How cold is too cold for my duck?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Zesty108, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. Zesty108

    Zesty108 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 20, 2011
    Miami, Florida
    My zesty is 5 months old now. I have him outside in his house, ill try to post a picture later of it. the ground is covered in hay but as winter starts to come in im worried about him getting cold.He is by himself so he has no friends to huddle for warmth with. I live in miami, so the winters tend to be no lower than the 40s for just a day or too but windy. when this happens should i bring him inside my house or just cover his pen with sheets to block the wind? How cold is too cold for my duck? i work long hours so i need to be prepared for him.
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Hi, Zesty108,


    While many have assured me that runner ducks can manage the New England cold just fine with enough dry insulated housing, I found last year that two of my runners are just not that robust. From that I have concluded (guess, really) that it depends on the duck. It also depends on the duck person's own comfort level. Don't make yourself a nervous wreck just to live up to someone else's idea of duck management.

    My solution, part 1: First, take the ducks to the vet and have them checked out. Her observation: Your ducks hate the cold.

    My solution, part 2: Since I have a walk-out basement, and plenty of room in it, set up an indoor pen for storms and freezing temperatures. Done and done.

    They still spend most of their days outdoors in their pen, which is attached to their spring/summer/fall house and porch. That works very well for us, and I am home soon enough most days to get them into the basement pen before dark.

    When I cannot do that, I either arrange for someone (neighbor, friend) to move them from the day pen into their indoor shelter.

    I have nine runners. The basement does not smell bad. I refresh their straw daily, manage the water carefully, and once a week or so replace the straw altogether. It makes such good compost!

    So now that I have written all about me and mine [​IMG] have you seen any indication that your duck is too chilly? By the way, don't wait until the duck is suffering to bring him in - if it will make you feel better, make the duck a little spot in the house that's safe and easy to clean.
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Quote:I'd say you have 1 lucky duck to have such nice temps. Ducks have down so they really can take the cold, just making sure he has a place where he can get out of the wind is the only thing i see you'd need to do. And possibly getting him a friend, they really need companionship of the own kind.
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Ditto Miss Lydia on getting a friend.[​IMG]
  5. Lamar Estate

    Lamar Estate Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2011
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    I live in Minnesota. It gets very cold...sometimes 30 degrees BELOW zero and very windy.

    When I adopted Beaker (Khaki Campbell x Cayuga), she was with about fifty other ducks. They lived underneath a carport. They had each other to keep warm. When I brought her home, she only had Bunsen (Cayuga). Fortunately, they had an insulated chicken coop that was always kept above a freezing temperate by the use of heat lamps.

    Although a warmer chicken coop was an option, they mostly wanted to stay outside in the cold.

    Until a few weeks ago, I had Sebastian (Sebastopol goose) and Gizmo (Beaker and Bunsen's now full grown baby) living inside my house. I kept them in a 10 ft x 10 ft pen. This was only because the new goose/duck house and coop was not finished yet. It wasn't the most ideal situation, but it was okay. The smell wasn't bad because I cleaned up after them daily.

    I can't imagine having only one duck. My ducks would be so lonely. I'm sure your baby would LOVE to have a companion since they are social animals. I've even read in several books that they NEED companions.

    I would think all ducks could survive Florida temperatures just long as they have a little sheltered area and a friend. [​IMG]

    Please post a picture of him!
  6. fleascratcher

    fleascratcher Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 29, 2011
    Hi, we live in northern Wis and it can get very cold here and our 4 runners do well as long as they have a dry place out of the wind to nest together, when we got the runners the supplier stressed that runners are very social and do not do well when kept alone. Also they do well to huddle together for warmth.
  7. cbohn80

    cbohn80 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2011
    if i was you i'd be getting more ducks to keep that one company. ducks are very social animals and will be much happier with a few friends. as far as the cold all domestic breeds are from mallards. i duck hunt in january and february when the temps are around 20 degrees. birds love the cold. they'll be looking for a puddle to swim in even, couldnt care less. 40 is plenty warm for a duck. when you get around 0 you might have to worry. just give him plenty of straw
  8. destinduck

    destinduck obsessed with "ducks"

    Mar 20, 2008
    Quote:You can DUCK hunt in January and February? Edited to say I did see a January south and coastal season and special sea duck season ,but only geese for Feb. unless Im missing something on your NJ fish and game website. I ask this because Im thinking of hunting there. Also I was wondering if you can shoot a harlequin there at all. Thanks
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  9. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I agree with the rest, get a friend not only will it provide companionship but it always gives warmth. I'm right at 0 or 32F and all my Muscovy are outside, forging and messing about with the water and snow.. It's been as low as -7C(19F) overnight and my water hasn't froze over in my duck barn, their are 8 birds total.. so as you can see have several for sure provides warmth. Mine would be thrilled with a 40 degree day lol
  10. Lamar Estate

    Lamar Estate Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2011
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Quote:I would LOVE 40 degrees. It's snowing right now in Minnesota. The snow does look beautiful on their black/dark brown feathers and green heads.

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