First winter with ducks!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Zolamarie, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. Zolamarie

    Zolamarie Chirping

    Nov 25, 2017
    Richmond VA, USA
    Peggy and Gus ❤️ image.jpeg
    Hey guys! Ugh I totally haven't posted at all But here I am!

    My duck, Gus had a partial wing amputation a few weeks ago and just had his sutures removed. Finally back to normal!
    Last weekend it began to snow and ever since then it's been soo cold! Every morning I give them fresh veggies in warm water along with their regular chicken feed. I have a small coop heater for night time(although idk if they care about it) and I give then cracked corn at night. Is there anything else I should be doing? This is my first winter with ducks.

    Also, for the past few days they haven't really wanted their chicken feed as much. Usually the scarf it down in a minute, but lately they've been leaving the bowl almost full. Is it because they're getting spoiled bc of all the fresh veggies, it is the feed getting kinda old? (I bought a 50 lb bag a few weeks ago)
  2. Bridger Davis

    Bridger Davis Songster

    Jul 25, 2017
    Evans Colorado
    Aah typical worried duck mom. I would ask @chickens really abotu the feed, but you are doing great when it comes to keeping them warm and all. Keep it up with the cracked corn at night to keep them warm unless you see signs of bloating or unwanted weight gain. Glad Gus is doing well and don't forget to have a thick layer of straw for litter to trap heat/ keep them warm. Hope they stay warm!;) :frow
    chickens really and onaharley like this.
  3. Congrats new duck mom, welcome to the club! Glad to hear Gus is recovering well. I second the notion that @Bridger Davis gave. @chickens really she does give great advice!

    Them not eating their feed, more then likely has to do with all them goodies their eating!
  4. Animal family

    Animal family Songster

    Nov 13, 2017
    Northern Colorado
    Hi here! It’s my first winter with ducks too!
    I give mine salad in the water bowl in the morning along with a waterfowl feed. I put water in the feed so it gets like a cereal. They also eat thawed peas, and dried mealworms. Those are treats thruout the day. At night they get more mealworms and raw cracked peanuts. Sometimes they eat all the cereal and sometimes they don’t. I never know why, but I do make it fresh every morning.
  5. Fresh chopped kale every morning for mine, it's great for calcium! They love it!
    Zolamarie and Bridger Davis like this.
  6. Steven Mazzo

    Steven Mazzo Crowing

    May 22, 2017
    North Babylon NY
    I know how you all feel. My first winter with ducks as well. I've posted in a few other forums about heating the coop and have done quite a bit of reading online as well and so far everything points to not heating the coop as it probably does more harm than good and it's a huge risk for fire but I honestly don't know the answer. Someone that I really trust made me promise not to use heat so I havnt but I've hardly slept at all worrying since the temps have dropped. I may have to take my ducks and move south lol.
  7. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    I would actually stop with the cracked corn unless you're only giving a little each night as a treat - while they love it as a treat, it is not a good source of nutrients for them, and it doesn't actually make them warmer. It's a good source of carbohydrates, which give fast energy when eaten, but it doesn't create more heat or anything like that.

    While it is true that there is something called a Heat Increment which relates to how much heat a feed produces during digestion, cracked corn doesn't produce a ton of heat. In fact, proteins put out more heat when digested than something that's high in carbohydrates like corn does. So feeding corn would actually reduce the amount of heat put off by digestion compared to a bird's normal feed that is higher in protein. For a better explanation see this post.

    Also, they do not need a heater in their coop. A heater can be a fire hazard and, worse yet, if the birds become used to being kept warm and do not get to acclimate to colder temperatures as the temperature naturally drops, and your power goes out and they are suddenly plunged into colder temps from the warm temps they are used to, they can actually go into shock and die.

    I've had ducks for ten years and our temperatures regularly go below zero. I never heat my coops and all the birds are fine :) Remember, they have their own built in down jackets.
  8. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck

    Nov 30, 2014
    Middle Tennessee

    I actually don't even give my ducks any kind of corn or scratch, they don't care for it... colder days they will eat more of their feed and they do great in the cold... and mine are Calls, tiny ducks... no heat, no corn, and not a single one lost to cold or has ever gotten frostbite... and last year we had a severely brutal cold and sleet storm fest Jan/Feb...
  9. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck

    Nov 30, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    You know Button is sleeping outside in an extra large kennel with a top and 3 sides enclosed with just a thick layer of straw... it's been in the 20's for the last week at night and she is just fine... :)

  10. Steven Mazzo

    Steven Mazzo Crowing

    May 22, 2017
    North Babylon NY
    Ladies and gents. This is the person I trust the most to advise me on what's best for my most precious babies. I want buttons.... Adorable

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: