


In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 18, 2009
North Haledon, NJ
I have ducklings between 3-2 weeks old, what age can you place them outside safetly. Once they start to feather? I am in northern NJ and its been in the mid 60s-70s during the day and low 60s at night. Lot of rain though. Do I need a heat lamp in there with those temps? I am looking forward to putting them in their pen, cause they are making a mess inside...lol.
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I've read that ducklings can't regulate their body temperature until they're 6 weeks old - but the Runners I raised last year ended up outside at about 4 1/2 weeks and I just ran an extension cord and put a heat lamp in their nighttime pen for about 2 weeks after that - they did just fine.

I am looking forward to putting them in their pen, cause they are making a mess inside...lol.

I know what you mean!​
We got the two adults that we have now at about 3 weeks old last July and since it was so hot we just put them out in a shelter with no heat lamp and they did fine and just had their first babies today.
I put mine out at 4 weeks..I was happy my whole house smelled like ducks...They were just fine had alot of feathers and was fully feathered a 6 weeks...and could fly...Mallards!!LOL
My ducklings are a week old now and rapidly growing out of the rubber tote box I have them in. Time to finish the bigger pen I'm building them, I guess. I'm reminded of them every time I walk into the house (as if I don't think about them when I'm out anyway
) I keep them as clean as possible but I suddenly remembered I may have a houseguest this weekend. I don't think he'll appreciate it - he's not really an animal lover.
Oh well, love me, love my ducks, and chickens and 3 dogs.
Did I mention I'm in an 825 sq ft renovated trailer?
The best gauge will be the ducklings themselves. I wouldn't put them out w/out the availability of heat, but if you put them out and they don't use it you can turn it off as long as they appear comfortable. You can also lower the wattage on the bulb so that they get some heat but not a lot. You can also raise and lower the light - although, be careful because they can break a bulb if they're going after an insect or something. Sometimes people will put a hardware cloth cover over the shield of the heat lamp to prevent this very thing.

If the ducklings have plenty of room so that they can either use the lamp or get away from the lamp you won't go wrong by having it available in case you're not there to watch them for signs of chill.
Well I set them up for their first night out. Temp's are currently around 70F and supposed to drop to around 65-66F. They haven't left the water yet so I guess they are fine as of now. I went down to check up on them around 10p.m. and they just swam over and nibbled on my fingers.

The brooder light has a 100watt red bulb in it so it should be 80F or so right under it. It's gonna be a long worrying night for me!

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Well its morning and temps are 61F (stupid weather channel), but they seem fine. Still swimming around in their pool. I was up till around 1 and they never got out to sit under the brooder even in the lower than expected temps. So I assume they have no issues with being out in the 60s. My little ducklings have graduated from the house
Congratulations! I know how exciting it is to have the babies moved outside! Ours just moved into the big duck house 2 days ago and I'm thrilled. As much as I love those babies, I love them much better outside!

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