Would it be totally nuts...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Ceilismom, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Ceilismom

    Ceilismom Songster

    Apr 21, 2010
    NW South Dakota
    To try to raise ducklings over the winter in South Dakota?

    I had originally intended to have a chicken coop ready for spring chicks.

    And then I joined BYC.

    And started reading about ducks.

    And thinking I'd like to have some.

    And then I saw that at least one hatchery has them available through October.

    And now I'm thinking it might be smart to not get chicks and ducklings at the same time as a new poultry keeper. I could have the coop finished by fall (with electricity), and I do have a cinder block and concrete bathroom with radiant heat in the floor, a floor drain, and an exhaust fan. So I could theoretically brood them indoors if the weather got nasty while they were still small. It doesn't typically get below zero here until into January of February.

    So would it be nuts, or a good way to get a jump on egg-laying?
  2. toadbriar

    toadbriar Songster

    Jan 28, 2010
    central massacheezits
    How many are you thinking of raising?


    I brooded 2 clutches in my office this spring. Hatch 1 came out ~Apr 20, with 3 ducklings hatching - not too bad to keep up with, keeping them clean.

    I hatched out my second clutch, 9 babies, at the end of May.
    Thank goodness it was later in the spring, and much warmer, because these guys made so much more stinky mess, so much faster, I couldn't get them out soon enough. [​IMG]

    If you're new to keeping poultry, you're already going to stress about all the little details of keeping them healthy and safe - just from first time jitters and experience. Why not wait til the weather is milder, so you can enjoy getting acquainted with them, but still be able to put them outside if they get overwhelming? I hate to think of you pulling your hair out because you have a dozen stinky ducklings and you can't move them outside til a thaw comes in six weeks...and they just keep getting BIGGER and pooping MORE!
  3. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Songster

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    If I were you, I'd just wait until spring.[​IMG]
  4. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    I would also wait, because it is best to go into winter will full grown birds who have all the fat insulation and winter feathers in place. You basically have to think 4 months ahead. So your September ducks will be full grown in January. This also means they did not get all the muscle development, because they may not have been running around outside for at last 3 months (October-December). As much fun it is to have ducks, I would be concerned and plan ahead for spring. I don't think you will get much of a head start with eggs, because that is light dependent.
  5. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    I have brooded chicks and ducklings indoors and my current brooder is right outside my front door on our covered porch. it's not hard to do, even with a bad winter. It's really a matter of do You want to deal with the mess? of course, the more ducklings the messier, thank goodness i only have muscovies, just love my little clean freaks [​IMG]
  6. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Brooding them for a few weeks is not a problem, the growing phase is when you have freezing temps and snow on the ground. Its best to have them full grown for that season. That is an issue in my region too with all the snow we can get up here.
  7. Ceilismom

    Ceilismom Songster

    Apr 21, 2010
    NW South Dakota
    Thanks for the advice, everyone. It is, of course, not what I wanted to hear, but reality often isn't. I did have to chuckle over the cautions about the mess though. I have two little girls. Talk about mess. [​IMG]
  8. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    You know it is not bad advise about the poo, some peoply underestimate it. One duck poos as much as a 50 pound dog, only it does so in 50 piles all day long and anywhere it can. [​IMG] When I had 2 ducks in the brooder it was quite manageable. Next I had 11, and I was gland when I moved the out of the house. As sweet as they are they are a lot of work too.
  9. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chirping

    Jun 13, 2010
    Rhode Island
    I too can't resist the sight of little ducklings on here, but I'm also waiting until the spring. That way I get the whole summer to play outside with them and not worry about freezing temps and bad weather. Besides, it will give you something to look forward to all winter long....Just think, you'll run through the sprinklers together!

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