My Muscovy Duck's Feet Are Freezing?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chick2002, Feb 24, 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. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Chicken Obsessed

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    I have not had ducks in many years. I never had issues with their feet like your post. I used to run them into the barn and bed them down in a stall with hay. I sometimes had to keep them there for a week or two for the weather to break. I did have to have the farm dog help me run them into the barn since they would sit down and refuse to move. I am sorry I am not much help.
    The folks on the duck thread may have some better answers for you.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/42/ducks


    Best wishes

    Babs
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
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  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    A friend of mine just yesterday told me her Muscovy was having trouble - and it was frostbite on his feet.

    I don't know if they are more susceptible to the cold, but they can and do get frostbite.

    To make it more frustrating, we cannot always rely on them to do what we think is sensible - use the shelters provided. This duck is now confined to the barn (not very confined, really), and has parked himself on a section of wooden floor, which is great, but it is a few feet away from a big pile of love bedding. Wow.

    So, the ducks will not take care of themselves in this manner. They need to be where it is above freezing.
     
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  4. pineapple416

    pineapple416 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If I were you I would bring your ducklings inside, and I'm not sure what I would do with the adults. Make sure their water doesn't freeze because they can't go for more than a day without water. I would put the adults in small shelter with a heat lamp or two, food, and water, and block of the entrance so they can't get out into the cold.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
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  5. Chick2002

    Chick2002 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! But do you know if frostbite would actually FREEZE their feet?
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Ducks' feet can freeze. It destroys the tissue. It turns their muscles and their nerves into smush. It is painful. It can kill them. They can get gangrene, a very nasty kind of infection. Infection can spread into their bloodstream. They can lose their feet and legs.
     
  7. DuckyGaze

    DuckyGaze Chillin' With My Peeps

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    "Ever wondered how a duck can swim in icy cold water, even when the weather is freezing? Ducks have no nerves or blood vessels in their feet. Hence, they never feel hot or cold."



    This is quoted directly from http://mygoldenbuffies.weebly.com/info-about-duck-breeds-and-more.html

    And I MUST disagree with that because last winter one of my ducks was bleeding beneath his foot. So how can it bleed without blood vessels and they do feel the cold. Very well in fact.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. DuckyGaze

    DuckyGaze Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in mid-northern Quebec and last year was my first winter with my ducks and geese. They survived the winter very very well and I did not lose any to the cold. They didn't get frostbite either.
    They were kept in a large enclosure very well insulated yet it was cold enough to freeze their water and I did have to get them fresh water twice a day. I had about 6 inches of sand laid down and then put about 1 foot of straw and hay mixed together on top of that sand. We piled bales of straw and hay on all the outside walls and even on the roof to keep the cold out. Here it gets very very cold in the winter. During the last winter week, I lost many to a weasel. [​IMG] But did not lose any to the cold. I did not allow them to stay outside if there was no sunshine for them.

    Here it is normal to have -22 Fahrenheit, (-30 Celsius)

    I have 1 muscovy so I guess I will be taking extra care with him.
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I think someone misheard the information from TV, when they write that ducks have no nerves or blood vessels in their feet.

    We have at at least one duck situation on the Duck Forum where the duck lost a foot due to freezing. I have seen first hand a Muscovy with frostbite blistering. Muscovies also have trouble with frostbite on their caruncles.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015

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