On Tuesday the ducklings will be 5 weeks old. They have gotten SO big and SO messy. We tried changing their shavings every other day, and today it became clear that wasn't enough. Their 4' x 12' half of the brooder house is just not big enough for them.
I did some research on line and discovered that at four weeks they are old enough to be outside as long as they have a heat lamp on cold nights and they can stay dry if it rains. Surprisingly enough, Muscovy ducks won't produce their own waterproof oils until eight weeks of age, and if they get wet they will get chilled.
In a couple days when they're used to the Duck Mobile as their home, we'll try letting them out during the day into the barnyard. There's plenty of dried manure (yum!) and some green grass coming back, lots of room to roam, and a place to set a shallow pan of water on sunny days so they can play in the water.
Every time I take care of the ducklings, I've been singing these silly words to "Stars and Stripes Forever":
"Be kind to your web-footed friends,
For a duck may be somebody's mother.
They live in the brook by the swamp
Where the weather is always damp (domp).
If you think that this is the end,
Well, it is!"
I think our web-footed friends are happier now, don't you?