when can my ducklings go outside??

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by daproper, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. daproper

    daproper Out Of The Brooder

    70
    0
    39
    Apr 13, 2010
    Michigan
    I got 2 pekins from TSC 1 1/2 weeks ago and they are already getting too big for the dog crate. They are starting to get their feathers in now but it's still cool here in Michigan around the 60's. Some days it's 70 but yesterday it was 65 and today it will only be 56.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    23,151
    2,305
    521
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Hi!

    I am having a similar situation - my nine week old runners (eleven of them) - still spend quite a bit of time indoors. Cleanup duty is my life right now [​IMG]

    The weather is just not warm enough for me to be comfortable letting them outside much right now, even though they have pretty much feathered in. They aren't full sized quite yet. And nights? We are expecting another freeze tonight. Their outdoor accommodations are unheated. I want the transition to be healthy, not traumatic.

    I get them outside when it is 60 or warmer (which has not been for a few days, and we are all less than satisfied with this state of affairs).

    But their long term health and my long term sanity are important to me, so we manage. I let them into the hall while I clean the brooder, and sometimes we just hang out together there, visiting. They are a sweet bunch, some of them very friendly, all of them pretty good.

    In a week or two, Lord willing, the weather will be warm enough and all the anti-predator preps will be in place and we can all breathe a sigh of relief.
     
  3. PlumTuckered

    PlumTuckered Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2007
    Arkansas
    Whenever my ducklings get to the "between" stage I put a wire dog cage in the yard with the bottom lifted out of it. I put a large shallow pan of water, a food dish and a small rag in there. This way they are getting fresh air, have access to the grass and dirt, can play in their pan of water and can snuggle up and nap on the rag. I keep them out there all day long unless the weather is bad and bring them in the house at night. Once they reach 12 weeks of age I move them to the duck pen where I have a section portioned off just for ducklings..that way the ducklings and grown ducks get used to eachother before I put them all together.

    Michelle
     
    rtrodr90 and Splodganessa like this.
  4. baileychic

    baileychic Out Of The Brooder

    60
    1
    39
    Mar 3, 2010
    Delavan, WI
    Omg. Last night I barely slept. I have 11 ducklings that turn 4 weeks today. They are getting huge, and last night they wanted food and water all night. I try to take away the food and water here and there to cut down on the mess. The weather has not been warm enough to be outside too much, we have had too many cool days. Now the forcast calls for another Rainey weekend! I have them in a kiddie pool at the moment, but conditions are getting cramped. Lol. I'm thinking maybe I should get an appliance box, but I don't know how it would hold up to the wet mess, any suggestions?
     
  5. Horsefly

    Horsefly Chillin' With My Peeps

    327
    2
    121
    Jan 11, 2010
    Louisiana
    I say you can let them out now. This is just me others might dissagree but I put mine out at 2 weeks. If they seem cold or at night I would rig up a lamp and it was going to be in the 40s I would take them back in. Just use their body language for a guide, they will be fine.
     
  6. Brickman House

    Brickman House Chillin' With My Peeps

    352
    5
    131
    Feb 24, 2009
    Quote:At 4 weeks old, your ducks do not need food and water all night long-- feed and water them before you go to bed, and sleep well. They'll be perfectly fine until morning!

    I tend to be on the less protective side, I think, of a lot of posters here when it comes to ducklings, only because I have found in my experience, that they're a lot hardier than we give them credit for. Also that they're a lot happier and grow better outside with lots of fresh air and a lot of room. I have had my latest batch of ducklings outside since they were 3 weeks old. They have a small duck house (unheated) and a grass run sectioned off from the main ducks. They are doing great, with temps in the high 40's at night and 60's during the day. They'd lose their minds if I tried to coop them up in a box again.

    So if it were me, they'd go out sooner, rather than later.
     
  7. doubled

    doubled Chillin' With My Peeps

    208
    0
    109
    Nov 3, 2009
    Madrid, New Mexico
    i put mine out at 3 weeks. they do just find huddling together to keep warm.
     
  8. aduckstolemyheart

    aduckstolemyheart Chillin' With My Peeps

    821
    8
    133
    Mar 23, 2010
    Missouri
    I see this is where the "Tween duckling owners are gathering lol.

    I am with you guys! My two are 5 weeks, and I do just what PlumTuckered does. I have a dog crate without the bottom in the duck pen and they stay in there. They can forage, play and get used to being outside. They LOVE it. Way happier out there than in here. I still bring them at night or keep them in when weather is nasty.

    I only have an uncovered duck yard for daytime and of course the predator safe night pens. I am wayyyyy too big of a chicken to let them roam the outside yard without me there. I don't know what I will do when the time comes to let them join Bella in the yard.

    How big should they be before I allow them access to the duck yard and pool?
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  9. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    5,772
    20
    269
    Dec 16, 2008
    westchester
    Quote:agreed I find that ducklings can go out sooner than chicks do a test run and see how they react, maybe a heat lamp if the nights get really cold. They are so messy to brood, I use a welded wire floor (with a runbber coating) when I brood them and water nipples to help contain the mess and even then I put them out as soon as possible.
     
  10. baileychic

    baileychic Out Of The Brooder

    60
    1
    39
    Mar 3, 2010
    Delavan, WI
    Haha.... I think I will go out to the shed (temporary housing) and clear a spot for them. I feel bad for the poor duckies, they need to be outside!!! Thanks for the advice.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by