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-2F (-19C) and the ducks are out + pics

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by katharinad, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Boy it is cold outside. We expected our well to freeze up, but it did not. We did build a well house over it after having it frozen up several times. The well house is insulated and we've put an oil filled heater in it. Worked well, yet I still had buckets full of water in the house ready to be used to unfreeze it.

    We did build a shelter in the small duck run, added hay bales, and put hay onto the ground so they can come out today. The main concern is frost bite to their feet, so we did all this extra work. It seems to work out fine. It is very cold with -2F (-19C) and they are outdoors. They still can get back into the heated duck house, but they choose to be outside. They are all sitting the the outdoor shelter filled with nice hay and tons of seeds to be found.

    Watched the news on TV and saw the pardoning of the turkeys by the President at the White House. Nice little speech, but what I thought was funny are the names of the white turkeys. Apple and Cider.

    We will have a small turkey meal tomorrow. We've just bought a breast roast for the two of us. Don't plan on cooking to much either. Can't eat that much food anyway. Anyway, happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Please share your wealth with the soup kitchen or homeless shelter and donate some eggs to them.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010

  2. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    Brrrr! It is cold at your house! I love snow but am glad it doesn't get that cold here. I complain if it gets down to 30 with the wind blowing! I really don't mind cold if the wind isn't helping it along.
    I can't wait to see my ducks in the snow. My chickens barely get out in it. they stay to the dirt next to the barn and will not go out and hunt for anything. The ducks I expect to be more adventurous.

    Really neat shelter with the hay bales. I know they appreciate it.

    I do hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving. We won't be eating turkey but we did take out our extra Silver Appleyard drake and I will make an apple/walnut dressing to go with him. He didn't dress out very big because I let him run with the flock up until butchering. Next year I will put my drakes up.

    Oh, I do take all my extra eggs to the local food pantry/soup kitchen every week. They did not have it today (odd since it is a holiday and I thought needed) but then I had very few eggs to give this week with everyone buying me out. We have been giving every week for several years.
    I am thankful I have the health to care for all my chickens and ducks. And I am thankful I see the beauty in the work and the fun of watching the boogers!
  3. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010
  4. Where The Wild Things Are

    Where The Wild Things Are Chirping

    Nov 2, 2010
    Yowzer...-2 is cooold. I was complaining about our 6 that I woke up to. I caved in last night and put the ducks in my insulated coop. I know I slept better...I hope they did too! I was not sure how the chickens were going to react. The ducks have never been in the coop before. Everyone seemed to get along just fine. I did let the ducks out this morning. I don't think they would be happy "cooped up" all day. It only forecast to reach 18 today, but they have a straw fill hut to get the out of the wind and off the snow and ice (should they actually choose to go in it). I can already tell that this winter is going to be quite a learning experience. I also have a question...what are your thoughts about using a black light in a coop? I bought several for Halloween a few years back. They get dang hot, but would not put off much light as to disturb my hens. All opinions are welcome. And I too would like to wish you all a very safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday. I have much to be thankful for. And I think I'm going make the birdies a special thanksgiving feast. Baked pumpkin and squash, corn, peas, tomatoes...and maybe just a little turkey. I'm not sure how I feel about that though...seems just a little weird. So they might just get mealworms instead [​IMG]
  5. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Was -6 here this morning. Ducks came out and took a bath right away - they like the frosted look.

    This is the first year they will be sharing the coop at night with the chickens, do to a GHO who has been hunting them. Until now, our ducks lived like our geese - out in the open - even down to -29. I just spread hay on top of the ground/snow behind their wind-break and break their ice a couple times a day.
  6. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    I know ducks can be fine at -25F with wind protection, but at what cost? I mean they must be miserable at that temperature. -2 is bad already, but I gave them the choice of duck house or outside run and they choose. They actually all went first into the outdoor shelter to the left, but came out as the sun started to shine into the run. They look fine so I don't feel that bad. They will not get the daytime outdoor run area today. It is less protected, even with two A-frame shelters filled with hay. I reserve that area for when it is 30 degrees or warmer. Only one thing I've noticed is that they look like crap with some poo in the feathers because there is no swimming for now. They will get the concrete mixing bin once it gets over 32 degrees.
  7. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Quote:You know I don't know what the visible spectrum is for poultry. Is it the same as for us humans? That is something I would love to know, and none of the darn duck books ever talk about it. I have a small baby night light on all night and they make a racket if the bulb is dead. They have been used to this light since the brooder and refuse to be without it. Crazy ducks. Otherwise I use an oil filled radiator in the duck house. It is safe and you can set it to a very low temp or the freezing prevention setting. They sell for 30 bucks or even less on sale. Be careful with the black light so nothing catches on fire due to excess heat or it touching something. Well you will know how warm they get and can judge it from there.

  8. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I would think they are miserable too. But they have always had insulated dog houses, dog igloos and crates to go into. They never have on their own. Even the coop is a nightly herd in driven by me.

    The geese who refuse all large houses also – at least until breeding season - but still have access to them, leave a body shape melted into the snow/ice if they do not lay on the hay. Goose down is incredibly warm.

    I believe they acclimate to the temperature just like their wild counter parts – course unlike their wild brethren, my fowl eat much better and very often during the winter.

    Our fowl bathe all year long. I break and pitchfork out the ice in the pools morning/night and dump them once a day – usually at noonish. I throw the ice over the fence into the garden – the year that I did not do that, I ended up with a run filled with knee high ice piles (I kept hoping it would warm enough to melt them but it did not). Clean feathers keep a bird warmer.
  9. Where The Wild Things Are

    Where The Wild Things Are Chirping

    Nov 2, 2010
    During warmer months I use a small LED 5 watt nightlight that's on a photocell. It gives just enough light for them to see the roosting bars. My coop is fully insulated...doors, walls, roof, floor, even the window. Lots of nice warm bedding. I only have 5 hens and the coop is 4'x6'x5' tall. I thought for sure it would be pleanty warm, but last night their water froze. Its a 3 gal hanging waterer. I brought it in and cleaned it out (it was not frozen solid) and ran it under hot water to warm up the steel a little. I filled it with warmish water and hung it back up. I also wiped the dust off the reflector and replaced the night light with a 100 watt bulb for a little heat. Its not going to get warm enough today for the coop to store any heat, so I will use artificial means. I don't want to leave the 100 watt bulb in all night...after all, who wants to sleep with the lights on. I do have a red 250 watt bulb that I used in the brooder (and the socket is rated for well over that) but that's a little extreme I think. I have the 60 watt black light bulbs and they put off about as much heat as the 100 soft white that's in there now (but using much less power than the 100 or 250 watt...and no annoying bright light). Yeah this winter is going to be quite a learning experience. Lots of trial and error...ugh
  10. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    It will be a good idea to put up the light for some warmth. I'm not a big friend of the 250 heat lamps. They sell those ceramic disks at pet stores that go into a standard socket. Not sure how warm they get. A 60 watt bulb may be enough, since it is an insulated coop. We are in for a very cold winter this year.

    Husband decided to open up the gate to the small enclosed run to let the ducks out. They all ran out into the snow, and you could tell that they did not like it on their feet. I mean they have been playing in the snow before, but it was not that cold. They basically ran a few feet and dropped down pulling their feet under their feathers and making this shivering motion with their wing feathers. Well he rounded them back up into the hay covered run and they looked so much happier. He said he wanted to see how they are doing. He loves the ducks and would never force them into an uncomfortable situation. He feels a little bit sad that they are cooped up. The run is 10x20 feet with a small shelter and only 9 ducks. They are fine. This is his first time living with ducks.

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