The hated brooder cage

As I mentioned before, ducklings hate being confined. It doesn’t matter if they are only 2 days old. Sometimes you’d think they would rather die than be placed in the cage, especially if “mom” walks away right afterward and they can’t follow her.

I only subject them to this indignity when they have to go to bed at night, or when we have to go out grocery shopping or have errands to run. Also when we need to cook and/or eat. Otherwise they are out of their cage all day. One upside to this is that their cage is probably not as dirty or wet as it might be otherwise, since they only spend part of the day in it. Still it is starting to smell a bit, and I’m thinking of moving it from the living room to the laundry/utility room tomorrow so it doesn’t stink up the whole house.

They will grow very fast with all the good food they eat and all the exercise and sleep they are getting – this morning I weighed them and some have already put on a few grams of weight. I won’t be surprised if they will be already too big for the brooder in just 2 or 3 weeks.

ducklings new brooder

Cage-brooder with heating plate. Not the duckling’s idea of luxury, but will do for now.

H. says when they are old enough to stay outdoors at night, he will buy them a dog house for shelter (most times ducks don’t need a shelter except from wind and rain). We won’t lock them in it but let them have free run of the garden, since they can jump in the pond if they need to get away from a predator. If a cage or pen is not built properly, then all you would have done is to create a prison your ducks can’t escape from when a predator manages to find a way in.

Alternatively, we can lock them in the garden shed at night with some hay for bedding and food and water, and let them run free in the day – this would probably be ideal until they reach their full size and can fly. If they eventually fly back to the wild, they are free to do that, but I have a feeling our ducks are quite pampered here and may just decide to stay!

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