Brooder Temperatures For Ducklings

In the farmingfriends forum we have been asked about brooder temperatures for ducklings.

the temp in his brooder is about 93 degrees F. Is that good? or should it be different? Badoodle


If the duckling is moving away from the heat lamp, is laying down alot and panting then the temp is prob too high, if the duckling is huddled under the heat lamp then too low a temp. moving around and sitting in different places usually means the temp is right. The link that Mo gave says, The duckling will need a temperature in the brooder of about 86 degree fahrenheit day one and then by day 7 about 81 degrees.

Once your duckling is dried out and strong enough it won’t rely on the heat lamp so much, like other birds such as guinea fowl.

Check out the following books about ducks and incubating and hatching eggs.

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Brooder Litter For Chicks, Ducklings and Keets

I have received this tip and advice about litter for a brooder.

“The safest, most comfortable ,most hygienic, most chick friendly and cheapest litter for a brooder is clean chopped straw. All you need is a small bale of straw and your lawnmower (with it’s collection bag on if possible). Lay straw on a clean,dry floor and just mow it with up .It could not be easier ,by the way store in a dry bag / place. One square bale of straw will give you and the chicks a lotta pleasure. If you do’nt have a mower, get out the scissors ( get help from a adult please), you will chop a lot of straw in 4/5 minutes. For easier and quicker cleaning of brooder etc ,lay a few sheets of newspaper or cardboard on the bare floor followed by about a half inch of your chopped straw, add some more straw to this every few days,making sure that the chicks feet are always clean.Just roll up and replace when as required. Also for the first 3 to 4 days the chicks are in the brooder place a long single strip of cardboard 6 inches high around the inside of the brooder,rounding the corners, it stops them bunching and smothering.”

Thanks Stephen for this tip.

A litter material is placed on the floor in the brooder to help insulate the floor for the birds comfort and to absorb moisture. Litter also helps control disease and can prevent splayed legs which chicks and keets can easily suffer from if the correct flooring is not provided.

Suitable litter materials include;

  • Wood shavings.
  • ground corncobs.
  • Sawdust.
  • Sugarcane.
  • Rice hulls.
  • Finely chopped straw.
  • Wheat straw.

Whichever litter material is chosen it must be clean, fresh, not mouldy and 2-8 inches or 5-20cms deep.

Unsuitable litter materials include;

  • Newspaper.
  • Paper.
  • Metal.
  • Plastic.
  • Lino.
  • Wood.
  • Ordinary cardboard.
  • Any slippery surface.

Cloth, carpet or corrugated cardboard may be used as a flooring in a small homemade brooder as these surfaces can provide traction for the keets to get a grip on and not slip.

I have successfully reared guinea fowl keets, ducklings and quail chicks on carpet and straw.

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Brooder Temperatures For Quail

Here are approximate brooder temperatures for quail at different ages.

  • The brooder temperature for newly hatched quail  and within the first week needs to be at 95 -100 degrees F (about 35 degrees c).
  • By week two the temperature in the brooder can be reduced to 90 degrees F (32 degrees C).
  • Into week three the temperature can be reduced to 85 degrees F (29 degrees C).
  • In hotter climates or when the temperature outside is warm then the heat lamp may be turned off for a few hours each day by week three.
  • By week four the heat lamp can be turned off or down  to 80 degrees F (27 degrees C) during the day.
  • The temperature can be reduced by 5 degrees F each week.
  • By week 6 or by the time the quail are fully feathered, the heat lamp can be turned off.
  • The outside temperature affects the need for heat. If it is cold outside then the temperatures may need to be maintained or the period of heat may be lengthened and similarly if it is warm then the temperature of the heat lamp can be reduced or turned off.


Litter Suitable For Brooders

A litter material is placed on the floor in the brooder to help insulate the floor for the birds comfort and to absorb moisture. Litter also helps control disease and can prevent splayed legs which chicks and keets can easily suffer from if the correct flooring is not provided.

Suitable litter materials include;

  • Wood shavings.
  • ground corncobs.
  • Sawdust.
  • Sugarcane.
  • Rice hulls.
  • Finely chopped straw.
  • Wheat straw.

Whichever litter material is chosen it must be clean, fresh, not mouldy and 2-8 inches or 5-20cms deep.

