Cold hardy Muscovies

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jrsqlc, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. jrsqlc

    jrsqlc Obsessed with Peafowl

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    Dec 22, 2009
    Northwest Ohio
    how cold hardy are they??
    i have a friend who raises them, they are outside 24-7 and never had a problem

    I got some from them and the cold is grandually killing them off, every morning i find one dead.
    Today my hens feet are frozen and she is barely moving.
    They have a house and a dog igloo to go in and they do, but they are still dying...what can i do
     
  2. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    What are you feeding them and what are the temps like where you are? if it's really freezing, i would not keep any pools out 24/7 for them. mine only got fresh water in small tubs when it was freezing real hard here.

    Please tell us more about their living situation, I am so sorry for your lossess. Move that girl inside and get her feet warmed up... are they frostbitten already??
     
  3. jrsqlc

    jrsqlc Obsessed with Peafowl

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    Dec 22, 2009
    Northwest Ohio
    16% layer temp are around 10, they have 2 houses they can go in draft free. pool is frozen over, they get water few times a day and no matter how small the container most of them take turns swimming and drinking. none of the pekins, cayugas, or blue swedes, or BEI are having problems
     
  4. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Put some wires or a lid with holes over the bucket so they can only drink out of it. Also make sure they are in an area where their feet are off the ground when it gets that cold. I have a small pen completely covered with hay and they are not allowed to leave it when the temps are below 15 degrees. It's hard to treat frost bite, so prevention is all you can do. I do not let mine sleep outside, but that is because of predators. Mine are also afraid of the dark so they demand to get into the duck house when it gets dark. That's how they have been raised and the routine is embedded into them.
    I also wonder if your ducks have some kind of illness going around that kills them. Are they hanging around with the other ducks you have? It's odd that only they are dying. BTW frost bite usually leads to gangrene and kills quickly.
     
  5. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    its very strange that youre losing them. it was colder than that for a while here and although mine got shivery they never died. i lost some newly hatched ducklings but thats different. IS is possible that theyre sick? or maybe just real stressed from the move? or food change ?
     
  6. jrsqlc

    jrsqlc Obsessed with Peafowl

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    Dec 22, 2009
    Northwest Ohio
    i doubt that, they have been here all summer and done great. for the last 3 months they have all been running together.
    Also we are NPIP, and all my ducks have been tested by both test they do...and they came back clean.

    Its really sad, but i think she is going to loose here feet because they are frozen solid and she is dragging them.
    i have moved her into a safe house to try and come back, but who knows. she was fine last night and this is how i found her this morning.
     
  7. Caprice_Acres

    Caprice_Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2010
    Michigan
    I offer swimming water to my 'scovies all year, about every 1-2 days in the winter. They have truck bed caps that they can get under, with lots of straw, but they actually tend to just sit outside, even in SUPER low temps, and just lay on their feet.

    Do your hens roost? I was loosing toes for my chickens before I gave them proper sized roosting bars. The roosting bars need to be big enough that when a bird settles their feathers around their feet to keep their feet warm, they are able to cover their toes with the feathers. If the roosting bar is too thin, the toes wrap completely around the bar, and the toes at the bottom of the bar don't get covered. I use 2"x4"'s as my roosting bars. I still get birds that think they can roost on my fenceline every once in a while, and I just transfer them to the roost bars in the coop at night. Eventually they learn to go to the coop on their own.

    My 'scovies, however, do not tend to roost. They just try to find an area without snow and cover their feet with their feathers. Ideally, they'd go somewhere with bedding - but I do find them under my porch or under our boats/cars instead of going into the coop or into the truck bed caps, where there is straw to bed down on. I have yet to have frozen feet on a 'scovy yet, though, and they do sleep outdoors in all weather.

    Sorry to hear you're loosing them. The only thing I can suggest is adding a LITTLE more corn to the diet for fast, 'hot' feed. You can also add cayanne pepper which will increase circulation. Also, provide additional housing if for some reason, some of the birds are being too dominant and not sharing the housing available.
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Western N.C.
    we're in western N.C. mountains and it has been extremely frigid here low this morning 5 with wind chill lower and snow turned to ice, my muscovies are not happy, they are mostly laying around barely walking and when they do it's very slow I can tell it's really bothering them. They have a nice house that they use at night but want to be out during the day. today we put up a tarp for them to go behind to help keep off the wind. My goose is cold too I know it's not their body just their feet and legs................I am sorry this is happening to your scovies.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010

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