keeping my ducks warm - help!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jazzie5, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. jazzie5

    jazzie5 New Egg

    Jan 6, 2009
    I am a relatively new duck owner. I have two pairs: Indian Runners and Khaki Cambells.

    Anyway, this is their first winter (all about 9 months old) and its got really cold this past week or two. However, we are now experiencing terrible freezing temperatures. Was minus 8 last night (south est UK). Having problems keeping their water defrosted but they never go without and thats another story!

    The ducks live in our back yard (actually, we have given our patio over to them!! - They have the odd wander down the lush green garden, when I am around to supervise but they seem generally happy and have plenty of room.

    They come out of their duck houses every day for exercise etc and are shut away at night, in their bed areas. They have beds of straw and hay and their beds are off the floor.

    They are still drinking and eating ok, but this evening I noticed one of the drakes laying down a lot and one of the females doing the same. I have been told it might be because they are trying to conserve heat. So I got thinking.....are they ok overnight as it gets so bitterly cold?

    I have put a blanket over each bed area but we have no other way of heating their beds. Will they be ok?

  2. TexasVet

    TexasVet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    Suggestion... get some of those instant/chemical hand warmers and put them in their bedding area. Once exposed to air, they give off heat for 8 hours.

    You can find them at WalMart and Academy.

    Kathy in Texas
  3. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Quote:Most definitely, they also carry them at local pharmacies and online stores.

    Maybe try a heated outdoor dog waterer. They have some with 'waterfall' movement which also helps keep them from freezing. Though in those tempertures you will most likely need to change the water every morning anyways or you'll have slush.
  4. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Since they are on the back patio, I assume you have access to electricity. A heated dog bowl is a cheap way to keep the water from turning in to a block of ice.

    If they are out of the wind, they should be ok. If you are really worried though, the instant hand warmer will work, but those can get expensive night after night. Do you have any friends that raise reptiles? Maybe you could borrow one of those heat rocks until your weather clears up?

    could also use an old heating pad and place it strategically so it can't get nibbled on.

    There is also the option of using a red heat lamp. Many of the chicken owners use there.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  5. xke4

    xke4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 3, 2007
    Just remember.....they are covered with the same thing that we pay $$ for in our clothing.....Down!! Also, here in Canada, we have many ducks that overwinter, choosing not to migrate even tho' the temps are frigid and the water frozen. My ducks frequently flop down on the ground when outside in this weather. It is indeed a method to conserve heat.
  6. jubylives

    jubylives Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2007
    Central Iowa
    They will be fine. My calls act the same way in the morning when I let them out. It's been below 0 F several times this winter and I still shiver when I see them in their pool swimming and spashing around. So if they will be fine swimming in water in these temps they will be just fine in a bed of straw.

  7. ronshoney

    ronshoney Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    Algonac, Michigan
    They will be fine... mine are 8 mos. old and they refuse to even go in their house. The only time they go in the house is during the day when the sun is out.... It was -21 with the windchill here 2 weeks ago and I went out and checked on them every hour that night and tried to get them to come in the garage and they wanted nothing to do with it. They have also managed to keep a hole just big enough for all 12 of them of free water that has not froze over. You can walk right up to the edge of their hole and it is a good inch thick at the hole and the kids skate at the other end of the pond. So I wouldn't be too worried, mine could go in their house, the chicken coop, the goat house or the garage and they prefer to be on the ice.
    However they are not real impressed that humans can walk on their pond right now. [​IMG]

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