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what age to leave ducklings without food overnight

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jdywntr, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    Okay, I feel like an idiot because I know I have read about this I have been searching and searching for the answer and I can't find it again.

    At what age can I leave ducklings without food overnight? I always leave water but we have a HUGE fruit rat problem (not size of rat just #). I had started picking up the feed in the evening from the chickens and adult ducks and then getting up early to give them food. I didn't ask with the runner ducklings and just started not leaving food at about 7 weeks old. but with the month old Muscovy, I figure I should check.

    Thanks.

    Edited to add- I think I will start tomorrow as I just looked outside with a flashlight and there was a f***ing rat in the muscovy food bowl about 1 foot from the sleeping babies!!!!!!!!! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Funny, I just looked into Storey's Guide and didn't find it either!

    I believe my runners were about eight weeks old, perhaps ten weeks old, when I let them go overnight (8 hours) without food and water.

    They were especially sore about the water.

    Now they're in Little Fort Knox, I let them have both in the veranda overnight. I love half inch hardware cloth and electric fence.
     
  3. cracking up

    cracking up Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I took away the food, water and light at about three weeks. They go out on the lawn in a pen during the day and into the house at night so it's a little warm and they're happy to get back outside in the morning with a kitty litter pan full of water and plenty of food. I just make sure they're well fed and watered before I bring them in. I can get away with it this time of year because they're in the dark so I don't think they need to eat and drink. If it was cold and they had a light I would give them food and water.
    If they were peeping I would figure they were cold, hungry or thirsty.
     
  4. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Somerville, AL
    Quote:I did the same thing. I swear it is in there somewhere!!! Even on BYC I can't find an answer.

    Unfortunately, cost prohibits me from covering my entire run in hardware cloth. 10X15X6' my DH would kill me. [​IMG]
    I have open air runs because of the weather (or just plain heat and humidity down here). But because of the predators, I wanted something that I can leave them in all the time if need be like when I won't be home before dark.
    I didn't notice the rats until about 2 months ago. Its weird since it is mild here. I think what happened is they went from destroying my garden (they got more heirloom tomatoes than I did [​IMG] ) to the chicken and duck runs when the veggies depleted. I don't want to poison, to worried with all of the animals but I figure if I can get the darn food up at least eventually they'll stop coming around.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Yes, we all have such different setups! No one-size-fits-all here!

    You're right - forget poisons, try to eliminate the food that attracts them.

    Last year I took the food away at night. But this year I decided to try leaving it in the veranda. So far, no issues.

    BTW, we have had a couple of raccoon visits. Each time, one would touch the electric fence. The first one quietly beat feet into the night, the second one yelled before it ran away.
     
  6. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Somerville, AL
    Quote:[​IMG]

    I worry about my dogs and electric fence. I, knock on wood, do not think that I have had any predators, coons or possoms visit. I am surprised. I did my best to secure my coop and run. I have hardware cloth around the bottom 3' in the duck run and the chicken coop is secure. The biggest scare they have had was a black racer snake that slithered right on by my runners in the middle of the day. I happened to be outside when this happened and it was hilarious. The ducks just looked at it and watched it go.
     
  7. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Rats can be predators. We had a veritable baby rabbit massacre by rats when I was little. They grabbed the babies feet through the wire of the pen and chewed the legs off up as far as they could. It was awful. I keep food and water in with my ducklings but they are locked up tight in the tote I made into a house for them.
     

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