Call Ducks in Indiana - Weather & Food Related


6 Years
Mar 22, 2014
We live in NWI and this will be our first Winter with Call Ducks. I'm looking for any advice as to what to feed them besides Layer Pellets. I've been reading about Wheat, so anything would be helpful. What type of Wheat do I get and where would I get it?

We have our "Duck House" inside our Chicken run and wondering if we need to move the Ducks into the barn for the winter? I feel like they would be happier, left where they are, but afraid that they'll be too cold.

Am I worrying for nothing?


5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
I don't know about being too cold. Ducks seem to do okay unless it's very, very cold. Their feet can get frostbite, so you would have to watch for that if you do leave them out.

My farm store tells me to add chicken scratch in the winter. It's a treat, though, not a fully nutritional food.


Overrun with Runners
12 Years
Jan 3, 2010
Southern New England
@Going Quackers has calls and lives up north - see if you can get her take on it.

I feel that it is not just temperature that matters, but how many ducks, their size (smaller - more risk of hypothermia), and their individual constitution.

For supplements for my runners and buffs, I buy wheat seeds in bulk from my mom n pop grocery store - they have a bulk section and I can get a discount for food-grade items when I buy by the bag. I sprout the wheat and feed it to them. I also sometimes give them a little dry cat kibble for protein and vitamin D and other nutrients. Flaxseed meal (ground flax seeds) are good, too. Scratch is for extra calories, pretty much, and I like to give more high-nutrient foods in addition to calories.

Going Quackers

11 Years
May 24, 2011
On, Canada
I have heard of it, but not done it. Mine get a staple feed(a grower) and some scratch, i can get a pretty high protein one(about 11% ish) so it'll have wheat in that but I never give copious amounts.

Calls fare very well in winter, they need shelter and good food but they are extremely hardy, their size makes them look far more vulnerable than they truly are, mine swam in temps that would make your bones freeze.

some of mine, the snow got so tall in their run, they could slide down it and did often it was like a game lol
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Fuzzy Feather Fanatic
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Jun 9, 2011
My Coop
My Coop
I was glad to see this post, as I'm in northern Indiana as well and will probably be getting some call ducks next month.

I honestly plan on taking it like I do with my chickens, and practicing observation before acting. I'm only concerned because I probably will only have a pair or trio at first and the duck house we'll be building for them is pretty substantial for that many small ducks (4x6 feet with around a 6 foot wall) so my main concern is whether they will be able to keep warm in there on their own. If we have a winter like the last one, we could experience negative temps for days on end, possibly even into the negative teens! I know bantam chickens can be a bit more vulnerable to cold than large fowl simply by being so much smaller, but I know very little about ducks, so I wasn't sure if they would have the same vulnerability. I've read enough people post that calls are fine in winter, but not enough of those people actually owned call ducks for me to be comfortable accepting that answer. :lol:

Going Quakers - Did you insulate your duck house for your calls? Do you adjust the amount of ventilation for the wintertime to help hold in warmth or do you leave it all open? I'm planning on having two windows in my duck house that I'll leave open for summer and close off for winter, and open eaves for air exchange year-round, all protected with hardware cloth of course! I also have something like a huddle box planned for in the coop, which pretty much will just be a low shelf that they can nestle under for warmth or to lay eggs. (Also--what color is that duck on the left in your picture? :love She's a beauty!)

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