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Will my ducks be okay in this setup for the Winter??

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I have 5 chickens and 2 pekins (male and female). They have been living together since I got them as hatchlings. We ordered this chicken coop hoping that the ducks would be okay going into it…the place we ordered it from said they had other people that used it for ducks with no issues. Our ducks are not interested in going inside of it, and presently, I just lock the chickens inside of it at night. My ducks are very happy living on the enclosed "underside" of the coop, and being able to roam the run at night. During the day, the chickens are let out into the run with them. …then when I am hope everyone gets free range of the yard. I sort of like that the chickens have somewhere to "escape" the ducks…the more I read about drake's being jerks, the more I am worried that Bogey is going to get rough with my hens. 

 

My question is this: If I enclose the underside with heavy plastic/sheeting for the winter, and also enclose the run (with some ventilation)…do you think my ducks would be okay staying there through the winter?

 

Here is a picture of my coop and run…you can see the underside where my ducks like to go..

 

 

 

Here is a closeup…with a couple of my hens hanging out underneath.

 

post #2 of 7

They might be okay.  Some of it's going to depend on how cold for how long it gets.  I am in Connecticut, and winter was not drastically cold till the end of January, and then ooooh weeee it got cold.

 

You might want to have a backup plan.  And watch them closely.  Ducks will hide discomfort - so if they are shivering, walking stiff-legged, scrunch their necks, any other sign that they are stressed, get them to a warmer place.

 

Some of my Runners do not do well below freezing, some are okay.  So I keep the flock in a shelter that stays at 40F or above at night.  And I have a system for deciding how long to leave them out when it's below freezing.  We just added a very tiny duck to the flock this year, so that's going to add an interesting twist to things this winter.

 

For so many things, I let the ducks tell me what's working, and I do not assume they will be fine - I watch and try to come up with ideas for how to change things up if the current setup does not work.

Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.  

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Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.  

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post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amiga View Post
 

They might be okay.  Some of it's going to depend on how cold for how long it gets.  I am in Connecticut, and winter was not drastically cold till the end of January, and then ooooh weeee it got cold.

 

You might want to have a backup plan.  And watch them closely.  Ducks will hide discomfort - so if they are shivering, walking stiff-legged, scrunch their necks, any other sign that they are stressed, get them to a warmer place.

 

Some of my Runners do not do well below freezing, some are okay.  So I keep the flock in a shelter that stays at 40F or above at night.  And I have a system for deciding how long to leave them out when it's below freezing.  We just added a very tiny duck to the flock this year, so that's going to add an interesting twist to things this winter.

 

For so many things, I let the ducks tell me what's working, and I do not assume they will be fine - I watch and try to come up with ideas for how to change things up if the current setup does not work.


So, can we ask, what is the system- is it the observation you mention later in your post?  I am in WI and I know we will have a cold, wet winter.  Thanks for letting us know ducks "hide" discomfort.  Good advice! 

1 dear husband,3 great kids, and the pets... a Westie, a Kitty, and the new duckies! 2 WH,2 Choc Runner all hens.

Living in wonderful WI and now enjoying fresh duck eggs daily. : )

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1 dear husband,3 great kids, and the pets... a Westie, a Kitty, and the new duckies! 2 WH,2 Choc Runner all hens.

Living in wonderful WI and now enjoying fresh duck eggs daily. : )

Reply
post #4 of 7

Great set up! If you put up plastic definitely have ventilation-there will be a lot of moisture in there.

1 dear husband,3 great kids, and the pets... a Westie, a Kitty, and the new duckies! 2 WH,2 Choc Runner all hens.

Living in wonderful WI and now enjoying fresh duck eggs daily. : )

Reply

1 dear husband,3 great kids, and the pets... a Westie, a Kitty, and the new duckies! 2 WH,2 Choc Runner all hens.

Living in wonderful WI and now enjoying fresh duck eggs daily. : )

Reply
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

So I guess I will try the plastic sheeting regardless and leave them out... maybe add bedding/straw on top of the sand flooring….and if it gets crazy cold- I figure I could either toss them in with the chickens or I will bring them in my basement and keep them in a crate or pen like I did when they were waiting for the coop to be delivered.  The coop is also wired for electricity so at least I can hook up heated waterers. But what is too cold? I read about a range of temps online…Last winter we got hammered with snow- and did have some very cold days that hovered around 0-10 degrees F. 

 

Curious to see what other duck experts think.

post #6 of 7
Cool set up for summer but yeah with those temps that is not going to work. You should look into enclosing the bottom with more than just plastic. I would do wood and make a second house and make sure it has flooring that will not get wet. Lay down straw and shavings and make a door so they can go in and out. My ducks never go in their house but there are only a handful of days that is stays below freezing since I'm in TX.

As to your drake and chickens. Watch them very carefully. Usually only one female duck is bad news for her since males usually need around 3+ female ducks to spread the love. If your male duck does mate with one of your chickens he will injure her they question will be how bad is the damage. Sometimes they will all get along but come next spring you will need to be on top of this and be ready to step in as needed.

You have a lovely coop!

My phone thinks that it is smarter than I, please excuse the typos and nonsense jabber.

 

5 ducks, 3 chickens, 2 dogs and 1 cat all in suburbia.

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My phone thinks that it is smarter than I, please excuse the typos and nonsense jabber.

 

5 ducks, 3 chickens, 2 dogs and 1 cat all in suburbia.

Reply
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

So my DH and father-in-law are currently building me something I can fill with hay that I can slide to the back inside of the area of the coop I was talking about. This way I can slide it out and clean it as necessary. I didn't want to just stuff the entire area with straw because it would be impossible to clean. I guess you could describe it as a kind of drawer? It's going to have high sides so it keeps the straw in, adds some wind protection (in addition to the plastic covering the coop) and prevent the ducks from climbing behind it, etc. We will see, maybe I am crazy, but at least they will have a comfy spot off of the sand to sleep, and they will be out of the wind. Last night got down to around 28F, and me being paranoid, I put down a big beach towel for them to sleep on. Pretty sure they used it. My hubby thinks I am over thinking everything. Will post pics when this project is done =)

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