I'm very new to keeping ducks, and have learned tons from this forum, so thank you! We've had our babies (3 Pekin- one female, two males) since they were born on Memorial Day weekend, and this weekend we picked up two Indian Runners and a Muscovy, all female, all full grown but don't appear to be laying eggs yet, and believe me, I've been looking, LOL! Now that winter is approaching, I'm wondering about how I'm going to pull this off properly.
So a bit about our current set up- We have a nice fenced in back yard. Within the yard, I have a pen for the ducks. There is a pool in the pen for them, as well as one out in the yard. I dump and fill both each day. They have free range of the yard for most of the day, but I do pen them for half hour bursts a few times during the day so I get let my shih tzus outside to romp and potty. They also spend the night in their pen, but never showed any interest in their coop or the dog house I put in there with a bunch of hay for bedding. They all prefer to hang out either in the pool or under the coop.
1. I usually turn off the water supply under the house that runs to my hose that I use to fill up these pools because the pipe will freeze and burst otherwise. Suggestions on retaining a working water supply over the winter?
2. Will I need to start physically placing them in their coop to keep warm at night and should I install a heat lamp inside the coop? Granted, this coop was built for THREE ducks, now that we've got six, if putting them up at night is a must, I need to re-think their lodging.
3. Am I over thinking this? We see ducks out on the pond across from my kids' school all year long and they don't seem to have a problem with floating around on cold water, but I don't want to use those guys, who very well may be miserable, as my example for my babies.
Just curious how much winterization I need to do so I can get it all set up ahead of time. I'm in low elevation part of North Carolina, so while our winters aren't brutal, we have been known to see a few inches of snow and lots of freezing rain between December through February.
Thanks so much for your help!