For those who have winter.. on the real brutal cold days, what do you offer them for food?

Going Quackers

11 Years
May 24, 2011
On, Canada
We had another cold snap earlier this week so i kept the ducks in, they are all Muscovy so risk of freezing the fleshy parts is a concern(we were -20C w/windchills take that into the -30's)

Should i offer the ducks some sort of warm up food? They had access to their regular feed but i swear i read others offering some warm foods or something along those lines when temps went brutal.

First, I "portion" or "ration" feed, so I am taking them fresh feed twice a day anyhow. There isn't cold, frozen food just sitting out there in their coop.

During these brutal days, the mash is warmed with hot water and stirred. Simply put, the mash is fed at a warm temperature. This does provide them warm food, which is more appetizing to them, in my experience. I do this, not so much to be "comfort food", but to increase their eating activity and desire. In my view, they need the calories because they are using so much to make body heat. It's winter. It is very cold. Feeding warmed feed seems to increase their feed intake, which I see as a good thing.
It was -8 yesterday at 9 a.m.
When it gets cold I like to give them cooked oats, still warm, or peeled, smashed potatoes, with a little milk to cool them down & add calories. They love it & they gobble it up right away. Warm peas are also a favorite.
I also fill their pool with really, really warm water. They LOVE that.
Other things I do - LOTS of extra hay. Layers & layers of it. I remove any that is slightly wet or soiled before I put them to bed & make it very thick. I store extra bales packed around the outside of the shelter part of their enclosure for extra insulation, and remove it from the huge contractor bags as needed for the interior.
I spread a pretty thick layer of hay around the outside of their cage on really bad days to get them out & moving. Once they wander on the hay a bit they get more adventurous & go out into the snow. They do a lot of back & forth thanks to the extra ground cover, I think. But, they spent most of yesterday in the hay bale cube in the back of their shelter. ... After their hot tub.
I like to cook up peas and corn[frozen] and add oatmeal and red pepper flakes and some w/w bread all mixed together. They are usually waiting at the gate for me. I cook it in 2% milk.
@ OP - We went down to the exact same thing last night! -20 with -30 wind chill. Where are you located in Canada?

Ontario! Yeah, that was so much fun.. not... now they are saying + temps tomorrow and rain
Only in Canada can you wear a parka and a rain coat in the same week...
There pellet feed hasn't froze surprisingly ... but they were less than impressed with the wicked temps, they usually free range but i don't want any problems with the fleshy parts.. so i locked them in... i keep straw in there and the barn is bedded with shavings and the floor is wood with stall mats.

I'll look into some oatmeal, as my kids ones wouldn't suit (cookies and cream & chocolate chip
My ducks get pretty much the same thing to eat in the winter as they get in the summer. In winter, they get fewer greens and less fruit, because growing season is over so they are just getting kitchen scraps and not trimmings from my veggie garden.

If it is really cold, they will need more calories. They burn a lot of calories keeping warm. So you can increase their food, or you can add a small amount of cracked corn, which is calorie heavy. I don't feed corn, because it tends to make ducks over-weight.

Make sure they have a place to get out of the wind where they can keep dry. If they have a place to get out of the weather and they are standing out in the weather, then the weather isn't bothering them. They are wearing water-proof down jackets and aren't bothered by cold.

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