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Author Topic: What age to put ducklings outside?  (Read 19066 times)

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
What age to put ducklings outside?
« on: April 08, 2014, 09:14:37 pm »
My 5 ducklings are 2 weeks old now, currently in our hallway in a kids paddling pool, no heat lamp on. They are doing really well but last night one escaped over the side... our housemate found it looking a bit confused this morning!
When can they go outside? I was thinking of putting them in a coop with house attached to it with lots of straw for warmth... we don't have anywhere else they can go so its either stay in the house or put out in the coop in the garden...

HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: What age to put ducklings outside?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2014, 10:11:01 pm »
At this time of year they need to be in for a bit longer - mine are also two weeks old and no feathers yet. The down doesn't keep them warm so they need to be inside somewhere more protected for a wee while longer - probably they can go out once they're about five weeks. It is a problem with ducklings because they get so big so quickly. I've just set up a run for mine in our spare bathroom - along with the three week old chicks!

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: What age to put ducklings outside?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2014, 10:18:23 pm »
Hmm OH might have a meltdown at ducklings loose! It's not so much the size being the issue although they are growing like weeds but the mess is pretty bad. Not really sure where else they can go though as the only place with space and electric for a lamp is the cow sheds in a pen but not fox proof. So it's the house or out in a chicken house  :-\

HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: What age to put ducklings outside?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2014, 10:25:49 pm »
I just bought some sheets of corrugated plastic and have cut to create four sides of a run.  Would you be able to do that? Then it would have higher sides than a paddling pool so would keep them penned better. They are hugely messy - but that's ducks all over.

benkt

  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Cambridgeshire
    • Hempsals Community Farm
Re: What age to put ducklings outside?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2014, 10:28:15 pm »
I used to raise ducklings in a cardboard box in the shower at our old place as they were safe from the cats there. OH was never too impressed though :( Now they start off in an old 6'x4' shed which is lined with chicken wire inside to stop rats getting in and I can reach an extension lead there for a heat lamp. Once feathers arrive they usually move on in to a rabbit hutch for a bit until big enough and water-proof enough to move into a coop and run.

One thing I used to use are those big plastic storage boxes you can get from B&Q or similar. They are easy to clean out and with a bit of chicken mesh spread over the top, nothing can escape. Stick a desk lamp pointing in to it with a 100W light bulb and you've got a very cheap brooder box!

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: What age to put ducklings outside?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2014, 08:36:30 am »
I had them in a big storage box but they outgrew it in a week! They are fine size size in the 3ft paddling pool but I think another couple of weeks and they will outgrow that too... :/ OHs mum says put them in the shed. I don't think she's looked in our shed recently!

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: What age to put ducklings outside?
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2014, 02:19:27 pm »
If they don't have a mum I would put them out only when real feathers are starting to grow. It can be still quite cold without a big feathered body to keep them warm.  :&>

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: What age to put ducklings outside?
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2014, 10:21:53 pm »
keep them safe though, sky predators such as crows  >:(  will just pick them off.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: What age to put ducklings outside?
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2014, 10:42:49 pm »
Just realised that I don't entirely live by my advice! If the day is warm enough - ideally sunny - mine go out in a run by day. They're so big now I can't imagine they'd all fit under one mum anyway (in fact even one would be pushed to fit under an adult duck). I still bring them in at night with heat available. It does save quite a bit of mess though.

sokel

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jun 2012
  • S W northumberland
Re: What age to put ducklings outside?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2014, 09:31:47 pm »
Could you not move the coop into the cow byre and put a bulb in for heat or move it close to the house so that you can run an extension lead to it for a bulb 
Graham

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: What age to put ducklings outside?
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2014, 10:39:14 pm »
No unfortunately the cow sheds are definitely not fox proof.

They were turfed out a week ago into a well made draught proof house with run and lots of shavings and are totally fine :) yes they should have stayed in a little longer but the weather was very mild and when I checked them at 10pm they were toasty warm :)

 

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