Ducks in winter

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by LeviS, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. LeviS

    LeviS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2012
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    Hello everybody, I have a couple questions about my ducks. I have 5 call ducks and 2 geese that are proving themselves to be a little headache with our lovely negative degree temperatures. So at my house, I have a natural underground spring that fills a basin I use to water my goats, and because it is forever running, and my goats don't drink like fish, there is about a 10ft pipe that acts as an overflow. at the end of this overflow there is a small pool of water about a foot deep. I'm told that its been running for probably a century or so, and doesn't freeze. so far this has proven true in the last two years I've lived next to it. anyway, my waterfowl flock discovered it a couple months ago and cant get enough of it! Only problem is, its negative 10ish out! I get home at 6, well into the dark, and they are still in it! Normally they put themselves in their coop and I just have to shut the door.

    Now my theory on why they stayed in there is because this natural spring, while not sauna temps, is warm enough that it doesn't freeze....sooo they are thinking its great in there, better than the painful air outside. Anyway, last night after shooing them out of it (keep in mind they are wet) their poor little feet froze I think, because all at once they all like collapsed and couldn't walk. I had to carry them into their coop and spent a good hour warming up their feet with my hands.

    So my question is, and I probably already know the answer, should I probably keep them from over there. they do have their own pen but they usually stay out of trouble and I just let them free range (they don't go farther than 3 ft from that puddle anyway, I pretty much get trampled when I open their door and they all fly(flap their wings in the geeses case) over there in about 1.2 sec. I guess I was hoping that I could still let them go over there, since then I don't have to provide water in a fountain and deal with ice and them splashing water all over the heater base, but that really freaked me out last night just seeing them all plop down at once not able to move. Any advice would be most welcome.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    This is a head-scratcher for me, but I will try to get the ball rolling for ideas, here.

    Can you spread straw or shavings along the route they use to go from the water to the shelter?

    Sometimes when the ground is nasty cold, my ducks plop down and pull their feet into their feathers.

    Straw and shavings work for us when their is abundant ice and snow, and sub-freezing temperatures. I still make sure they have ready access to a shelter that is above freezing.
     
  3. LeviS

    LeviS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its a pretty decent sized space between the puddle and the coop so I don't think I could do that. Maybe their feet were just cold and not really "frozen", but they definitely didn't weren't in a hurry to get back to their coop either. I saw that they had tracks all over this morning, from yesterday. So they were definitely moving around throughout the day. Is it possible for them to get to cold from swimming? Other than just plopping down, they didn't seem cold I guess. My two geese are sebbies so I'm not really sure how much cold they would be willing to take either. they think the ducks are there babies and get very distraught if they aren't in sight, so keeping them apart is kind of impossible. Does anyone else let their waterfowl swim in winter?
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Perhaps a concrete mixing pan closer to their shelter for the coldest days.
     

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