Duck feathers in the winter

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by FromTheCity, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. FromTheCity

    FromTheCity Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2015
    This may be a dumb question on my part but lately going out to check on my ducks, their feathers are frozen! I thought ducks cleans off the additional water to prevent that....should I be doing something?
     
  2. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure what you mean by frozen. Back in the fall I could literally watch the frost crystallize on my ducks feathers while I was finishing their chores in the early am. Frost on black ducks look like silvery mist on their feathers.

    Now that it's winter I can watch the water droplets crystallize on their feathers when they dabble-splash or drink messily.

    I've never wiped the water droplets off their feathers.

    I make sure they have dry bedding and places to get out of the wind. I watch them for signs that they're cold: shivering, tucking heads down while walking, huddling together.


    If their feathers aren't repelling water (it should bead up on them) and their feathers are freezing I'd seek advice from an experienced poultry keeper. Those birds may need additional support such as wind blocks to help them through the winter.

    I'm not an experienced poultry keeper yet. But we do have lots of experienced keepers here on BYC :)
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    If their feathers are not in good enough shape (many causes of that), they could be getting wet and frozen.

    I would make sure they have shelter that is warm enough to keep them from freezing - like, around 40F or so. Ducks can get hypothermia and become seriously ill from getting chilled.

    They need fresh water daily and a good basic food (always with water to avoid choking) to help get them through winter. Poultry vitamins once a week, and a few sprinkles of dry cat kibble can also help.
     
  4. FromTheCity

    FromTheCity Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2015
    Thanks for the advice! The ducks has a house that they go into to lay the eggs with hay....Their feathers looks like they just got out of the pond and the feathers froze wet. They are still laying everyday as well as the chickens..I guess they are happy! By the late afternoon, they are thawed out but it still worries me. I had to put a tarp around the outside yard to prevent wind because it did get pretty gusty the other day. No signs of sickness....but as I said earlier, this is my first year with poultry and ducks and I don't want to do something that will cause them to be miserable!
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    They can get pneumonia - getting chilled can be fatal, worst case - so please pay attention to their breathing. Ducks will hide illness till it is too late to save them.

    Not trying to scare you, trying to prevent heartbreak.
     
  6. LeannS

    LeannS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are all concerned about a ducks well being because they depend on their owners for their safety and comforts. Many of us have been taking crash courses on the duck issues and problems that can happen with our winter weather. When duck owners apply post, we know they care and that makes us all very pleased. I am new to this and love this informative site. It seems like longer then 2 months since I have ducks. Probably because I am having such a great time here.
     

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