Ducks first cold snap - they dont seem to know what to do

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by tmh1984, Dec 16, 2016.

  1. tmh1984

    tmh1984 Hatching

    Oct 11, 2016
    We got a sudden cold snap today: -35 (which is crazy for December).
    This is my runner ducks first winter. Their coop in (mostly) insulated and I loaded it up with straw last night when I heard about the cold weather. I can't lock them in there though because they are not smart with their water. If it is in their house the soak all they bedding within minutes. So i have to leave their water out on their deck and crack the door with food inside. They are so used to comming out everyday that they keep comming out and laying in the snow. I went out and chased them in on the first occasion and they seemed slow and dopey and kept tripping. They seem to be staying in a bit better now but every now and then one of them seems to forget how cold it is out and go lay in the snow.

    Is there something else I should be doing for them? I am worried about them freezing! I thught they would be smarter then to go out unnecessarily from their warm bed!
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
  2. arrowti

    arrowti Songster

    Jul 20, 2014
    Remember that your ducks have a huge layer of insulating fat as well as downy and flight feathers. What we find as hypothermia and frostbite weather, they simply see as 'oh it's colder than it was when we went in'. I'd watch them but I'd say ducks are capable of going in when they're cold and going out when they're fine (at least, mine are, but every bird is different).

    It's cold here too, -30 with wind chills!
  3. tmh1984

    tmh1984 Hatching

    Oct 11, 2016
    I see your in Maine, your probably getting the same weather we are (I'm in New Brunswick, and I'm only an hour from the Maine border). Its funny they dont look like they have a layer of fat and fluffy down! They seem like sleek bowling pins compared to my chickens, who seem way tougher in the cold. The chickens I can lock up on really bad days with food, water, and straw and I know they will be ok. The ducks reacted more to the snow and cold when it started comming, laying down all the time and shivering... but choosing to lay in the snow rather then in their warm straw! I feel like they need a crash course on winter behavior!
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Lock them in their house....They do not need water or feed at night..............They will be fine and happy to drink and eat their breakfast in the morning.......Mine are doing fantastic.......

    1 person likes this.
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    How are they doing? I agree, Runners do not have as much padding as other breeds. We have Runners, Buffs, and a few other littles. The Buffs have much more insulation than the Runners.

    But adult ducks should be okay overnight without food and water - but I would want to make it available to them early in the morning, they do need the calories to keep warm.
    1 person likes this.
  6. someguyhere

    someguyhere Chirping

    Sep 6, 2016
    I think most of us are experiencing some pretty crazy weather right now. I have been pretty confident our ducks would be fine after a lot of reading here but I got a little worried last night. minus 15. I gave them a little extra time this morning in their house before i let them out but it was still negative temps. they seem to be just fine. the runner is the one I worry most about, I have a buff and a crested pekin also and those 2 are big fluffy fatties but even she seems to be handling the cold just fine. I tried to get them in a warmer building but they want nothing to do with it, they are sitting by the house on a concrete sidewalk and seem to be happy there. I stuck my finger in one of their feathers and she was actually pretty warm and made me question my expensive winter jacket lol.
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    lol......Yeah, I only bring mine into the garage when the temps dip down to below -24 Celsius and Wind chills of -30......They are pretty happy, hardy Birds.....I tried to herd them into the garage last night.....Nope, My Drake led them back to the run and into the Dog house......They are fine....We all worry about our feathered puppies....


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