How cold is too cold for domestic ducks?


5 Years
Sep 23, 2014
We have 2 ducks, a Welsh Harlequin and a Black Swedish. We live in South Dakota where it can get to 30 below fahrenheit. Is a plastic dog house surrounded by straw bales enough for them to stay warm. They have a cement run attached which I could put straw on also. Any suggestions?
I'm not an expert with ducks and cold since I just moved to a cold location recently myself, but I would think they'd need some extra heat when it gets down that low. That is some extreme cold. Is there a place you can take them inside (basement, etc) when it gets that cold? Or somewhere you could safely set up a heat lamp for those super cold days?

A cement run is not good for duck feet, that's how you end up with bumble foot. Can you add some washable mats on top of the cement maybe? This isn't just for winter, this would be for all the time. Cement is too hard and abrasive for duck feet.

That's my two cents! I hope someone else will chime in with their thoughts as well. :)
With just the two ducks, in that kind of cold, I would bring them in somewhere where it is closer to 30˚F above. My runners - well, a few of them - did not thrive below 35˚F, so I built them a space in the walkout basement for wintertime, and it is so much more convenient, I keep them there at night all year.

I don't have to shovel snow to get to them! And even here, we can have three feet of snow on the ground.
Thirty below is pretty cold for ducks. They can frostbite their feet. We had mallards and a muscovy in Iowa and they were fine, but they are very close to wild ducks. The dog house can help keep them warm if you have no wind and depending on the size of the dog house. Without insulation on the bottom and on the cement run, they are going to have problems with frostbitten feet, most likely. I have lived in Iowa and Wyoming. Wyoming has a great deal of wind, so I have to make sure any outside animals have adequate shelter from that wind.

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