When to first venture outside?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Kedreeva, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    2,250
    127
    236
    Jun 10, 2010
    Michigan
    So I am in the process of hatching out some pekin/rouen/runner/possibly muscovy mix (and it could be any of those mixed with any of those, the ducks belong to a friend of mine who for some reason keeps them all penned together) ducklings. They are only going to be staying with me for about 2 weeks, and then I'll be taking them back to my friend.

    The first two are a couple days old, and we took them outside because the weather was -hot-... enough so that I figured I could give them an inch of water to splash in for a little bit as a break from their fairly boring brooder. They thought their inch of water was the greatest darn thing that's ever happened to them, zoom-waddling and trying to toss water over their backs... not surprising considering they have tried to get into the waterer to do the same thing.

    The question is... is it ok to take them outside for a little bit when they're so young? They certainly didn't catch a chill in 90 degree weather with a shining sun, and they enjoyed the water immensely. I kind of assume mom duck would be taking them out if they were hatched naturally, but I don't know how ok it is for them to skim the grass for goodies. We don't treat it with chemicals or anything, but are they like chickens and need grit or something if they are going to find bugs to eat or something else?
     
  2. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    It's fine. Mine move permanently out of the brooder once they are 2 weeks old, at which time I'm making sure that the temp does not go below 65 in the duck house at night. You need to make sure that no predator gets them. Otherwise you can put them outside when they are one week old as long as the temps are above 80. They still need the brooder at night. Fact is they will develop faster when they are outside. Swimming rule of thumb is they must be able to stand in the water, and they must be able to get in and out by themselves. This means you can probably give them more then one inch of water. They will get out of the water when they have enough. You also must provide them with an area that has sun and shade so they can cycle their body temperature as needed.
     
  3. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    2,250
    127
    236
    Jun 10, 2010
    Michigan
    Yep, they had all that, just wanted to be sure that there wasn't to much danger of them eating things like there is for chickens. I've only had one duck in the past, and we picked him up at 2 weeks and he didn't need the inside brooder like the newborns.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by