I'll take any help I can get.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by New Guy 22, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. New Guy 22

    New Guy 22 New Egg

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    Nov 1, 2014
    Emmett, MI.
    Hello,

    I am new to having pet ducks, I bought 4 ducklings in April of this year, I feed them one large scoop of crack corn a day, and they live in the 40 foot diameter pond directly behind my house.
    The problem is winter is coming and I have rigged up a thermostat and heat lamp in their hutch and moved the hutch down to the pond, but the ducks don't go into it to roost for the night, I am worried about the cold winter wind and the like.
    Can anyone tell me please if there is something that I can do to get them to start to roost in the hutch? I am hoping that when it gets colder that they will discover the warmth in the hutch and figure it out. I also have a 26 gallon short plastic tub with a bird bath water heater so they have more than enough water to drink and dunk their heads in the winter when there is snow on the ground.
    If anyone has any answers or suggestions I will try them for sure.

    Thanks,


    Rick, M.
    1 NOV 14
     
  2. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feel I should point out that cracked corn is a "treat" and should not be the staple of any bird's diet. It makes them nice and fat, but doesn't give them proper nutrition. They really should be getting pelleted food formulated for ducks, and maybe a little cracked corn on the side. ;)

    Where do you feed them? If you only offer them food in their hutch (before it gets dark each night), that should encourage them to go in so you can lock them in for the night. They probably won't want to move from their pond after dark since they'll already be settled in for the night out there and ducks don't like to move in the dark.
     
  3. farm316

    farm316 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 28, 2014
    Yes. Ducks will go into a place if you coax them with a delicious handful of cracked corn. Is this whole thing (Hut) a new setup? Because if it is then your ducks won't want to move into a new house fast, and they might stress out. If not, then you might want to consider doing some tests in the daytime so they can see what you have put in their that's new.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Western N.C.
    Ducks really don't require additional heat either, just give them a nice cozy place to get when the weather turns frigid and windy and they should be fine if your using bedding inside. heat lamps are dangerous. We have members on BYC that keep ducks up in Canada and Alaska with out heat. Be sure you lock them in at night though because having them go into an unlocked hut just puts them on the menu for many preds they will be ripe for the picking. Start before dark training them to go inside with cracked corn/whole corn dried meal worms but make sure if you put food inside to provide water because ducks have to have water when eating.
     
  5. New Guy 22

    New Guy 22 New Egg

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    Nov 1, 2014
    Emmett, MI.
    Thanks to all three of you for answering, I didn't know about the crack corn, I noticed that they always ate it first and tended to leave the crumble pellets, I will feed them the crumble pellets with a little corn mixed in from now on.When they started living in the pond full time and no longer roosted in the hutch, I just poured the scoop on the bank of the pond and they would swim up and eat and drink, I will get their water dispenser back out of the garage and start putting their food in front of the hutch, I moved the hutch from the back of the house to a few feet away from the pond about a month and a half ago. so they could get used to seeing it there, they used to live in this same hutch when they were ducklings.
    As far as the heating goes, the heat lamp has a thermostat built in that is approved for hatchery use (that is what the package said on the side anyway). It turns on at 35 degrees and turns off at 42 degrees, and the thermostat sits lower to the bottom of the hutch with the ceramic heat lamp about one foot above (it is an infra red heat lamp, so it gives off almost no light), I want to put it in there because I worry about them and don't want them to go through any undue suffering. Do you think that I should not use it? It gets very cold in Michigan in the winters.
    Also the floor of the hutch is clean, I put store bought pine shavings for bedding on the hutch floor at about 2 inches deep or so. And they will have plenty of water in the winter deep enough for them to submerge their heads in. (26 gallon short thick plastic farm tub with bird bath 200 watt submersible water heater to keep the water just barely warm enough to keep it liquid)
    Again thank all three of you for answering me back so quickly, if you have any other suggestions or pointers I will be glad to try them,
    P.S. If I can get them into the hutch to roost at night I will shut and lock the door and open it very early in the morning before I go to work.


    Thanks,


    Rick M.
    1 NOV 14
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Western N.C.
    Go here and post your questions to others who live in Mic. they can tell you what they do for their flocks. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/697050/michigan-thread-all-are-welcome/28140 , I just don't think ducks unless Runners need extra heat, they have down under their feathers to keep them warm and should have good body weight to help also, I give my flock Whole corn in late afternoon about 2 hrs before bed time it helps keep them warm over night, I read another member who has access to a great bird vet and he told her whole corn had more nutritional value than cracked We could debate it for hours just passing that along. I can tell you though if I put cracked corn and whole corn side by side my flock would go for the whole first. I keep a good balanced diet out for them from day light till they go in of an evening. Corn/dried meal worms are the treats they get. Now we are going into the time of year where natural prey is going to be scarce so predators will be looking at out ducks etc to dine on. Please don't ever assume if your ducks sleep on the pond they will be safe, most preds can swim real well. I hope you can train them to go in of an evening for their safety and your piece of mind.
    And please forgive my manners..Welcome to BYC.
     
  7. New Guy 22

    New Guy 22 New Egg

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    Nov 1, 2014
    Emmett, MI.
    Thanks for the link I will try it.
     

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