Grass for the winter? Winterizing?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by tatswell, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. tatswell

    tatswell Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2013
    Southern New England
    I live in the Northeast- which of course means snow, and soon! I am moving my duck run from the grass to under my deck for the winter. The ground under my deck is brick patio and when attempting to tuck my ducks in last night they seemed awfully upset that there was no grass.
    Do you suppose winter rye grass will work if I pull up the bricks?
    I could just lay straw but that could get costly/ messy over a period of 4 months or so.
  2. learycow

    learycow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2011
    Southern Maine
    How many ducks do you have?
    Your best bet would be to use hay/straw.
    Even if you plant Rye or grass, it will quickly become a mess if the ducks are housed there all winter. Especially if you have their water in the same area you have them housed/penned.

    I live in southern Maine so we too get cold, snowy winters.
    What I do is this:
    Ducks do EXTREMELY well in the winter. I bed my coops with shavings and hay/straw (about 4-6 inches deep). They free range during the day (they don't need grass to free range but be sure you are feeding an adequate amount of grain to supplement the grass). Unless it's below zero, windy, and snowing all at the same time, I give them the option to go out and they always choose to be out. They absolutely LOVE the snow!
    But the deep bedding gives them a warm place to nestle into should they get chilled. And I also put a heat lamp in my coops just for comfort. But it is not needed as long as they can get out of the elements. Mine get locked in at night to stay safe from predators.
    And if you are free ranging them during the day, I would suggest keeping their water outside. That will keep your coops and bedding cleaner and drier. Then you won't have to change it often and it will save you $$$
  3. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    They'll do okay, mine do fine over winter, i will often give them romaine lettuce and other greens to offset the lack of real grasses. Ducks turn grassy areas into mud so quick that planted anything is a waste in confined spots so i wouldn't waste your time or money. My quad of calls ducks have turned a 10x10 run into about 85%+ mud lol
  4. ducks and geese

    ducks and geese Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 8, 2013
    Rye grass is a good idea sometimes my ducks will just eat silage and grain in winter
  5. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    they were likely upset by the change in surroundings. Last year, I sprouted wheat and grew some wheat grass inside for them. I've also sprouted corn and sunflower seed. They do enjoy the fresh greens.
  6. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2012
    LP Michigan
    I saw a great tray system for growing fodder using PVC pipe, I think it was here on BYC. I'm never organized enough to get a system going, but I think that would be so great to have. I usually sprout BOSS inside Ziplocks.
  7. tatswell

    tatswell Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2013
    Southern New England
    All great feedback- thanks!
    Quote: I have two ducks- both female gold star hybrids.
    Here is what I have setup ( I call it the duck palace [​IMG]) - 10x10 to the left (no roof), then a 10x6 area to the right with a tarp over. I am thinking I will lay down straw, pine shavings, and some all natural recycled paper bedding- often used for hamsters, etc., under the tarp area. Any other recommendations? Should I wrap the sides of the 10x6 area also to prevent drafts in the winter?
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  8. ducks and geese

    ducks and geese Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 8, 2013
    The ducks just need to have access to their night pen to protect them from the wind put they only need a night shelter
  9. tatswell

    tatswell Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2013
    Southern New England
    This is their night shelter- no good? From morning till dusk they are out of the pen free ranging. They are only here at night. To the far right is the small dog house, connected, where their food is. But they never stay in there, ever- Only when they are eating their pellets.
    Should they have a larger house to sleep in, or do you suppose wrapping the sides of the 10x6 area under the tarp will suffice if I add bedding?
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    What have you done to protect from predators? if they don't have something to go into at night so they can be safe it's just a matter of time. A small house like the dog house with pine shaving and some kind of door that can be locked and ventilation covered in hardware cloth will keep them cozy for winter you can even put a tarp up on the side of the fence where the wind comes through from to block the wind. Put all feed up at night to keep predators from coming around.

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