Ducks in the winter

mstricer

Crowing
12 Years
Feb 12, 2009
7,508
228
396
Ohio
Hello I'm pretty new to ducks. I have 6 Calls. Got them in November, weather has been great up till now, Do ducks feet freeze? They have an insulated coop with a covered front porch where they eat and drink. They have a 10 x 10 run and did have a nice pool. But bad weather was approaching and we removed the pool. I came home from work to find all 6 of them just sitting in the spot where the pool was, in the blasting wind. Can they get sick? Are they too dumb to go in out of the winds? The pool is a pain when it drops below freezing and it closes for that reason. What do your ducks do in the winter? Please help. Also after having them in the same place for 2 months, can I let them out to investigate the woods, will they fly away for no reason?
Michele
 

Ducks and Banny hens

Songster
8 Years
Nov 22, 2011
2,733
17
151
On a little Farm.
No, ducks feet physically can't freeze so long as they're alive. They have special blood vessels running through their feet. Yes, ducks can get a myriad of sicknesses, but only if they are poor stock, or young or very old. They are very hardy, and yes, they will discern when it's time to go in to get out of the weather.
I keep my bevy in a barn over winter. All of them do fine in an unheated, but sheltered stall.
To answer your final question; Yes, if you only fence them in for a week, seeing to it they go inside every night, they are creatures of habit, and after then can be let out to range freely. If there are migrated wild ducks, however, your's may take notion to join them. So I'd advise you to clip their wings, or pinion there wings. Hope this helps.
 
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jynxster

Songster
8 Years
Dec 8, 2011
169
11
106
San Diego CA east county (Alpine)
TO Overrun with chickens
Born again here as well, The Lord eternally in my heart sometimes I drive down the road and may be listening to a song that makes me raise my hands to bless him. just a country boy with three ducks and two dogs livin alone in the country in Southern Ca. Just wanted to say hellow bless you and all your creatures from God too. and good information for Mstricer
 

Ducks and Banny hens

Songster
8 Years
Nov 22, 2011
2,733
17
151
On a little Farm.
Quote: X2
smile.png
 

Oregon Blues

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
5,531
266
273
Central Oregon
Ducks are wearing waterproof duck down jackets. They are properly dressed for a polar expedition.

Have a spot where they can get out of the wind and the weather if they choose to. Ducks are pretty smart and they are smart enough to get out of the wind when they need to be out of the wind.

They do not need to swim in the winter, but they will still need water deep enough to dunk their heads.
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
11 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,221
2,831
551
Southern New England
Ditto Oregon Blues - ducks need to be able to wash their entire heads every day or you risk serious infections.

My experience differs from that of many others. My Runners are not as cold hardy as "the book" says. With animals, I watch them. They let me know if they're fine or not. Our ducks are great in 30F, if it's sunny to part sunny. Once it gets cloudy and drops below 30, some of the flock will start shivering. Then everyone comes inside. Most of the flock seem fine outside in the mid 20s but some just aren't that robust. So watch your flock. They will tell you if they are healthy or if they are stressed.
 

Oregon Blues

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
5,531
266
273
Central Oregon
I've had a different experience with Runners. We don't often get much colder than -15 F, but I've had it get -50 F and the Runners were just fine. With proper shelter and proper diet.
 

Ducks-R-Us

Songster
10 Years
Jul 23, 2009
377
8
121
North Dakota
I raise ducks in North Dakota, we get cold and stay cold for too darn long. My ducks like to be outside but all have unheated sheds with lots of straw if they want to go inside. If they get cold, they do go inside. For the most part, they very seldom go inside if the temp is above 0, once it gets below 0, they will go inside but will go out every now and then to see whats going on, I do not feed my ducks inside, they are fed and watered out outside, the trouble I have had when it gets real cold, -20 or more, sometimes they will hop in the water then hop out sitting on the ice and freeze down, I have learned to add straw around the waterers daily in that cold of temps to make sure that doesn't happen.
 

mstricer

Crowing
12 Years
Feb 12, 2009
7,508
228
396
Ohio
Thanks everyone. Weather is windy but beautiful, who whould have thought Jan. 17 and it is 57* today.
 

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