Housing for winter

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by lovesgliders, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. lovesgliders

    lovesgliders Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2011
    Hi everyone, I have been absent from this board for a little while, but I still have my three Mallards and they are all growed up now!

    Where Did My Little Birthday Ducklings Go? by Just In Luv, on Flickr

    I've had a wonderful summer with them napping against my legs while I read outside on the lawn, but now the weather is getting quite cold and my enjoyment of them is hindered by the fact that I am worried about them because they WON'T USE THEIR HOUSE.

    My chickens put themselves to bed at night but the ducks never have. I don't fret about that much because their pen (dubbed Duckingham Palace) is secure as Fort Knox, and we haven't lost a single chicken or duck to predators. But during rain, wind, sleet, or snow, I look out and the ducks are sitting out in it instead of going into their house.

    Do anyone else's ducks do this? Should I bring them inside for the winter? Or, if they have the option of shelter, is that good enough (i.e. they'll use it if they need it)?

    I guess I'm also wondering how cold is too cold for a Mallard? The thought of going out one morning and finding them frozen is too painful to bear, but I don't want them miserable, either (and truth be told, while I love having them inside, they seem miserable in here... they pant and pluck each other's feathers).

    Thanks so much for any/all advice!

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2011
    I think that if they really cold they cold they will go in the shelter. No need to worry. They know they can go in it right?
  3. lovesgliders

    lovesgliders Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2011
    Yup, they know it's there and know they can go in (I've seen them wander in). [​IMG]
  4. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    We have shelters for our ducks, but they don't seem to use them except to lay some eggs underneath. They have gotten through 2 winters and seem ok.
  5. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    As long as they have the option to take shelter i doubt they'd allow themselves to freeze. They are lovely btw!
  6. RunnerWhisperer

    RunnerWhisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    I know there has been so much advice on wintering your ducks...they are prepared for cold weather and should be fine as long as they have adequate shelter. I have a question though that came up after this cold weekend we had. Everything was frozen and frosted in the morning hours, even the ducks? I mean they have shelter and a dog house inside full of straw, but I couldn't help but notice that they looked wet and a little frozen. Jade was all fluffed up which made me worry that maybe they got cold?

    I have their pool still inside at night, clean it out every evening, I know they typically sit in it most of the night and are usually in it when I let them out in the am.

    My question is this: Should I not give them their pool at night while it is cold? Maybe just fill it in the morning so they can bathe, but not at night so they aren't wet and get frosty?

    They seemed fine, and as the sun came out they seemd to thaw out just fine! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011
  7. lovesgliders

    lovesgliders Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2011
    Quote:I personally am covering my ducks' pond this winter, probably any day now I will go out there and drain it and cover it. I am afraid of them freezing in it if they take a nap in it, and also I cannot maintain it/keep it clean once my hose freezes.

    I figure a few times a week I will take them out a large pan of water from the house and let them enjoy that and get their bathing done.

    If yours enjoy their inside pool and are choosing to sit in it, I wouldn't think they would be cold from that. I am hoping that ducks have enough sense to get out of the water if they are cold, but experience has taught me that they aren't the most sensible of creatures at times. LOL So I am trying to think for mine.
  8. jbourget

    jbourget Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2008
    Quote:They are hardy, wild birds that need the change of seasons to trigger their breeding and laying of eggs. Once they go through the cold weather then it warms that triggers the eggs laying. The dont need much shelter, only from wind really. And im talkign like blizzard. Their feathers are their best shelter. My mallards stay on the pond all winter long. even though the wild ones fly south, (they can still survive winters) in new england anyway....And are winters are bad.
  9. missy5

    missy5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2010
    Hi, everyone. I haven't been on here for a while, but it's that time of year when i'm not outside all day with the ducks and chickens. I have calls and i live in Ontario Canada so our winters are cold. I have to coral my ducks into their coop at night. In the mornings they call me to let them out. YES, i have a camera in the coop and i know i'm crazy, but i'm ok with it. Last year i just had a baby monitor and every time i heard a noise i would run out to check on them. Yup, told you crazy. Anyway, i drained their ponds and filled them with hay for the winter. BUT, they have to have their swimming water no matter what the temperature is. I do the jug method of water. That means carrying jugs of water out every morning and filling cat litter size plastic boxes with water. First i dump the ice out. They all stand around waiting for them to get filled and they usualy jump in before i'm done. So, i don't think the cold bothers them as much as we think it does. Nice to be back on the forum because this is where all the crazy duck people are, lol, Angie.
  10. newbyduckmom

    newbyduckmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2011
    Snohomish County, WA
    Angie,we have a duck cam in our coop and motion detectors outside. I am mellowing...I don't go running out there every time the motions go off!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by