ducks first winter

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by berdlips, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. berdlips

    berdlips Out Of The Brooder

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    This is my ducks first winter does it sound like I am doing things right? Their pond is frozen so I bought a rubber feed bowl big enough for them both to swim in--2 runner ducks, male and female. I fill it in the morning and dump it at night so I dont have to deal with a very frozen bowl. Inside they have a water bowl and feed placed inside a plastic litter box to catch excess water. I havent figured out a heater for that yet so it freezes at night and I give them fresh in the morn. A heat lamp is inside if it gets real cold and that keeps the food and water from freezing. I put grit in the water bowl and oyster shell in the feed. Lady Lulu started laying when I put a light in the house on a timer to extend the day. I coaxed her into laying in the nesting box with a wooden egg. Every morning I take them for a walk over to the little culvert creek. I wonder if they get any nourishment there or just like to nose around. Every other day they get to swim in the bathtub inside (husband not happy about that) sometimes with feeder fish crickets and lettuce. I've tried corn and peas and blueberies in the bath. They 1/2 eat the blueberries not interested in anything else much. They eat pellet chicken feed-organic in their house with water added to it. Is that enough nourishment for them? In the warm seasons they forage a lot. I try to keep the house and porch soft with litter so their feet dont get hurt. Is there anything else i can do for them? Thanks for your advice, susan in ct.
     
  2. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    It sounds like you have everything under control. In fact, you have some rather spoiled ducks. [​IMG] Good Luck! You are doing just fine. [​IMG]
     
  3. farmin'chick

    farmin'chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2009
    Rocky Mount VA
    I wish I HAD some advice for you, but all I can do is say it sounds like you're doing WAY great at providing for their needs! This is my first winter with ducks, and I have Muscovies. They don't require as much water as other ducks, since they don't need it to breed, all they need is to be able to dunk their heads. BUT...

    My 7 ducks spent nearly ALL of the blizzard we had (yep, 20") IN the creek! Brrrr! It's been cold here since, and they have a wading pool in the yard where they liked to play in the fall -- it still has water, and I break the ice when I can -- the creek's still open, and they have other drinking sources. BUT...the other day, part of it wouldn't break, and I poured about 2 " of water on top of the ice, and one of the drakes was out there having the BEST time taking a bath -- and the temperature was 22 deg!!!!!!

    They sometimes go in the bantam house to sleep at night, but usually not. They sometimes go under the hanging bantam pen in the hay house to sleep, but usually not....They have a tarped shelter they can go under where there's always extra food for them, and once in a while they'll go under there to sleep, but usually they just curl up together in the snow! I had to quit putting them up at night when they laid down on their backs and used their powerful legs and feet to literally KICK THE DOOR APART.

    I think I have very independent ducks....and they seem to love the cold. They will probably write up a petition to have me add ice blocks to their play pool in the summer....(Go to the children's section of the library and read "Click Clack MOO"...)

    ETA: Oh, yeah -- the young hens also started LAYING during the blizzard!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  4. headred

    headred Chillin' With My Peeps

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    WOW, your ducks are spoiled. I was worrying about mine WAY too much, so now I keep a heat lamp on in their house (which they hardly use) and a heated water bucket in there with their grain. Seems they spend most of their time in snow drifts and don't care much about the luxuries. You are a good duck mama!
     
  5. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    We were well below zero last night. While I got a frozen egg this morning, all the ducks were fine [​IMG] It was Chrissy's 2nd winter, everyone else, their first. I keep the bedding clean and dry, put a wind break at the back of the pen, and they have a dog igloo that is the perfect size for the 5 of them to snuggle in.
     

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