Keeping my ducks for the winter

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CBQ888, Nov 26, 2014.

  1. CBQ888

    CBQ888 New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Apr 18, 2012
    Hello I have two Ducks that I have finally brought in for these cold winter months I have a 6x8 dog kennel that I keep them in with a small coop or house for them as well as a pool to swim this is my first winter with them and I'm a little worried temp wise. They do not like to even go in the house full of hay I will put them in there and they come right out and just sit out in the snow this is there first night and they are just sitting in the cold snow all night long I just don't know what to do I've tried giving them food but they don't even want that. I put them in the pool and they'll get right out so I'm at a standstill loss and don't know what to do about them all winter any ideas would be great thanks
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,983
    1,958
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    There may be something about the shelter that makes them uncomfortable.

    If it were me, at this point, I would bring them into the house - a utility room or basement, where there is nothing in there that can hurt them, and it's not overly warm (although in my house I keep the whole house cool most of the time . . . .) just for tonight, anyway.

    Two ducks - how big are they? How old are they? My ducks were not all filled out their first winter - we had trouble with them coping with the cold. They do better, most of them, now, but I still keep them in a shelter that stays above 40˚F.

    I would start tomorrow morning getting them to like their outdoor shelter. Toss some peas or other treat they really like in the shelter. If it is big enough, get in there with them if they are friendly. Give it the sniff test. Is the straw moldy at all? Is there any light in there? Is there some ventilation?
     
  3. Beratzlaff

    Beratzlaff Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    22
    Feb 26, 2014
    Spokane Washington
    Ducks are very sturdy animals when it comes to the cold. I have 3 Cayugas and 1 Khaki Campbell and they barely ever use their house. I keep a nice warm accessible shelter for them at all times just in case they need it but they prefer to be outside. My shelter is a large dog house with straw and a heat lamp (if you get a heat lamp ALWAYS use WHITE with your ducks. there is something about the red light that attracts them and they will peck at it until it breaks.... never good... especially since they will try to eat the broken glass). Another thing about heat lamps with ducks is that you must have a guard over it or else sometimes they burn their feathers on it.
    But back to your ducks, if they are old enough to have their second set of feathers (they loose their fluff and get patchy feather and then loose those feathers get their adult coat) also if your male(s) have their sex feathers they are old enough to be outside.
    Technically ducks and so good with cold weather they can even have their feet frozen in a pond without hurting them, they are tougher then we like to think. But if you do decide to bring them inside plan on keeping them there until spring, if not they will loose their heavy winter coats like dogs do from warm temperatures, at that point they actually could freeze to death if you put them back outside.

    Hope some of this helped! Good Luck!

    P.S. with them not getting in the water is could be too dirty. I have to drain and wash mine at least once a day or else they wont touch it. Also if you get a stock tank heater that is meant for a tank bigger than what you have it will keep the water warm so they will just sit in there most of the day
     
  4. Onlyducks

    Onlyducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    332
    30
    93
    Apr 16, 2014
    I have been moving mine around based on temperature. When it was below zero or there is a rapid change (like dropping 40 or 50 degrees in a day), I put them in my greenhouse. They have no heater, but they are out of the wind and cold. When it warms up, they go back to their pen. They don't like wind, so they tend to sit in their house all day. We just finished fencing so they can be herded into the garden during the day, where they have a shelter if they need it. This keeps them from sitting in their shelter all day. The only time they were really cold was when it was around zero or below. That's when we put them in the greenhouse. As noted by the previous commenter, ducks are very hardy. I got these last March and they were out in snow and cold for a couple of months before the warmer weather came in. They were fine. I would also note that not all ducks will go into a shelter and many won't go in when you think they should. If they are not showing signs of being cold (lifting feet, sitting down and fluffing out, etc) then they are probably fine. (And yes, ducks can have their feet frozen in water and be fine. The mallard hen we had when I was in high school did that several times!)
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    70,103
    5,895
    701
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    I would be worried about my ducks sleeping outside over night more about predators than cold but cold too. Ducks can be easily trained to go into their house. they can be herded too. I could not leave my animals ducks geese or chickens outside at night they'd all be dead with a week or less.
     
  6. Onlyducks

    Onlyducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    332
    30
    93
    Apr 16, 2014
    As long as the ducks are in the dog run, are they safe from predators? If so, whether or not the ducks go into the house should not matter, as long as they don't act cold.
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    70,103
    5,895
    701
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Only way they would be safe is if the OP had the top covered with something raccoons or other strong predators couldn't rip up or climb under and if the run had been dug into the ground at least a foot so nothing could dig under. Never under estimate the hunger of a predator.
     
  8. Onlyducks

    Onlyducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    332
    30
    93
    Apr 16, 2014
    Concerning ducks and shelter: My muscovies are in my fenced garden today. It's really windy and they don't like wind. I went out to see what they were up to and they were hiding in the freezer that we used for a shelter (The freezer has three different adjustments to keep it from shutting and suffocating the ducks, so no panic on that end). They have never been out in the garden with that shelter until yesterday. Their intense dislike of high wind told them to seek shelter and they did, in a shelter they were not familiar with. Ducks will find shelter when they want to.
     
  9. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    7,550
    354
    311
    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    If the run is predator proof they will choose whether or not to take shelter, i wouldn't worry about it. The biggest problem with leaving ducks out is them becoming someones dinner if they have shelter and protection they will take it when they need too
    Ducks just need options, beyond that i have stopped worrying about it.......
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  10. cymbaline

    cymbaline Chillin' With My Peeps

    451
    34
    128
    Jan 31, 2012
    central WV
    I'll just chime in to agree with the other responses. I was really worried about my ducks at first too, but they apparently don't mind the cold at all. Last winter it was down in the single digits, maybe below zero, before they would go into their house. I regularly found them swimming amid chunks of ice with temps in the low 20s. If it's below 20 degrees I turn on a heat lamp, even though they hardly go near it, it makes me feel better, lol. And they have a heated water dish so they are never without water - I want to make sure they can eat often to keep warm.
    Often I would open their pen to feed them and they would run/fly off into the snow and play. This day it was a little deep, lol - only slowed them down some.[​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by