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do ducks need swimming water during winter?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

our ducks have a 10x20 run with a 10x5 roofed/enclosed area for the night with a doghouse for nesting. during the day, we open the run so they can explore the pasture that sits alongside our woods/swampy area. with all the rain we've had, we still have green grass, mud and puddling water so the ducks are having a blast.  that will soon end as the temp gets more toward freezing and the snow arrives.  we need to move our small "cement mixing" pool/tub to the outside of the duck's enclosure because most of the straw bedding is getting soaked. trying to decide whether we should put a drop-in heater in the small pool or save the heater for their water dish. if the ducks do not need water to swim in through the winter, that will answer the question. ideas?

happy caretaker of 7 boer goat breeding does, 14 goat kids, 28 laying chickens 1 airedale, 1 tabby house cat, 2 barn cats and 4 indian runner duck. we are blessed - and often tired!
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happy caretaker of 7 boer goat breeding does, 14 goat kids, 28 laying chickens 1 airedale, 1 tabby house cat, 2 barn cats and 4 indian runner duck. we are blessed - and often tired!
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post #2 of 10

Well I know that I've read on here that people don't fill their ducks pools in the winter.  We do.  My husband, grandson and I go out every morning and break up ice in the pools for the ducks and geese and refill their pools every day.  Do they need it, probably not, but I know they enjoy swimming in that icy cold water!

We figure its a bit of an inconvenience for us but its our job to take care of them so we do it.  Crazy?  Maybe but we really don't mind.

Bantam Wyandottes
Muscovy Ducks
Sebastopol Geese
Guineas
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Bantam Wyandottes
Muscovy Ducks
Sebastopol Geese
Guineas
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post #3 of 10

I'd make it so they have drinking water available all the time and use the heater for that. And then just fill up a tub of water on a day here and there so they can still get into some fresh water and get cleaned up once a week or so.
But you could make the swim dish their water dish as well.

post #4 of 10

Ducks never "need" swimming water.  They have to be able to dunk their heads, that's all.

They will swim in the winter if they have water, but they will survive just fine without swimming.

Exhibition quality Blue Swedish Ducks and Gray Saddleback Pomeranian Geese,   Hatching eggs available in late winter and spring. NPIP

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Exhibition quality Blue Swedish Ducks and Gray Saddleback Pomeranian Geese,   Hatching eggs available in late winter and spring. NPIP

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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

good to know. thank's everyone for your input. we decided we're going to keep the little "bucket pond" outside their bedding area with a heater in it and have a rubber bowl for their drinking in their overnight area without a heater.  when i go to lock them up at night, i'll put some hot water in the rubber bowl to raise the temp. we'll see how long that will work.

happy caretaker of 7 boer goat breeding does, 14 goat kids, 28 laying chickens 1 airedale, 1 tabby house cat, 2 barn cats and 4 indian runner duck. we are blessed - and often tired!
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happy caretaker of 7 boer goat breeding does, 14 goat kids, 28 laying chickens 1 airedale, 1 tabby house cat, 2 barn cats and 4 indian runner duck. we are blessed - and often tired!
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post #6 of 10

I took away my ducks pools last winter after taking out th ice every day for a week. I left them water buckets but on day 2 of no pools they were all fighting to have a bath in the water buckets. Needless to say the pools got put back out and I had happy ducks again and I was left to break ice every morning.

~Nicky~
Mum to 5 Dogs, 2 Cats, 4 Mini Horses, 1 Mule, 1 QH, 5 Goats, 1 Goldfish. I have short fat white ducks and tall skinny coloured ducks, and a few geese And eggs in the bator.
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~Nicky~
Mum to 5 Dogs, 2 Cats, 4 Mini Horses, 1 Mule, 1 QH, 5 Goats, 1 Goldfish. I have short fat white ducks and tall skinny coloured ducks, and a few geese And eggs in the bator.
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post #7 of 10

My ducks don't have swimming water over the winter. It would freeze solid here in Wisconsin and I have enough deicers running as it is. They just have to deal without until warmer weather. As long as they can dunk their heads that's all they need.

Nicki
proud mama to...
american blackbelly barbados sheep, chickens, ducks, geese, cats, dogs, rabbits...
You call it outdated or old school, I call it common sense and normal!

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Nicki
proud mama to...
american blackbelly barbados sheep, chickens, ducks, geese, cats, dogs, rabbits...
You call it outdated or old school, I call it common sense and normal!

Reply
post #8 of 10

I tried taking away their tub and giving them buckets but they rambunctiously emptied them in a few hours and would run out of water. So we went back to the tub, and I've just been breaking ice and cleaning it out every other day. I think they stay more water proof if they have water to bath in at least once in a while. After three weeks of no pool and wet weather I noticed their feathers seem to start retaining more water.

"Dust thou art and to dust though shall return, is true of the body, but was never written of the Soul." -Longfellow
"Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither" - Benjamin Franklin
Vote NO to GMO!
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"Dust thou art and to dust though shall return, is true of the body, but was never written of the Soul." -Longfellow
"Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither" - Benjamin Franklin
Vote NO to GMO!
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post #9 of 10

I have answered this question before...will again.

We had Call Ducks and we had a pond.  We used a small heater in the Pond and the Call Ducks swam all Winter.  Ducks LOVE water.  And when we had to be away...we always had
large black tubs for them...fulled with WATER.

The Pond was the BEST.  We had to let our Ducks out in the AM and drive them in in Winter.
Ducks love the outside and WATER.  I think they would stay out all night if we let them.

Now we have Silkie Chickens and then go in an out themselves.  We have Automatic Door.
Our Chickens are much easier for us.  Aria

Silkie Chickens Are A Joy
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Silkie Chickens Are A Joy
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post #10 of 10

Despite the hassle of keeping pools in winter for ducks, I agree with a couple of the other folks posts about buckets vs. pools.
I firmly believe that in order to keep feather quality up-they need to swim.


Edited by easttxchick - 12/4/11 at 1:09pm
"Be like a duck.  Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath. " ~Michael Caine
Pyncheon Bantams, Norwegian Jaerhon, Butterscotch, White, Gray, Pencil, Self-Black, Blue Fawn Pied and Snowy Call Ducks  NPIP Certified and Member NCBA and ABA
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"Be like a duck.  Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath. " ~Michael Caine
Pyncheon Bantams, Norwegian Jaerhon, Butterscotch, White, Gray, Pencil, Self-Black, Blue Fawn Pied and Snowy Call Ducks  NPIP Certified and Member NCBA and ABA
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