Call Ducks & Canadian Winters

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Helicalstripes, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. Helicalstripes

    Helicalstripes New Egg

    Dec 5, 2016
    Hi all,

    Right now I have 6 call ducks and 2 indian runners. I am expecting 3 pekins, 2 rouens and 2 more runners.

    Where I'm at the temperature can be anywhere from 0 to -30*.

    I've converted my shed into a coop, It's nothing fancy, straw on the ground & banked against the walls to stop the lower drafts. Water situation is kept under control by a floating dog dish in their water bowl - makes it harder for them to climb in.

    I have converted a car tent into an outdoor aviary for them as well with; duckboards to keep them off the mud, and a wire area for their swimming pool. The snow will accumulate on the duck board but as far as I've read they can handle a little snow.

    I've read that Pekins & Rouens are fattier birds, so they can handle the cold best.
    The Runners & Calls are a leaner bird; so they're more susceptible to the cold.

    Do they need the heat lamp if they're out of the wind & rain?
    How often should they be let out to swim?
    Is it reasonable for them to be kept in a shed all winter? My friends chickens don't seem to mind..
    At what temperature are they at risk for frost bite?
    At what temperature is it too cold for them to swim?

    Thank you in advance :)
  2. Bills vs Beaks

    Bills vs Beaks True BYC Addict

    Aug 31, 2016
    NJ USA
    My Coop
    @chickens really!!![​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    One thing I find important is to really keep an eye on them. Their body language will tell you if they are okay.

    Heat lamps are a fire risk - but hypothermia is life-threatening, too. Some of my Runners don't do well below 35F. They do not huddle together for warmth, never have. Each flock is unique - the books are helpful, others' experience is helpful, but your ducks will tell you if they are okay or not.

    Here is what I do in the deep winter - Every morning I give the Runners a fresh pot of water - they wash up in that. Then an hour later, I give them another fresh pot of water and they drink from it the rest of the day. Depending on the weather the Runners will go out for a few hours, or perhaps just a supervised walk. Some days they won't leave the night pen at all (when it's about 10F). When they go outside, I have straw or shavings down to help their feet. Ducks can get frostbite - I have seen it, though not in my flock. If I recall, temperatures were in the 20s F. I think it not only matters what the temperature is, but what kind of surface they are walking on and if they can get to a soft bedding or are stuck out in mud or on concrete.
  4. Hello fellow Canadian......

    My Ducks are doing fine.........They live in a Dog house that is insulated......I lock them in at night.....I have straw down and Plastic around my Run plus a tarp on top........Straw around the dog house also.........Wind is the worst and not getting up off the snow.....FROZEN water is another issue........Free feed and water at all times.....It is -19 and -34 with the windchill here in my neck of the woods......I fluff the straw twice a day.....They are Happy, Silly Ducks!

  5. Picture this all wrapped in vapour barrier plastic....Straw down and around the house.......Duck igloo........[​IMG]..........
  6. Update From Canada!!!!!

    -25 Celsius and Windchill of -40 over night...............Brrrrrrrrrrrrr!

    I moved my Ducks into the garage......Straw and a heat lamp on them now.........They are SOOOO happy!!

    I hate do the Birds...........My one Call Penelope was cold...Ice all over her chest....I quickly brought them into the garage......She is happy now.....Pruning and chatting..........

    1 person likes this.

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