1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Keeping Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Smokey2201, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. Smokey2201

    Smokey2201 Chillin' With My Peeps

    165
    4
    61
    Jun 12, 2014
    I am planning on ordering some ducks in the spring. In winter it gets really cold and how would I keep them warm? Do they need to have something to swim in in the winter? What kind of bedding would I use inside the coop?
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,956
    1,918
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Everyone has different resources - I converted part of our walkout basement to a duck barn. It doesn't get colder than 40F in there. I use pine shavings for bedding, and I have a watering station to keep the bedding much drier.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. LoveThemBirds

    LoveThemBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    726
    27
    101
    Feb 23, 2015
    Petting Buffy Like a Dog
    I have raised many ducks.Studied them too.They do not need heat lamps,ducks can go out in 20 degrees in snow and act normal.They wil need something to swim in even in the winter.Preferably a pond,or a kittie pool.Also,they enjoy cold water in the winters.Wood shavings,moss,straw,hay,dirt even is good bedding for ducks.
     
  4. LoveThemBirds

    LoveThemBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    726
    27
    101
    Feb 23, 2015
    Petting Buffy Like a Dog
    I should have mentioned,ducks also enjoy cold ice water in the winter and summer..
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,956
    1,918
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    From what I have read on the Duck Forum over the years, it depends on the flock. There are some members of our flock who were not thriving below 35F, so we keep them at night where it is no colder than 40F. There are other ducks who seem to do just fine out in the cold. But there are many details that are not clear from "just fine out in the cold." If they have access to a shelter that is above freezing, if they are on a nice base of straw or bedding instead of ice and snow, if they have a yard that is on the south side of a structure out of the wind, if they are a larger breed like Pekins or Muscovies . . . . so many variables.

    Ducks can and do get frostbite and hypothermia. A good diet, fresh water for drinking and swimming, and good care keeps them healthy for the most part. Having a backup plan for when the weather becomes unusually hot or cold is a really good idea.
     
  6. Kaessa

    Kaessa Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,336
    95
    148
    Jan 23, 2015
    Fruita, CO
    My mallards do really well in the cold... we get temps down into the teens (and below, sometimes) and they are fine. They have a duck house packed with straw that they can retreat into if it gets too cold, too.

    I fill their 1 gallon drinker up with warm water in the mornings, and they really appreciate that. Seriously, they will meet me at the gate when I bring it, and waddle over to where it's supposed to go and tell me I'm not moving fast enough. They REALLY like the warm water.

    On nights when I know it's going to be really cold (much below 25), I'll give them some cracked corn for the extra calories to help them generate their own heat.
     
  7. Smokey2201

    Smokey2201 Chillin' With My Peeps

    165
    4
    61
    Jun 12, 2014
    Thanks! In the winter how do I keep a kiddie pool from freezing so they can go in it? I heard that the make a mess with water. I don't want there water to be spilled everywhere in the coop(their drinking water). What kind of bedding would be the best for ducks?
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,956
    1,918
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I don't keep the swim pan from freezing - when I am staying on top of things, I dump it out in the afternoon and refill it the next day. The flock has not wanted to stay outdoors for long in the sub sub sub freezing temperatures (last month was record-breaking cold, by the way).

    Since my Runners are so small, they wash up and play in their water pot, a two-gallon stew pot. I place that in the watering station, and it keeps the splash confined and easy to clean up.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Mrs.H

    Mrs.H Chillin' With My Peeps

    630
    29
    153
    Mar 22, 2010

    I keep drinking water outside at all times so their house is dry. If we are going to have freezing temps I give them small concrete mixing tubs to swim in. Easy to dump each night and refill in the morning.
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,956
    1,918
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I have used straw for bedding and now use pine shavings. It's a quality issue. I started getting bale after bale of moldy straw from various sources, so I gave up and use the shavings.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by