Duck care for the winter

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Duckmamma77, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. Duckmamma77

    Duckmamma77 New Egg

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    Jan 5, 2016
    Woodstock Virginia
    Hi all. We have 3 K Campbells and love them to pieces! We live in Virginia and it's finally decided to be winter here. This is our first winter having them. I am very concered about my feathered loves. It was 9 here last night. I woke this am and their pond in their 2 story house was frozen. Of course because it is 9 degrees!! We broke the ice and they got a drink. They usually are very happy running around outside but not today. They won't come out of their house. They are cuddled up under their lamp. I'm going to buy a heated water bucket for them today because the frozen water is a major concern. In fact I am so upset I am sick because I don't want them to freeze to death. Any suggestions on keeping them safe and comfortable? And is this behavior normal(staying in their house when they usually run like they are crazy!)
     
  2. Birdrain92

    Birdrain92 Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 7, 2013
    Idaho
    I have Indian Runner ducks and I'm in Idaho. A couple days ago it was -1 and my ducks didn't want to come outside of their pen. I have a feed pan and a heated water dog bowl for them. Even though they can't swim in it that well; they sometimes try; or they'll get their bills wet and bathe themselves that way. My ducks during the winter like to lay down in their pen. After so many days they like to go running to the yard run around for a little bit and then they quack for me to let them get to bed. Ducks have 2 layers of feathers. They tend to be very well insulated. Just make sure they have water is the important thing.
     
  3. MaureenD

    MaureenD Out Of The Brooder

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    May 5, 2015
    South Central Wisconsin
    Thanks for the info from Idaho. I am bumping up the straw walls around their pen. We have not put plastic around the wire fence walls (about 6 ft high), and I am seriously considering it this week before the temps go below 10 as predicted.

    I have a heated water bowl (for dogs) I got one used on Ebay for $5! They typically run $25.00 (US) new. Works great. I change water two times a day, and they do their little beak baths (throwing water all over) everyday. My girls sit on their feet a lot when it is this cold, but do not seem to be acting unusual.

    One has started a molt, so she stopped laying about Thanksgiving time. Doesn't seem unhealthy at all. I know they all cram into one spot in their night box (all the time), so they must like each other enough to keep the other warm!

    I am nervous also as this is my first winter with ducks.
     
  4. Birdrain92

    Birdrain92 Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 7, 2013
    Idaho
    That's ok. So long as they have some place to go to get out of the weather they are pretty tough. Ducks molt twice a year unlike chickens or peafowl. Ducks molt when the weather changes from hot to cold and cold to hot.
     
  5. caesargirl

    caesargirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2015
    Unity, Maine
    I'm in Maine and winter is definitely here. My ducks would love to be out but I make them go in! They are able to get out of the elements and water to head dunk, higher protein food and fresh hay. A low wattage heat lamp and good ventilation. I watch a little closer in the winter for foot injuries and no sidewalk salt, not even the dog friendly stuff here ( my quackers eat everything!). Other than that, mine seem good...
     
  6. Duckmamma77

    Duckmamma77 New Egg

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    Jan 5, 2016
    Woodstock Virginia
     
  7. Duckmamma77

    Duckmamma77 New Egg

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    Jan 5, 2016
    Woodstock Virginia
    My ducks came out this afternoon and scampered around as usual. I bought them a heater for their pool and I am getting a heated bucket for drinking water tomorrow. This is all new for us so its a learning process for sure!
     
  8. beneduck14

    beneduck14 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2015
    Cattlet, VA
    Don't worry! I had Khaki Campbells once and they went through winter with snow quiet great last year.
    I too live in Virginia
    and man things are finally starting to get cold! Yay?![​IMG]

    My khaki's actually liked the cold and would sleep in the snow last year. Snow won't bother then because of all the feathers and down! But not all are the same and at least 2 of mine stayed inside the coop.

    They didn't have heaters,instead a nice coop with
    all ventilations covered,
    thick layers of chopped straw,
    and snuggling with friends
    .Virginia weather is fine for them. Now what you have to watch for is wrinkling or dry beaks or blackening feet.

    You can get heating for water bowls but don't get the heated dog bowls. They are wayyy too small and since ducks like the swim in any water, the water will go out fast. So get the big ones maybe for horses even. If you can't get them, then put a floating object inside so there will be constant motion in the water. It might work and it might not, it did work for me sometimes when conditions are right.

    But, be very careful. I tend to lose 1 or 2 ducks once in a while because during the winter, coyotes and birds of prey can't find any food except for domestic ducks and chickens. They always manage to come up with something new every winter like going under our run, ripping the wire, digging, and what ever. We always end up adding more barriers and wiring to our coop every year. So don't let them loose without supervision during winter especially.
     
  9. smithmal

    smithmal Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2015
    Maryland; Carroll County
    It was 13F in MD last night. I built my coop so that it is insulated in the roof and on the floor. I changed out the bedding and put down an extra level of hay. Ducks didn't seem to be worried at all about the temp and readily came out this morning quaking their heads off as usual (I shut the coop each night).

    If it makes you feel any better, ducks have very thick plumage and temps aren't a real concern until it gets down to -20C/-4F. Just make sure they are sheltered from the wind and they should be just fine.
     
  10. Duckmamma77

    Duckmamma77 New Egg

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    Jan 5, 2016
    Woodstock Virginia
    Don't worry! I had Khaki Campbells once and they went through winter with snow quiet great last year.
    I too live in Virginia and man things are finally starting to get cold!  Yay?!:confused:

    My khaki's actually liked the cold and would sleep in the snow last year. Snow won't bother then because of all the feathers and down! But not all are the same and at least 2 of mine stayed inside the coop.

    They didn't have heaters,instead a nice coop with
    all ventilations covered,
    thick layers of chopped straw,
    and snuggling with friends
    .Virginia weather is fine for them. Now what you have to watch for is wrinkling or dry beaks or blackening feet.

    You can get heating for water bowls but don't get the heated dog bowls. They are wayyy too small and since ducks like the swim in any water, the water will go out fast. So get the big ones maybe for horses even. If you can't get them, then put a floating object inside so there will be constant motion in the water. It might work and it might not, it did work for me sometimes when conditions are right.

    But, be very careful. I tend to lose 1 or 2 ducks once in a while because during the winter, coyotes and birds of prey can't find any food except for domestic ducks and chickens. They always manage to come up with something new every winter like going under our run, ripping the wire, digging, and what ever. We always end up adding more barriers and wiring to our coop every year. So don't let them loose without supervision during winter especially.
    [/quote I will definitely watch their beaks and !!What does this mean? We have a wooden house framed with chicken wire and also wood. I will definitely watch out for animals that may try to harm them. We locked them up at night. They let us know when bed time is..what about during the day time? I always let them out to roam. No one is home. We have never had an issue but this is the first winter. Should we keep them locked up? They love to eat grass and bugs like all day. They are constantly on the move. Also getting the bucket from Tractor supply and the one i want is rather large so hopefully it will work out! If not onto another plan lol
     

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