Could nature be to blame

jduke

Chirping
May 1, 2016
44
126
97
St. Louis, MO
Guess who ... :frow The weather here in St. Louis has been crazy. We went right from summer into winter this year and I think the sudden change has messed with the ducks natural processes. I was wondering if anyone else has noticed this in their flocks. There really isn't a gradual transition around here. It went from high 90s to low 40s in about a week. I haven't winterized the coop yet, and my ducks are kind of spoiled, so I brought them inside. My one duck just had her full flight feather molt and the other hasn't molted. Do you think it's possible that the natural outdoor environment is confusing their bodies on when it's time to molt, pad up for winter, etc?
 

jduke

Chirping
May 1, 2016
44
126
97
St. Louis, MO
I bought them a new coop this past spring and I haven't winterized it yet. Plus, the one was bit so I brought her in to stay warm and recover and they can't be separated or they quack non-stop for the other.

I'm not really sure how to winterize it. It's a 2-story coop with a screened in bottom and and a house and nesting box on top. See below. The backside of the house on the bottom under the nesting box is solid, not screened like the picture.

upload_2018-12-12_11-57-5.jpeg

At the top of the ramp, there is a door that can slide shut, I guess to cut down on draft. I know they create a lot of moisture and need to have vents, even in the winter, which the window I think would suffice. I didn't know if I needed to wrap plastic around the bottom and put some straw in the bottom and in the top.

Any suggestions would be helpful. I think they are much more hardy than I know and I feel bad leaving them out when it's cold, even in their little house.
 
Sep 2, 2018
7,854
29,223
1,297
Big Chimney, WV
My Coop
My Coop
Do your ducks use the upstairs apartment?
I bought a smaller but similar chicken cube for my ducklings this year and they never used the ramp, in fact once when i had to clean up, i placed them into the upstairs apartment and they were taking terms to watch me working through the door but never made an attempt to walk down. I had to pick them up one by one and put them back down.

What i would do to winterize your coop is to put the closed side facing the prevailing winds and close the two shorter sides with a strong tarp. Ducks don't need to have it warm like chickens, all they need is protection from rain and wind and some inches of warm bedding under their feathered butts.
 

jduke

Chirping
May 1, 2016
44
126
97
St. Louis, MO
They actually do use the ramp. They even have party lights that are on a timer since they have no-so-good eyesight in the dark. They know when it's time for bed and they will go stand inside, up the ramp and stand by the upstairs door because I stick my head in and give them cuddles because I'm a weird duck lady. In the morning, they're either standing by the downstairs door ready to come out or still upstairs hanging out.
 
Sep 2, 2018
7,854
29,223
1,297
Big Chimney, WV
My Coop
My Coop
They actually do use the ramp. They even have party lights that are on a timer since they have no-so-good eyesight in the dark. They know when it's time for bed and they will go stand inside, up the ramp and stand by the upstairs door because I stick my head in and give them cuddles because I'm a weird duck lady. In the morning, they're either standing by the downstairs door ready to come out or still upstairs hanging out.
My Duckies freak out when it is completely dark: We had a power outage and i had to start the generator manually, they were quacking, running around, making a mess by toppling over their water and food, i finally found them squeezed into a corner when the lights were back on. Had to calm them down with meal-worms and calm words. They have a 25 watts incandescent bulb to give them enough light during the night to see.
 

CrystaBub

Crowing
Mar 17, 2018
1,664
6,092
442
Shenandoah Valley
My Duckies freak out when it is completely dark: We had a power outage and i had to start the generator manually, they were quacking, running around, making a mess by toppling over their water and food, i finally found them squeezed into a corner when the lights were back on. Had to calm them down with meal-worms and calm words. They have a 25 watts incandescent bulb to give them enough light during the night to see.
Mine too!!! they sleep with a very dim night light.
 

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