Muscovy Ducks' Feet Freezing?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Chick2002, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. Chick2002

    Chick2002 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have Muscovy ducklings and a duck and I have been reading that ducks are okay with the cold. The thing is that recently it has been below 0 (around -10 through 30) and I have been losing my ducks. Recently their feet have been literally FREEZING. I learned that ducks are able (or supposed to) be able to keep their feet warm in the winter without them freezing. But even with straw, food, water, and a heat lamp that DOES help they still are having problems. It is mostly the ducklings that are being effected. Is this just the type of duck? I have been taking the ducks into the basement, or they end up dying. I have already lost 4 ducks to the cold and I need to find out what is happening. It also happened before the heat lamp, so it isn't that. Also, I should have been a little more specific, we have many shelters that are on and off the ground to go in and also the ducks can't move when their feet freeze. Please, PLEASE help me figure this out, I need it!

    Thanks for any help!!!
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    The ducks need to be in a place that is above freezing. They can and do get frostbite. I just had to deal with this with a friend's Muscovy two days ago. Bring them in and keep them sheltered. A few minutes outside, on thick straw, is fine, but not for very long.

    You have already seen death and injury. Don't let anyone tell you that what you have seen doesn't happen.
     
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  3. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Muscovies are mainly tropical ducks. They don't have the same ability as other ducks do to protect their feet, and even if they did, they're not superman, they have a limit. I'm kinda flabbergasted that you let your ducks out in the first place in subzero temperatures.
     
  4. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, you really should keep your ducks locked in when it's that cold. They are good in the cold, but not THAT good, especially Muscovies and ducklings. When it's super cold like that I keep my ducks locked inside and just take them out a few times a day for a short walk to get some exercise, then back inside. Straw and shelters are great, but as you have seen there are limits to what they can take.

    So sorry for your losses. I'd keep those other guys inside alot more until you can figure our their threshold for cold.
     
  5. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    That is too bad, how old are these ducklings? see we go by Celsius here and i have been in severe cold warnings for days on end, we've been into the negative 30C's or worse with windchills into the -40'sC.. right now if we hit -20C it feels warm, no one has froze any feet.. and i do have many birds in/out some choose to use doghouses vs the main building too.

    I do know the very young, old and anyone compromised will struggle in severe temps... sadly loses will happen. For what it's worth all of my ducks have been in below freezing temps for months now, i don't heat and i certainly don't have them in my house, i will bring in an iced up bird if need be(had a scovie lady get in my heated ewe trough) but otherwise i do provide shelter, feed and open drinking water.

    Now all these birds are adults, min 6mths and rise into years, i am at this point wondering whether their age is playing a role in your issues? again, how old they are will effect the ability to handle the cold, while i did have a scovie lady hatch a clutch one March that was a chore to keep them all alive but mama is the best heat in the world.

    [​IMG] and sorry to hear of your loses.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  6. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Muscovy are not mallard derived and tend to be less waterproofed than those that are, that is why they have issues nothing at all to do with their feet, this is why i have to be so cautious with water and them icing up or sleet..

    whereas my calls swim in in double negatives.. the scovies couldn't dare.
     
  7. Chick2002

    Chick2002 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, everyone for the help! If you are going to tell me that I don't "Take care" of my ducks, leave though. And also if you are wondering why I don't keep them in the house is because 1) There isn't much room 2) I don't have huge things to put them in if that is what some of you are saying. I do appreciate the info though, so thanks again! I am new to ducklings this year and the winter is worse than ever before. Also, for suggestions should I keep them locked up in the old chicken coop I have? I built a new one and it is still clean and very large. It is also well ventilated and there is plenty of straw. Should I do this?
     
  8. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    No one is saying you don't care. But you admit you're new to ducks and you made a grave error that has resulted in several of your birds dying. Deaths that could have been very easily prevented. There's no need to get combative, those are simply the facts. It's good that you're trying to learn in order to prevent it from happening again. As for your question, I admit I'm a bit confused - you have two shelters, but are asking us which one to put them in? I don't think it matters as long as they are protected from the cold.
     
  9. Chick2002

    Chick2002 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh, and I don't actually let them outside. I usually have them in the barn at all times. Unless it is above freezing, I will not let them out. Is that what you mean by outside?
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    For my Runners, even the days that are above freezing, the ground is icy and covered with snow in many places. I set out straw and shavings (pulled from the night pen when I clean up) right on top of the ice and snow, and make an area where the ducks can stand on something softer that won't be as cold on their feet. The air can warm up, but if it has been well below freezing for days, the ground is going to be hard on duck feet.

    There is so much to learn about ducks and each flock is different.

    Regarding shelter - safe from predators, shielded from winds, adequate ventilation, and good deep bedding, whether it's a new structure or not.

    And check feet every day, watch for limping, walking funny, any hints that there is pain or numbness. And get them to a warmer place when necessary.
     

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