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how to keep the ducks alive during winter

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

hey we live in mn and we have some bad winter how do you keep my ducks alive thanks for answeringyippiechickie.gif

post #2 of 24

well , im in ireland and we can get very icey winters, but dont have them in the snow for ages , try get a hardier breed! and if you can get a pen it would be ideal and have a shelter , or if like me you want them free range then have a shelter , and keep lots of food for them available , i dont find it hard , never lost a duck in winter :)

post #3 of 24
Ducks have down coats. Provide shelter, unfrozen water and food


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Celtic Oaks Farm LLC

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post #4 of 24

Hi there! I recommend you follow The Winter Survival Plan (For ducks!) [Printing this off might help too]:

 

1# Have their housing well insulated. Getting thick foam is a popular option which works great, but you can usually put basic material, bin/trash/garbage bags around the coop so that no sharp cold winds enter inside. Make sure you have their vent uncovered however, so that they have fresh air circulating into the coop. If you have the time, you may wish to consider putting a heat lamp inside the coop. Infra-red lamps are good for really cold winters and your ducks will definitely appreciate it too! If not, put a simple basic light bulb in there, the excess electricity will generate some heat for the ducks.

 

2# Give them a good supply of food. Try to give them foods that contain small amounts fat and carbs such as bread. It will help them build up a strong body. Also, give them a good amount of protein, this builds their feathers up and gives them a warmer coating. Sometimes a warm snack is beneficial too!

 

3# Water. Your water must not freeze! Your ducks need fresh water in order to survive. It seems simple but is not always that easy. Try put their water with them not outside in the cold. Check it regularly and if has frozen, pour hot water over it to melt it. If you cannot check on the water because you might be busy, fill your waterer with warm (not hot) water, this will slow down the freezing rate, and your ducks will like it.

 

4# Baths. If your ducks have a bath/pond/river then try to make sure it does not freeze. It is not crucial but ducks do like their baths! Having a frozen bath will also make things harder for you to manage your ducks. Installing a heater is effective but costly. Instead, you could cover them up with plastic sheets or something similar.

 

5# Be careful with snow! Snow won't harm ducks at all but can make them wet and cold, which will  in turn make them ill. If it has snowed heavily, consider letting your ducks stay inside for the day. However, don't feel that you should keep your ducks in 24/7 for the whole winter. If you have got the time and it has stopped snowing, clear out the snow outside the duck's coop, they can then go outside and enjoy the space without getting wet and very cold.

 

6# Be one step ahead of mother nature! Check the weather forecast often so you aware when the snow or ice arrives. If the cold weather is a week or so away, collect more feed from your suppliers or the pet store to keep you going in case you cannot travel. Try to insulate the coop at this stage too! If the snow is set to arrive within the next few hours, insulate the coop quickly, check the waterers and keep them away from the snow, make sure you have enough food to keep you going, or visit the pet store for some food, even if it is poor quality, buy it! It will help.

 

7# Give the ducks some fun! Winter can be quite restricting for ducks, they cannot go out and feel uncomfortable in the cold. Giving them something fun usually helps. A popular choice is to give your ducks some warm treats. You could place an "unusual" object in their coop that they will play around with. Another choice is to put a heap of straw inside, which they will happily play with and make nests out of. Creating a comfy nest won't normally make your ducks lay in the winter but it will give them something to do and they can rest in it when it is cold.


Edited by Volkova - 8/26/12 at 11:45am
post #5 of 24

Heated dog bowls work well for drinking water.  I put a narrow notched board across so they cannot climb in.  For the pool, we use a birdbath heater which keeps it unfrozen and they can stay clean all year. 
 

post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by veronicasmom View Post

Heated dog bowls work well for drinking water.  I put a narrow notched board across so they cannot climb in.  For the pool, we use a birdbath heater which keeps it unfrozen and they can stay clean all year. 
 

I was wondering about both these things!  Thanks smile.png   Any particular heater? and you have a plastic kids pool right?

Mom to 3 human children, 3 mallard ducklings, a pomeranian, a shih tzu, a maine coon, 2 leopard geckos, a corn snake, a hamster, a 92 gallon freshwater aquarium and a 1400 gallon koi/goldfish pond 

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Mom to 3 human children, 3 mallard ducklings, a pomeranian, a shih tzu, a maine coon, 2 leopard geckos, a corn snake, a hamster, a 92 gallon freshwater aquarium and a 1400 gallon koi/goldfish pond 

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post #7 of 24

We house our ducks and geese in a one car garage with a roll up door that is lined with straw bales 3 high all the way around and 4 high in the doorway.

 

We stopped putting water in with them at night due to the mess and they do just fine. Outside, we have a small round pond insert about 2 feet across that is refilled several times a day. It is next to a frost free water hydrant so there is always water flow.

 

We get a lot of sub zero nights and well below freezing days and last year, didn't use heat lamps at all. We did make sure to make paths in the yard for them in the snow with the snow blower so they had someplace to run around.

 

Because the days are so short in winter, we keep a low wattage light on in the garage for them.

post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 

so if i keep them in a big tub in our garage and they will be fine

post #9 of 24

Why would you keep them in a tub? Why not a coop with straw insulation and plenty of straw on the floor to keep warm in and run around on?

post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 

sorry so just we have one of those huge dog kennels so if we put ply wood on will that work

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