keeping ducks in cold winter

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by yanakaye, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. yanakaye

    yanakaye Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2014
    Hi

    I was just wondering what is the best way to keep ducks warm in the winter. I was toying with the idea of getting an electric heat mat but there is the obvious risk of dry hay and electricity. I have also thought of hanging a heat lamp from the roof of their coop but with the coop not having solid walls ( solid roof and chicken wire sides) i wasn't sure how much heat the lamps give out.

    Any suggestions would be a huge help.

    Thanks
     
  2. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, first they need a solid house to be in at night during the winter for sure. They need to be out of any drafts, but still have decent air flow via vents near the roof. Ducks are very cold hardy if they are provided with proper shelter like this, they don't really need any extra heat from heat lamps or space heaters. Those just introduce an unnecessary fire risk. So as long as they have shelter to get out of the weather and drafts, they should be ok. You'll want to have lots of bedding in their house to keep them warm, I use shavings and straw.

    What kind of ducks do you have and where do you live, though? Some breeds are more cold hardy than others. Muscovies and Runners aren't as good with the cold as most other breeds, for example. I have Cayugas and they do fine here in Swedish winters without any extra heat, but they have a really good duck house for nighttime, and also little shelters out in their yard to protect from snow and some of the wind.

    There are lots of threads here about duck care in the winter if you do a quick search with much more information. :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. yanakaye

    yanakaye Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2014
    Thamks for the reply.

    We are moving to scotland which apparently gets some pretty nasty winters although probably not as harsh as yours!. Currently there is a mini duck house (like a small dog kennel) inside the coop i described above and i put plenty of hay down on the floor.We lock them in on a night though as we are afraid of foxes getting to them. The sides were left open as we thought they might like the light from the moon and street lights. The coop is square so walls should be easy to fit on the sides.

    We have One male pekin, One female white campbell and one female white campbell cross cayuga.

    Thanks again :)
     
  4. Carcajou

    Carcajou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good advice. I keep mine in a ventilated wooden coop with no extra heat. We get many nights below zero in the winter. We get lots of wind and snow and they spend the entire time outside in the day no matter the weather. Here are a couple of my ducks on their pond in the winter during a snowstorm. They have the option of going inside but don't. These are Khaki Campbells and are well insulated for winter weather.


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  5. yanakaye

    yanakaye Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2014
    Hi. I was just wondering if any of you have experienced ice forming on ducks feathers? I've heard this isn't good for ducks but if it's just on the external back feathers not sure why? Does it mean they can't get warm? And what do you do if it happens?
     
  6. yanakaye

    yanakaye Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2014
    We've moved to scotland now and have now put corrugated plastic around the outside of the pen with space at the top for ventilation and they still have their enclosed duck house where they nest. Our boy usually sits outside the house in the pen though. They've been through one winter so far which wasn't overly cold and they had ice forming on their feathers then. We are going away over December so want to give our neighbours as much info as possible while they are looking after them.
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Mine have had ice on their feathers many times matter of fact just this morning they do fine. They need to have a way to get out of the extreme weather and not have any water they can climb into if it gets below freeing unless a large pool or pond that won't freeze over sleeping in their water bowl should be discouraged because of the potential for frost bite. Lots of fluffy dry bedding and good feed will go along way in keeping them comfortable.
     

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