Duck "house" and other winter questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Kelebek, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. Kelebek

    Kelebek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 23, 2009
    Orange Grove, TX
    I have almost a dozen and a half muscovey (please see post to help me sex them, if you would) - but we are fixin to go into winter here in North Idaho. Last year I had only 2 hens and they just hung out in the hay barn with a big bowl of water and food - but I really don't want 16 ducks pooing in the hay barn this year - BLAH. My question is - what kind of housing should they have? Is it along the same lines as a chicken coup? If you have pictures that would be great!

    Also, what do you do for "ponds" in winter - must they have them since they will freeze? They are saying this is going to be another BAD winter - so expecting about 10 feet of snow up here in the mountain where we live....

    thank you in advance!
     
  2. Kelebek

    Kelebek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 23, 2009
    Orange Grove, TX
    Anyone?
     
  3. jellybean

    jellybean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2009
    Bellevue, ID
    I have a plywood coop for mine. I just give them quite a bit of feed, and use a heated water bucket. Sometimes mice climb in it and die, and it needs cleaned every day. But it works great. They stay in their pen all winter, it's too deep for them to run around outside. If you have a draft free house that is clean and warm with a lot of bedding they should be fine. It can be insulated if you like, but any insulation needs to be covered or they'll eat it. My coop last year was small, but big enough for them. They wouldn't use it on the coldest nights. I'd look outside in the morning and they'd all be laying outside, a foot away from each other, covered in frost and shivering. So the coop this year is bigger, and I'll probably put their feeder in there and be able to lock them in if needed at night. They don't need a pond, just something they can get their head in. I wouldn't even attempt to keep a pond open here. It gets very cold.

    I will get pictures up maybe today or tomorrow, I'm still working on the final bits of the coop.
     
  4. Kelebek

    Kelebek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 23, 2009
    Orange Grove, TX
    Thank you so much!! Yah, winters here are horrible and I just don't want to loose any, as last year was nothing compared to the 2 years before - and they are anticipating another REALLY bad one here again this year.
     
  5. jellybean

    jellybean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2009
    Bellevue, ID
    Haha, I'm anticipating it as a REALLY GOOD year! I love snow, I have a sledding addiction. [​IMG] So a major snow winter would be awesome! It would also mean in mid June we're not riding through mud and logs and crap to get to the snow! The ducks will just have to deal with it, they don't mind the cold anyway.
     
  6. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Any old shelter will do. Ducks are incredibly hardy, and as long as they have access to an area with shelter from the wind, they'll mostly be fine. An old dog house, an old shed, whatever. In mild climates, even just a straw bale windbreak is fine, but where you are they probably need a building of some sort. Just make sure there's room for all of them, and absorbent bedding (straw or whatever). Something small enough to provide a warm micro-climate but large enough to contain them all is probably ideal.

    Happy winter!
     
  7. Kelebek

    Kelebek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 23, 2009
    Orange Grove, TX
    Yah you are way south from me ---- up here it is crazy. We love the snow also, as we own an autobody collision repair shop == but we live 40 minutes outside of town straight up on the top of a hill with a cliff on one side and a hill along the otherside of our driveway ... so it sucks badly in that aspect. But it is beautiful.

    If you go to the website, the picture across the top is from my front yard looking out at the lake! So we get the breeze off of the lake too.
     
  8. jellybean

    jellybean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2009
    Bellevue, ID
    Here's a few pics. There's still lumber and stuff in the pen that will get cleaned out. One run is bigger than the other, the large house opens into the small run- for mothers and babies so they won't be in the pen with the pools. The other opens outside, with a small door and a big door for me. There's a door between the pens to connect them, and a small little house in one pen. Inside of the large house has a piece across 2/3 up for sitting on, and I'll put nest boxes in at some point. Some ducks like nest boxes, some don't. I'll also put a covered entryway around the duck door in the house, or the wind will blow right in there in winter. I also will be planting some shrubs or small trees in there for shade, either this fall or in spring. Plus putting vents in the house I can seal up for very cold winter nights. The big house is 6' x 8' x 6' tall, and will get a tin roof also.

    The steel pipe panels I had welded up for a dog pen, then used them for the ducks. Nothing fancy, but it works for them.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  9. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

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    Hahira, GA
    it doesn t matter if they are in northern Canada, they will be fine right outside if need be. Any ol shelter will do if you feel the need to barn them no heat is needed in it, but they are fine right out in it. Most northern breeders will use aeriators in the ponds to keep some open water for them to swim in, some use heaters in smaller ponds. But like I said, they do just fine right out in it. They actually love the cold weather. They are built for it, thick tight feather layer, heavy down layer, trapped air in all that, fat layer under the skin, etc, they are built to handle it...
    The only ducks that bare winter protection are some of the tropical wild species like tree ducks and some teal species. All domestics do just fine though
     
  10. jellybean

    jellybean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2009
    Bellevue, ID
    Last winter we had a lot of mornings where the ducks were all solid white with ice and were shivering badly. So when it's that cold, I wouldn't let them be outside without a shelter. It gets miserably cold here, many times down to -20 for weeks with severe winds, sometimes colder than that. I mean like 6 foot drifts in a few hours. So they definitely need some type of shelter in our area. We work an hour away and there's been days it was -33 F and we'd leave equipment running all night so we could work during the day. Lucky for me (not so much in winter!) I run a log skidder with an OPEN cab. BRRRRRR. So down and feathers or not, no way I'd let any of my animals go without a shelter of some sort. At least windbreaks. They can get frostbite, and need bedding to keep their feet warmer. I bet northern Idaho gets very cold snaps like that too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010

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