When Can Ducklings Go Outside?
Ducklings may be a bit harder than baby chicks. You might think your ducklings are old and strong enough to go outdoors. Your ducklings, however, aren’t strong enough to withstand cold and rain if they are less than four weeks old. Ducklings should never go outside until they are between four and five weeks old.
What Temperature Can Ducklings Go Outside?
The harsh outdoor temperature can kill your ducklings or expose the ducklings to health problems such as flu. The outdoor temperature should be at least 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature isn’t too cold for ducklings, and hence your ducklings are at less risk of succumbing.
Don’t let your ducklings go outside if the temperatures are too hot. Too much heat can damage your ducklings’ organs, placing the ducklings at risk of death. You can take your ducklings outside in the morning during sunrise.
Things to Consider When Moving Ducklings Outdoors
The sunlight in the morning will help your ducklings synthesize vitamins D. Vitamin D deficiency in ducklings can lead to rickets. It can also lower egg production among egg-laying ducks.
– Moving 4 Week Old Ducks Outside
Some 4-weeks old ducklings aren’t fully feathered, and therefore such ducklings shouldn’t go outdoors. Furthermore, 4-weeks ducklings are at risk of predators. Despite these two facts, you can still take your 4-weeks old ducklings outdoors. Below are imperative things to know before letting your ducklings outside.
– Outside Temperature
Outdoor temperature is quite essential for ducklings. It helps to take your 4-weeks old ducklings outside when the temperatures are at least 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Taking your ducklings outside when the temperature is low will ultimately kill the ducklings.
Furthermore, take your ducklings outside on sunny and warm days, when the temperature is suitable for the ducklings. Ensure the ducklings are in a safe monitor or playpen to protect them from predators.
– Food and Water
Food and water are essential for ducklings while they are foraging outdoors. Ducklings need plenty of nutritious foods while they are living outside. Ensure your ducklings have plenty of niacin-rich foods. Niacin is an essential component that helps ducklings develop strong joints and bones.
Your ducklings are at risk of developing bowed legs if you fail to give them foods that are rich in niacin when the ducklings are spending most of their time outdoors. Some of the niacin-rich food you should provide to our ducklings while they are living outside include legumes and cereals.
Leafy greens and vegetables are also suitable for ducklings living outdoors. Vegetables will help your ducklings develop a robust immune system, enabling them to combat any diseases they are likely to contact while living outdoors.
Leafy greens and vegetables also contain vitamin A and Riboflavin. These two minerals are suitable for providing ducklings with a robust immune system. Ducklings, however, can’t chew tough leafy greens and vegetables. Provide your ducklings with softer vegetables, including kales, lettuces, and other greens.
Make sure the leafy greens and vegetables you give to your ducklings while there are roaming outdoors don’t have any sprays and chemicals. Sprays and chemicals will kill your ducklings before they grow into young ducks.
4-weeks ducklings also require protein to build muscle. The advantage of letting your 4-weeks old ducklings outside is that they will pick on various insects, which will provide the ducklings with enough protein to sustain their growth as they are living outdoors.
Ensure your 4-week ducklings have water around before letting them outdoors. Water will cool down your ducklings, especially if your ducklings remain outdoors most of the time in summer.
– Swimming Ability
4-weeks old ducklings can swim like older ducks. Swimming will help your 4-weeks ducklings develop their gland oils while living outdoors. Have a pool in your yard where your ducklings can swim whenever they want to cool down.
Ensure the ducklings can safely walk in and swim in the water. Make sure the water in the pool isn’t too deep, lest your ducklings drown in the water. In addition, the pool shouldn’t be too wide since ducklings aren’t strong enough to swim in large pools.
– Feather Stages
It would help if you considered feather stages before letting your 4-weeks ducklings outside. Ducklings usually have grown-in feathers when they are around four weeks old. Some ducklings, however, may not have feathers at this age. It would be wise not to let such ducklings outdoors since they lack feathers to protect them from cold, rain and excessive heat from the sun.
Your 4-weeks ducklings will still love being outdoors even when there is snow all over the ground in winter. 4-weeks old ducklings can still spend time outdoors in cold months if you shelter the ducklings.
Erect a wild block at the corner of your yard where your ducklings can shelter during the winter and rainy seasons. You can make a wind block using plastic sheets and tarps. Use tree branches to create a temporary wind block for your 4-weeks ducklings.
Keeping Your Ducklings Safe Outdoors
Apart from the weather, the worst threat to ducklings while they are living outdoors is predators. Predators usually prey on ducklings since ducklings aren’t strong enough to defend themselves against their prey, unlike old ducks. Check these few tips on how to keep your ducklings safe outdoors.
– Monitor Your Ducklings
It’s crucial to monitor your ducklings when they are roaming outdoors. Your presence will discourage predators such as cats or dogs from getting to your ducklings. If you lack time to monitor your ducklings, you can get someone to observe the ducklings.
– Consider Having a Fence in Your Yard
A good fence will help protect your ducklings from potential predators while they are living outdoors. There shouldn’t be any spaces in the fence that allow small predators such as raccoons to access your ducklings.
– Ensure the Ducklings Stay With Their Mother
Hen ducks are pretty protective of their ducklings. They will fight against any predator that is trying to attack their ducklings. Ensure your ducklings have their mother all the time as they roam outdoors.
The presence of their mother will ultimately scare away predators. Although it isn’t automatic that the hen duck will successfully prevent a predator from attacking her ducklings, there are high chances of your ducklings surviving if they are roaming outdoors with their mother.
– Have a Guard Dog Around
Getting a pet such as a dog will help deter predators that prey on ducklings. Predators such as raccoons, hawks, and owls that usually prey on ducklings will stay away from your ducklings if you have a dog around to protect your ducklings as they roam in your yard.
– Coop Up Your Ducklings at Night
Most predators attack ducks and their ducklings at night. Therefore, don’t allow your ducklings to be outside at night. Have a coop where the ducklings can sleep during the night and then let them out during the daytime.
Can You Let Ducklings Outside in Winter?
Yes, you can let your ducklings outside in winter. Ducklings are, however, not hardy enough to withstand the cold that comes with winter. Ensure your ducklings have somewhere in your yard where they can shelter from the snow in winter.
Don’t let ducklings outside in winter if they don’t have feathers. Ducklings without feathers will succumb to the cold during winter. Please wait until the ducklings have feathers that will help them to protect themselves from cold and snow in winter.
Can Ducklings Stay Outside at Night?
No, ducklings shouldn’t stay outdoors at night. Nighttime exposes ducklings to predators. Ducklings can’t also withstand the cold at night. Consider having a pen where your duckling can sleep at night to protect them from cold and predators.
Ducklings are ready to go outside when they are over four weeks old. While ducklings can go outside like adult ducks, they need protection from predators and adverse weather conditions. That notwithstanding, keeping ducklings outdoors is a fantastic idea for those who have many ducklings in their flock.