Following the recommendations of Michael Roberts in his book Guinea Fowl Past & Present, I would also recommend wheat straw as the most suitable litter for guinea fowl keets. Roberts states that, “Wheat straw is the best litter as it is not as dusty as shavings and cannot be as easily ingested by the keets….The wheat straw is disturbed far less…than shavings would be, as it mats down flat on the floor, and consequently there is not so much dust and fewer breathing problems.”

Storey’s Guide to Raising Poultry makes the important note that, “Chicks that are very hungry…may try to eat litter before learning to eat feed. To prevent this, put paper over the litter for the first 3-4 days after they arrive until they learn to eat from feeders.” Please note if using paper make sure that it is a rough paper as a slippery surface can cause leg weakness and crooked feet. Although I have used sawdust in the past, I have never placed the paper over the litter because when I move my keets from the incubator to the brooder I usually get them to eat and drink straight away so that they become accustomed to the feed and drink straight way.

Litter management is very important because wet, dirty litter can harbour bacteria and cause outbreaks of various diseases or ailments. Excessively wet litter can cause coccidiosis and wet, dirty litter may cause breast blisters or skin irritations.

Unsuitable litter materials include;

  • Newspaper.
  • Paper.
  • Metal.
  • Plastic.
  • Lino.
  • Wood.
  • Ordinary cardboard.
  • Any slippery surface.

 

Guinea fowl keets have weaker legs than chickens and should never be brooded on newspaper or any slippery surface as splayed legs can occur very quickly and once the leg has become twisted it is almost impossible to get the keet to walk normally again.

 

Cloth, carpet or corrugated cardboard may be used as a flooring in a small homemade brooder as these surfaces can provide traction for the keets to get a grip on and not slip.

I have successfully reared guinea fowl keets on carpet, sawdust and straw.

  1. Thank you for a very helpful article – this is the detailed info we need, but is hard to find!
    We have put our guinea fowl chicks on chopped bark – but in future we will use wheat straw
    Thank you again

    Comment by cynthia – May 11, 2007 @ 7:32 am

  2. This is a useful site! I am not sure how to use the wheat straw. Would you chop it, or use it straight from the bale in a wedge?
    Thanks
    Sally

    Comment by sally – May 11, 2007 @ 7:34 am

  3. Hi Cynthia,

    I am pleased you have found my information useful. Yes wheat straw is good because although the chicks try to nibble on it they do not actually eat it. I hope your guinea fowl chicks are doing ok. How many do you have?

    Sara @ Farming Friends

    Comment by Sara @ Farming Friends – May 11, 2007 @ 7:58 am

  4. Hi Sally,

    I’m glad you find my site useful.

    I put some uncut wheat straw into my new brooder yesterday. Although the guinea fowl keets are managing they are a bit wobbly on their feet and next time I think I will chop it up abit for them. I normally use the normal wheat straw from a bale when they are abit older so I recommend chopping the wheat straw but not too small that they eat it! I would also only put a small amount down. Mine is covering corrugated card and is abit too thick at the moment, although I think the keets will enjoy hiding in the straw when they get a bit stronger!

    Thanks for your question Sally, good luck with your keets.

    Sara @ Farming Friends

    Comment by Sara @ Farming Friends – May 11, 2007 @ 8:04 am


Brooder Temperature For Guinea Fowl Keets

Guinea fowl keets require heat in the brooder for the first 6-8 weeks after hatching and then the heat can usually be turned off after 6-8 weeks depending on the conditions where the brooder is located and the number of birds in the brooder.

Brooder For Guinea Fowl Keets With Heat Lamp

Brooder For Guinea Fowl Keets With Heat Lamp

For guinea fowl keets the brooder temperature should start at about 95-100 degrees fahrenheit (35-38 degrees celsius) for the first 1-2 weeks and then reducing by 5 degrees fahrenheit each week.

When turning off the heat lamp keep an eye on the keets and if they start to huddle together then reconsider turning the lamp on for short periods of time until the keets become accustomed to the ordinary air temperature.

If you keep guinea fowl and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your guinea fowl then why not join the free farmingfriends guinea fowl forum.

Front Cover Of Incubating, Hatching & Raising Guinea Fowl Keets An eBook

If you fancy having a go at incubating, hatching and raising guinea fowl keets then check out my Incubating, Hatching & Raising guinea Fowl Keets eBook and if you are in the UK then I also have guinea fowl eggs for hatching for sale (UK Spring and Summer months).