when to put outside (ducks)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
ive been given three baby ducklings which were rescued from a drain,they are very tame, and are feeding very well, at the momment they are living indoors with me where it is nice and warm for them, my question is how old do they have to be before i would be able to put them outside, i have a fairly large pond and they will have a whole empty shed for themselves to live in, they look very young,and are still fluffy, no feathers,i dont wont to put them outside too early as i know they need warmth. steve.
-- steve austin (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 07, 2001
I may be mistaken, but I seem to remember seeing something about not letting 'orphan' baby ducks swim until they are fully feathered. It had something to do with not having a momma to oil them down, or to cuddle under when they get done playing. That's not to say that they wouldn't benefit from being outside under an upside down clothes basket on warm days. Below is a good information site for more details on caring for them.
Raising Young Waterfowl
-- Connie (Connie@lunehaven.com), May 07, 2001.
I hope you haven't put them out before they have their feathers!! we lost a couple ducklings that way. They got cold, and with out the ability to warm themselves, they died. I had the heater on when they were swimming , but it was just too cold I guess. I didn't even think the water was cold. The rest of them did ok, but I didn't do that again!
-- Cindy in Ok (email@example.com), May 20, 2001.
From waht everything I've read so far, ducks are very susceptible to drafts and the like until they have their adult feathering--keep them warm and dry (you are correct about the mother's oil). We live in Iowa, and the 3 weeks old ducks voluntarily stay outside, albiet with 3 8 week old ducks, and 10 Cornish X to help keep them warm at night! THese are our first ducks as well, and not only that, we had some wild mallards that lost their mother adopt us about a week ago. I would wait until they are fully feathered, depending on your climate.
-- Brendan K Callahan (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 21, 2001.
The rule of thumb for ducks is brood at 90 degrees for the first week and then drop the temp for 5 degrees each week until the outside air temp is the same as the brooder temp. Then they can go outside.
-- Trisha-MN (tank@Linkup.net), May 21, 2001.