Do call ducks need water to swim in cold weather

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by duckfever, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. duckfever

    duckfever Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 1, 2010
    Ohio
    We have raised pens in the barn with mortar tubs for the ducks to swim in. We've had extreme cold nights lately(single digit) and there is always quite a bit of ice build up in the tubs each morning. My question is, do they actually need water to swim in 24/7? IF so, how often do they need this. I have set up the galvanized drinking waterers in each pen for the time being. All of the pens have a heat lamp over them as well. Any feedback would be great regarding having adequate water for the ducks to swim.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  2. KansasKid

    KansasKid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2010
    South East Kansas
    Swimming water may be preferred by the ducks but is unnecessary during the winter months as long as they have adequate drinking water that they can submerge the head that way that can preen fully.
     
  3. duckfever

    duckfever Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 1, 2010
    Ohio
    Ok thanks. Heat lamp necessary as well..or is this overkill.
     
  4. lilchick

    lilchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2008
    Williamsport In.
    They should not need a heat lamp to keep warm. If water freezes overnight just give them fresh warm water each a.m. Or get a heated dog water bowl for them.
    My call ducks have a 4 ft. by 4 ft. playhouse to sleep in at night. It has warm bedding for them to snuggle down in...
    They have an inground pool that is heated with a submersible horse trough heater..... It is 115 gallons and those ducks can mess it up in no time! They will play in water and float in it most of day when ice and snow is on the ground. The water is probably warmer! I dip it out weekly and drag out garden hose and fill it... What a pain but they are worth it!
     
  5. KansasKid

    KansasKid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2010
    South East Kansas
    as long as they have proper food and water and shelter from the wind when it gets Really cold (low teens) they should be fine. If you ever do decide to use a lamp be sure to put something between it and the pond or water bowl. I don't know what it was but last spring it didn't matter how high or how far away the lamp was they always found a way to get droplets of water on the lamp and when it would hit it the bulb it would shatter and make a heck of a mess.
     
  6. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:Not only is the heat lamp overkill but it will mess up the mating cycle and may even cause a molt! Ducks depend on day length to regulate there lives. When the days start getting longer in the spring that told them to get ready to migrate North when days started to get short it was Time to head South again. Mating,brooding,hatching, and raising the young had to be done in that time window or the young would not be ready to fly back south and would starve/freeze to death in the north. As ducks were domesticated they lost some of this instinct but most have it very deeply buried and you forget about it at your risk.... Many Show breeders will trick their waterfowl with a light on a timer to give them a longer day period so the ducks lay earlier and the young look better than the natural ducks at the fall shows because they have had more time to develope.
     
  7. spud1035

    spud1035 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 25, 2009
    nw ohio
    I'm not an expert on the care of ducks in the winter but I disagree with not giving them swimming water in the winter. My two call ducks are very noisy and last winter would hound me endlessly till I filled a wash basin for them to swim in. I did this at a minimum of twice a week. I read this somewhere but don't know where. I remember reading that they need to swim to oil their feathers to help keep them waterproof. If you see ducks in the wild you will see them were they have access to open water. This observation is good enough for me and wild ducks survive just fine in the winter and usually without shelter.
     
  8. KansasKid

    KansasKid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2010
    South East Kansas
    Quote:They will be fine as long as there water bowl is deep enough to submerge there head. When they preen the rub there preen gland with there bill and rub there bill and head on there feathers to waterproof them.

    Its not a matter of worrying about them getting froze in with the water or being to cold, its all about having to dump the ice out and refilling it each time you provide them with swimming water. If your up for it, Go for it. Personally if mine didn't have access to a pond i might do this twice a week for my ducks but if you don't want to have to do this, don't worry about them, as long as they have a deep enough water bowl they will be fine.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010

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