When to put them outdoors....

Vickers58

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 22, 2013
208
13
98
Dallas, tx
We have two muscovy ducklings that are about 3 weeks old. When will they be able to start staying outdoors in the coop....without a heat lamp?

thanks!
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
11 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,213
2,818
551
Southern New England
Hmmmm. Gonna depend. Can you tell us more about your daily temperatures, high and low, and how hot and cold it gets in their outdoor shelter? I love having a min-max thermometer. It tracks how cold it got overnight without me having to check every hour.

And what can you tell us about the structure itself? Bedding type and depth, have you checked to make sure it is predator resistant? If you have a heat source, is it safe to use without risk of setting a fire?
 

Vickers58

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 22, 2013
208
13
98
Dallas, tx
We live in Dallas so the weather is pretty mild for the most part. Last night it dipped down into the 40's so that was super chilly for us!

The ducklings haven't been under a heat lamp this week and are currently making a mess of my bathroom while I am at work. They have gotten large enough to hop the crate they were in!

The coop isn't finished quite yet.... my husband is working so hard on it! It will be predator proof, not sure on the depth yet...
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
11 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,213
2,818
551
Southern New England
I think 40s is definitely too cold for two little ducklings. I would be aiming to keep them in the 75F range. I can appreciate the bind one can be in if the water setup is less than ideal.

Still, my priority would be their health and safety.

I found that a puppy pen and some 6 mil plastic, with a good watering station to catch the splash enabled me to keep them indoors happily till the weather was warm enough and the outdoor shelter was truly ready.
 

Going Quackers

Crowing
9 Years
May 24, 2011
7,839
975
371
On, Canada
My last clutch hatched in Mar, so the 40's would have been sunbathing weather lol You will have to ensure, you have predator proof housing and keep a lamp handy, at 3wks they would barely be getting feathers, mine are double that age and still not fully feathered but my birds are accustomed to colder temps, we snowed last weekend.. make sure they can get away from the lamp if needed and get yourself a thermometer, so you know exactly what the real temp is.

I am 39F right now, pouring rain, they've gone in the barn lol but were out earlier today, their loose with the flock now... but mainly stay in our fenced area with access to the barn... we leave the gate open so the adults roam, there mama has pretty much jumped ship.
 
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Vickers58

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 22, 2013
208
13
98
Dallas, tx
oh this 40 degree weather is totally random! I wouldn't dream of putting them out there right now. I just was wondering what the range of temps I should look for and age most people start keeping the little waddlers in a coop!

Thanks for your help... OH, what is a min-max thermometer?
 

Younger

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 4, 2013
240
14
98
Hamilton, Ontario Canada
Hi Going Quackers

I am in Ontario and we are damp, rainy and chilly today too. I just got three little ducklings yesterday and I am working hard to keep them at 90 with the heat lamp. They are in the garage with lots of bedding and a 250 watt bulb.
Hope it warms up soon
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
11 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,213
2,818
551
Southern New England
oh this 40 degree weather is totally random! I wouldn't dream of putting them out there right now. I just was wondering what the range of temps I should look for and age most people start keeping the little waddlers in a coop!

Thanks for your help... OH, what is a min-max thermometer?
Min-Max is just one of the neatest tools. It records the highest and lowest temperatures since reset. So if you reset it one evening, check it in the morning, you will see how cold it was. Or check it 24 hours later and you know the low and the high temperatures for that period. So helpful monitoring the heating system in a brooder or coop!

Another tool I have used is an indoor-outdoor. A wire measures temperature on one side of the wall, and it's attached to the thermometer on the other side so you can see both temperatures. I wanted to know how warm my ducks were keeping their shelter, since so many had told me that their body heat would warm it up. And it did, usually about seven degrees.
 

PuddleSplash

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 11, 2013
50
1
43
Mine are a little over 7 weeks and feathered now and they've been outside (with our 3 new older ducks) the last few days - we hit 30ish the other night and I checked on them a few times and they were fine and not huddled together or anything.
 

cosbackyard

Songster
6 Years
Feb 20, 2013
414
32
118
Colorado Springs, CO
Mine are a little over 7 weeks and feathered now and they've been outside (with our 3 new older ducks) the last few days - we hit 30ish the other night and I checked on them a few times and they were fine and not huddled together or anything.
Mine are just a hair under 7 weeks and have been sleeping outside for a few days. 30s are no problem. Dipped to around 20 last two nights so I had the heatlamp on.
 

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