Any ideas are welcome!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by gravitystar, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. gravitystar

    gravitystar Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 17, 2013
    Jersey
    I have a little bit of a problem that I am hoping you all will be able to help with.

    So I have my babies and their pen and I am no longer allowed to run electrical out to them so that means no heat or heated water bowl. So what on earth do I do?

    I am in NJ and it has been mighty cold, I don't think it made it past 28 degrees today. Tonight it will be down to 5.

    Is there a solar heater that anyone knows of? Anything that anyone can think of? I really could use some help.

    This is their first winter, they are not even a year old yet... This is my first winter too.

    Is there something I can put in their house, on the ground of their pen, anything that can warm my poor babies up?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Well, invest in these.. rubber livestock bowls. They come in a massive amount of sizes and you can literately stomp on them. For now if you pull feed/water overnight they'll be fine. Make sure they have water at least twice daily and ensure one is deep enough to clean the nares, the larger of these bowls can even be used for a quick bath.

    [​IMG]

    an example from last winter...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  3. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    If they have a draft free shelter and a decent amount of bedding I wouldn't worry to much about them being cold. Ducks are naturally insulated very well and can handle most winter temperatures without any issues. I would be concerned about their water bowl freezing though. How large is their bowl?
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    You ducks will be fine without heat as long as they can get in out of the weather if they so choose. as far as keeping the water thawed that is going to present another problem most of us that can use electricity have heated buckets but not all some use the heavy duty blk rubber bowls and just break the ice up every day. They do need to have fresh drinking water in the day time so with out heat I don't know how your going to keep the water from freezing. Hopefully someone can help you with this. Can I ask why you can use electric now?
     
  5. gravitystar

    gravitystar Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 17, 2013
    Jersey
    Thank you guys so much. I have about 6" of the wood shavings in their house, unfortunately it is not draft free. I made windows in each of the four sides of the house. They trample the 6" of shavings down to about 3" by the end o the night. I had been putting a blanket over the pen when it was 30-40 but once it dropped under 30 I used the light. Guess I go back the the blanket.

    [​IMG]

    This is the house and their bowls, they are the heavy duty rubber ones. They hold about half a gallon of water each, think I should get the larger ones?

    The pool is currently frozen and covered in snow since we got 4" yesterday. I am thinking about getting a bail of hay and putting in on the ground for them but I am worried about bumblefoot from it. I had a heat light in the house and I bought one of those 1.5 gallon heated pet bowls that worked really well but can't use it now.

    My husband and I rent and the ducks were not a big deal when we moved in, they said no problem as long as I keep them clean, which you can clearly see that I do, but apparently there is an issue with the electrical chord running on the lawn... We have an rfi outlet, I bought a water proof plug cover so that there were no issues with that, and I was scolded this morning because I ran the line anyway last night and was told that if they can't make it through the winter without heat then I should give them away... and I was told to find a "farmers solar water heater from a tractor supply store"... Ugh, some people are just not animal people.
     
  6. gravitystar

    gravitystar Out Of The Brooder

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    Jersey
    Are saxony ducks, swedes and mallards cold hardy ducks?
     
  7. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    This is a nice set-up, skip the lamp that's a small coop you'll mess with your humidity levels.I would get a larger rubber bowl, that way you can give bathing water... just stomp away and refill.

    I am darn cold this AM... 10F -4F windchill, no heat anywhere here, i bed well, feed well and keep the birds with decent quantities for the building sizing. A solar water heaters? HA.. the guy is a dreamer, i have seen them for horses hundreds and unless i missed something none suitable for ducks.

    My calls have no electric water .. we bang out a small rubber bowl and take a sledge to their 40GAL trough, they swim with the ice.. no not kidding, i hope to get a floater heater eventually. My bigger flock i do have a heated bucket in their barn and i heat a 50GAL trough BUT they just as much use the rubber livestock bowls, so we stomp those out. Most of the chickens here have no heated water and neither do my sheep... it's a lot of rubber buckets/bowls and hauling water so it is doable without heat, that is the point of my long drawn out ramble here lol
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  8. gravitystar

    gravitystar Out Of The Brooder

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    Jersey
    ;0) I picked up a larger rubber bowl yesterday and some hay, I figure that I can use it to block the wind on a section and they would have a buffer between the cold ground and their bodies. It is timothy hay though, is that ok for them? It is not in their house, I have the wood bedding for that. I worry about bumble foot with they hay though which is why I waited so long to add it. I have read so many posts about bumble and that they had hay... Are the two related?

    I did figure out a solution for the water, let me know your thoughts. (Please excuse my lack of technical words, I understand how it works, just not what it is called!) We have a power inverter that you can plug into the car then plug a regular plug into it, it has the red and black connectors on it where I could connect a 12 volt battery to it, then just plug the heated bowl into the inverter and charge the battery every night since I don't put water in their house during the night (too messy)!

    As for their house at night, we picked up some foam insulation that we are going to put on the top and bottom of the house and cover in thick plastic so that they wouldn't be able to peck at it and then cover the house in a blanket so the frost doesn't get in. I brought them in the house last night, gave them a tubby and let them hang in the bathroom all night and brought them out this morning, they went right to the hay and laid down, they are so cold! ;0( I would bring them in every night but we only have one bathroom and it ends up smelling like a barn! lol

    My husband refused to build them the house that I wanted. I seriously wanted framing and insulation and cement board over it. I also figured out that we could do the heated floor like people do in their bathrooms then tile over it, would be super easy to clean. I might be a little over the top with it though, hubby thought so (and that I was crazy too!).

    Thoughts, concerns??
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I think your over stressing on them being so cold, they are wearing down under their feathers. just give them a place to get out of the elements wind/snow rain. and my flock loves to nibble on the timothy hay so don't freak out if you seeing them munching on some. [​IMG] your doing all you can to keep them safe and out of winters worst. I'm not sure on the thing your talking about using the battery, but if it works on the heated bowl by all means use it. Bringing them inside in warmth and then back out into frigid is worse on them than letting them get acclimated to winter weather they are tougher than we give them credit for. Unless they are not feathered in then that would be a problem.
     
  10. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What Miss Lydia said is right. I live in Maine now (originally from Jersey) and my ducks do just fine in the winter. I like to use some straw in their house rather than hay due to the insulating quality. Straw is hollow and the air in it makes it more insulating and it stays drier than hay does. Plus mine love to poke around in it and eat all the seeds on it. Normally if I fill the black rubber bowls with very hot water a few times a day they stay thawed. Mine do have a bird bath heater in their pool and a heater dog dish for water also.
    I have been giving them dried cracked corn, a little crushed cat food and their regular fare, pellets, veggies and peas. They all do just fine. Don't know where you are in NJ, but my hometown, Caldwell is 27 now and we are 19 up here in Maine. All my ducks are out and around, but have access to the house if they choose.
     

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