Do ducks NEED to bathe in the winter?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by AnnaLease, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. AnnaLease

    AnnaLease Chirping

    May 10, 2011
    Or can they just have a waterer?

  2. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    I plan on letting mine have 1 bath a day when winter really gets here. It's just too hard to keep a pool in the pen 24/7, safely.
  3. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    Most breeds of ducks need access to water in order to keep the oil in their feathers(which helps insulate them).
    The water has to be deep enough for them to clean out their bills many times a day, as well(that's a must).
    My ducks have access to pools all year long.
  4. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Songster

    Aug 31, 2009
    I use a bird bath heater in their pool in the winter to keep it ice free. Do not use a stock tank heater, those get too hot. I have a small turtle pool for the winter and use a regular bird bath heater and only when it is incredibly cold will we get a coating of ice overnight. I think it helps keep them much healthier and happier in the winter. Then they also get a heated dog bowl for water to drink.
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    They NEED to keep their heads clean, and their feathers are in much better shape if they can at least splash in a large salad bowl or something similar.

    Mine have a large deep pot of water in the winter. When I first fill it in the morning, they take turns washing up. Later in the morning, I refill it with fresh, and they drink from it until the next morning.
  6. AnnaLease

    AnnaLease Chirping

    May 10, 2011
    easttxchick, are call ducks one of "those" breeds? Don't forget that not all of us live in TX and therefore it would not be as easy for us as it would be for you to give them access to a pool all year long. I would not look forward to dumping and filling a pool every few days. No matter how I would do it, I KNOW that I would get wet and that does not sound fun!
  7. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    Yep, all I have are Calls and they are definitely one of those breeds.
    While I understand that folks who live where the winters are harsher have a more difficult time getting water for their ducks, I am simply answering your question honestly.
    Allowing ducks access water to swim in also keeps the risk of mites/lice to a minimum and is just better for their health overall. Call ducks are particularly prone to sinus infections so it is imperative that they have water for dunking their heads(bills and eyes).

  8. FrenchToast

    FrenchToast "Draft Apple Ridge" a Bit from Heaven

    Jan 10, 2010
    UP North WI
    We have runner ducks and live in the upper Midwest !! So now our ducks don't have a pool all year. We also have a pair of Rouen and one mallard hen. We have a huge 300 gallon water tank available for them all summer and they have never used it. We have horses in an adjacent paddock and everyday we overflow the horses stock tank and the ducks play in the huge puddles. We keep a 20 Qt pail filled with water in their coop 24/7 and a lower pan of water changed daily for their drinking while in their run. They seem very happy with this arrangement.
    I've been meaning to get them a smaller kiddy pool to see if they would use that but I haven't yet.
  9. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Songster

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Last winter I had a large concrete mixing tub (25 gallons) for my pekins. Every morning I would pour hot water on top to melt a hole in the ice and then pull the chunk of ice out. This year I think I'll get a heated water bucket for drinking water. I might give them the tub a couple times a week to swim, although my muscovies almost never do. Another option would be a stock tank heater or aerator. A bubbler should keep the water from freezing.

    Oh and those black rubber buckets and containers are supposed to help keep water from freezing and don't crack or break if the water does freeze.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  10. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2010
    My ducks last winter did not have access to a pool all winter. I did however bring them 10 gal of water each day and had a line of rubber buckets that were big enough for them to wash their heads in and then they would preen with that water. I also gave them every week or so a rubber bin full of water, I believe it holds three gal of water and I use them for feed buckets as well as water.

    Rubber allows you to just turn it over and dump out the ice when it freezes... For me I can't give the ducks a pool in the coldest part of the winter, I struggle with their regular water hauling as I have to haul it from the house and deal with the snow and ice on the way to the barn and then the ice that they have building with the water I do give them.

    Giving them a pool to swim in is a great goal but for the bitter mn winter it is just not a good idea for me. Water for their bills to dip in-must have, pool-they would love it but it is not needed.

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