Duck having trouble handling the cold

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by torilovessmiles, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

    764
    91
    118
    Sep 19, 2014
    Central West Virginia
    I have one little duck that is not taking too well to the cold. A few days ago, I checked on her and noticed her shivering. It was cold and a little snowy, but still above 20 degrees so I thought it was a little odd. I picked her up, and she was soaked to the bone! I brought her inside and got her dried off, though I thought it was odd that the water wasn't rolling of her feathers like the others'. As a precaution, I took away their water for the night so she couldn't soak herself again. She did okay once she was dry.

    Last night was under 10 degrees, so I stayed up late to check on all the animals. Even my silkies were okay, but my one little duck seemed to be struggling! The other four ducks were perfectly comfortable sleeping outside of their duck house, but little Blondie was sitting in the house, not shivering too bad but still looking pretty cold. She wasn't wet or anything like before. I gave her some extra shavings in her house to snuggle up in and she made it through okay.

    She is half Mallard and half Pekin, and takes more after the Mallard in size so she is the smallest. Is it her size? Or could there be something wrong with her oil gland? Does she need a light? I don't like to use artificial heating, but I can if I have to.
     
  2. LeannS

    LeannS Chillin' With My Peeps

    216
    29
    101
    Nov 16, 2015
    Wapato, Washington USA
    I have 6 ducks and one is not taking the cold very well either, in fact she needed help with her feathers, since she had been kept with chickens before I got her. I had to treat her with a NEEM bath, to get rid of the chicken mites that were destroying her feathers and down. She is not water proof either. 20 degrees seems very cold to have them exposed to it out side.I have a light and heat bulb on mine 24/7.. Some bred`s of ducks do not do well under 40 degrees.
    I know others will want to see pictures of your ducks.
     
  3. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

    764
    91
    118
    Sep 19, 2014
    Central West Virginia
    Mallard-based ducks are normally very resistant to the cold. Just the other day I saw some wild mallards as well as geese swimming around in the river, avoiding hunks of ice! 20-30 degrees on a January night is "not that cold" where I live, I guess [​IMG]. Usually leads to a warm 45 degrees the next day!
    Due to risk of fire and power outages, I made the informed decision not to use heat lamps unless absolutely necessary. She hasn't had a problem with mites, so I don't know why she isn't waterproofing correctly.

    Pics!

    [​IMG]
    This is her, I couldn't find another picture of her.

    [​IMG]
    Mallard/Pekin drake

    [​IMG]
    Another Mallard/Pekin duck (this mix often has weird black or brown and white patterns)

    [​IMG]
    One of the Pekin ladies. You can see Blondie in the background
     
  4. LeannS

    LeannS Chillin' With My Peeps

    216
    29
    101
    Nov 16, 2015
    Wapato, Washington USA
     
  5. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

    764
    91
    118
    Sep 19, 2014
    Central West Virginia
    I'll do that, thanks!
     
  6. Kroelies

    Kroelies Chillin' With My Peeps

    491
    70
    96
    Apr 21, 2015
    Netherlands
    Maybe giving her straw as bedding helps. Straw should isolate pretty good. Is the duck house itself isolated good too? She is very cute, I don't know why she gets so cold
     
  7. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

    764
    91
    118
    Sep 19, 2014
    Central West Virginia
    It's an old dog house with straw and wood shavings stacked up around the sides on the inside. I gave her some extra last night. My other ducks didn't even get in it! I feel like if they'd get in with her and cuddle with her, she wouldn't get so cold. I'm planning to construct a wigwam-styled duck house out of natural materials, so maybe they'll find that more attractive and get in
     
  8. Kroelies

    Kroelies Chillin' With My Peeps

    491
    70
    96
    Apr 21, 2015
    Netherlands

    If she still is cold then maybe a hot water bottle helps for a few hours? The wigwam duck house sounds cool, but the others might still prefer sleeping outside.
     
  9. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

    764
    91
    118
    Sep 19, 2014
    Central West Virginia
    I'll give her some hot water bottles, I didn't think to do that. I can replace them a couple times throughout the night if she gets too cold as they cool down
     
  10. Kroelies

    Kroelies Chillin' With My Peeps

    491
    70
    96
    Apr 21, 2015
    Netherlands

    I don't know if hot water bottles are often used for ducks but it gets recommended for sick rabbits. Hopefully your Blondie won't feel cold tonight :)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by