1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Does anyone keep ducks in New England

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by llaaadyel, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. llaaadyel

    llaaadyel Songster

    Sep 12, 2010
    Lower NY
    Hi there:

    I am wondering if anyone here keeps ducks in colder climates. I ordered 6 ducklings which are coming in 2 weeks and am wondering if they will be ok to go outside at some point in the winter. I already know that they will need a brooder etc for a while and do plan on having them inside of course until they are fully feathered. I am planning on putting their house in a very protected area in the yard and was planning on putting in a heat lamp for them but am still not sure if that will be enough.

    I have one other question. Because of a shipment that didn't make it I currently have a 1 week old rooster chick. Will it be ok to raise them together?


  2. sianara

    sianara Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    [​IMG] I live in Central MA and have had ducks for 7 years. In the beginning I was very protective of them and never even let them out in the snow. As the years have gone by I've learned they aren't as fragile as I had thought. Originally, they had a 3.5' x 5' fully insulated, electrified house with a 10' x 17' predator "resistant" run attached. I locked them up in the house at night for the first 4 years but then I got sick of how messy the house was (I didn't know how to build it correctly for ducks) and I closed them off from the house and let them live in the run year round. It is covered with a roof so they are protected from rain and snow. During the winter I also run a plastic "blanket" around the outside of the entire run to keep it free from snow. I also put up a temporary 3' x 3' wood "room" that they can huddle in together when it's really cold outside. They often sleep in this together. They have a really cute (if I do say so myself) "nesting" box which looks like a dog house and it's painted whimsically that they always laid their eggs in. Funny, they didn't sleep in it though.

    They have a huge fenced in yard in the woods that they have access to year round. Last winter was the first winter that I actually let them out of the run during the day in winter and into their 7' x 12' side yard (which leads down into the huge wooded yard). They hung out in the snow clad side yard during the day all winter long and it helped to keep the run cleaner and they loved eating the snow. This year I'll probably have to shovel it out a little more since I've added 4 more ducks to the flock.

    As long as they are fully feathered before you put them outside you won't need a heat lamp. Many duck owners frown on using heat for them and I tend to agree. I only made a heat lamp available when they were sick or injured. Basically, they need protection from the elements & predators; food and unfrozen water 24/7 and they will be fine.

    As far as the rooster chick (how do you know already that it's a rooster at 1 week old?) goes, he can be raised with ducks but again many people frown on it as chickens are more susceptible to diseases than ducks are and living with ducks and their wet dirty watering areas could be trouble. That said, many many people keep both fowl together without any problems whatsoever. It all depends on your own set up and your own personal preferences.
  3. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Songster

    Aug 31, 2009
    I live in Maine and have had ducks here for almost 10 years. However, I have never had ducklings, only mature ducks. Mine have never had a problem. They have a place to get out of the elements and are locked in at night for safety. I use a bird bath heater (NOT a stock tank heater) in their pool all winter and a heated dog dish for their drinking water. They have a pile of straw in their shed to lay on at night. They never had any problems. I feed extra food during the winter (corn and extra greens) along with their regular food.
  4. ejctm

    ejctm Songster

    Apr 25, 2009
    I live in Old England, if that counts, lol!

    We had a terrible winter 2009/2010 with temperatures as low as minus 7C (don't know the F, only the C). Our chickens ran about in the snow for weeks, and did fine. They are less hardy than ducks. We didn't have ducks over that winter but for this winter coming, we will. There is plenty of shelter from wind, because that is what gets them really cold, and they will be fine. Cracked corn is a good idea as it raises their body temperature. I also gave mine warm porridge in the mornings, which they loved.
  5. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    -7 Celsius is 19 Fahrenheit. That is quite cold. We live up at 4200 feet and have had as bad as -4 Fahrenheit (-20 Celsius). that is not normal, but it can happen. I have an insulated duck house for that reason.

    Anyway I would not use a heat lamp. These lamps can explode, especially when a duck splashes water onto it. Best is to use an oil filled radiator, plus they are only 30 bucks. Or a heat pad for animals, but they cost a lot.
    Of course the eco heaters are cool too, but they aren't cheap:
    The get mounted onto the wall and are totally safe.

    I have the oil filled heater in the duck house for when it gets really cold, otherwise they are adult ducks and will be fine without.
  6. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

  7. thedoors5to1

    thedoors5to1 Songster

    Jun 12, 2009
    i live in rhode island and have had my ducks through many winters.
    you shouldnt need to buy a furnace or heater for your ducks, they just need a dog house type structure to protect from wind, lots of hay and a heat lamp for cold nights. i use a floating mechanism that prevents my water buckets from freezing... mine go in and out of thier house, but honestly they dont even use it sometimes...
    thier feet will freeze though, so they need something thats dry and not cold to lay thier feet on when sleeping. (hay)
    the floating mechanism is like 30 dollars on amazon http://www.google.com/products/cata...eBBIKCjgT9xfWfCw&sa=title&ved=0CAcQ8wIwADgA#p

    just dont put them out in the cold and snow till they are fully feathered
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010

  8. ejctm

    ejctm Songster

    Apr 25, 2009
    My goodness, Katharina! We really don't know cold here in England like you do in Oregon! We should count ourselves lucky.

    As a nation we are famously obsessed with the weather and any sort of snow brings the whole country to a standstill. It is also a talking point amongst strangers and friends alike, and is the one thing that unites everyone - moaning about the weather!

    We also refer to a "wind chill factor" measured in Celsius, so sometimes that is 10 degrees or more below the still air temperature. Then we are even happier to have something more extreme to moan/complain/talk about [​IMG]

    I'm sure your duckies are toasty warm all winter with insulation and a heater - sounds like they need it!
  9. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    I guess we can look down on good old England with our 4200 feet in elevation. [​IMG]
    As high as we are we get very little moisture so it does not feel that cold at all. We also have over 300 days of sunshine, so it is never grey either. Unlike Berlin, Germany, were I'm originally from. Our snow can be anything from 3 inches to 3 feet per winter. It never snows constantly. You get a front and then nothing for 2-3 weeks. Then we can get the extreme winters with 6 feet, or the winters with almost no snow but frigid cold temps. Yes it is very unpredictable up here. The good news is that we get very powdery snow, and we are allowed to drive with studded tires. The don't use salt up here and expect you to know how to drive in winter. They only grade the highway making the surface nice and level and it does stay snow white. Very beautiful to drive on. The nails or studs in the tires grab the surface nicely and you can drive almost as good on it as in summer. The nights is what we have to watch out for. It will freeze up our water well when it gets very cold. We did build a small building on top of it and have a heater in it on when it gets very cold. Extreme weather is what America is known for, and you learn to live with it.
  10. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    Dec 2, 2009
    Quote:Quite cold? -7C? Ducks dont need heat in those temps, they are very cold hardy. Up here in Manitoba its not uncommon to have temps like -40C without the windchill. I had a heat lamp last winter and and sheltered house, they were fine.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by