call ducks & extreme cold

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by sayyadina, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. sayyadina

    sayyadina Songster

    May 19, 2009
    I noticed today one of my male call ducks shivering and limping a little. I caught him and felt him over. Both legs and feet felt normal, no heat/swelling, no cuts/abrasions. It was pretty cold today (20s and windy). So I got him inside and into a warm bath. I checked the other 3 calls, and the two girls seemed ok. The other male wasn't shivering but looks to have a little frostbite on his bill. So they all join the first male call in a warm bath.

    Now I have 4 warm but wet call ducks. All 4 are very high strung and being held stresses them out, otherwise I would cuddle them in a towel.

    Right now, they're all in my brooder, a 42"x21"x18" storage container with a wire floor insert, and a cover with air holes so they can't escape. They have food and water. Can they be ok overnight in this? Its supposed to get down to 7F tonight.

    They should be dry by morning, but things aren't going to be warming up. We're in the 20s during the day and single digits at night for a while.

    I have pine pellets and hay for them in their house, but I'm worried that they still aren't warm enough.

    My big ducks and African geese are doing fine. No issues there. Just the calls seem to be having trouble.

  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Calls have a high surface-to-volume ratio. They are just too little to be able to keep themselves as warm as larger animals.

    I would keep them in what I used to term a ducky storm shelter - just somewhere they can ride out the cold for a few days. Some forum members - perhaps most - have different accommodations for calls than for their larger ducks and geese.

    You have done the right thing getting them in. Frostbite is a heartbreaker if not caught early enough. And some ducks show little sign of stress till it's too late.
  3. Speceider

    Speceider Songster

    Apr 4, 2011
    Actually surface area to volume ratio scales at the .66 power, not 1:1, so they are less affected by size. I would worry more about feather quality.

  4. sayyadina

    sayyadina Songster

    May 19, 2009
    Thanks. Their feathers seem to be in pretty good shape structurally, though they don't seem to be as water repellant as normal. However, they haven't had their normal swimming pool to play in.

    I'm thinking about getting a dog crate to keep them in. I'm not happy with the brooder arrangement I have now, since its dark and cave-like. What size would I need for 4 calls?
  5. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Songster

    Jun 30, 2012
    LP Michigan
    I like and have used dog crates. I do not have calls, but I would say say a large dog crate.

  6. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    They have a house though? i'd put them in it...

    My calls have been out all week and with swimming water... we are well below freezing, frankly calls tolerances are quite high for cold.. I keep a quad myself. can you put feed/water in their home? i will likely do that with mine today as it's only 1°f

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