Hello all! Two weeks ago, my fiance and I took in two ducks that his aunt was getting rid of. I have always wanted to raise ducks, but have no experience and I have a few questions. My first question is about wintering ducks. We made a nice 10x20 ft enclosure outside against the garage with a cozy doghouse and a kiddie pool. Only half of the area is grassed and the rest is dirt, which means we have some muddy ducks! But we're working on growing grass in the whole enclosure. We fashioned a pen inside the garage where they spend their nights. We live in Northwest Ohio, where winter temperatures can reach below freezing. We have two 250 watt heating lamps, one for the pen and one for the doghouse outside, a heated waterer, and a submersible heater for the pool. Does this set-up seem okay for the winter? Also, should we think about some sort of net for the top of the outside enclosure to prevent against hungry raptors? Free-ranging isn't an option, unfortunately, as our cranky neighbor has a pond and wouldn't appreciate the tranquil sight of our pretty ducks floating in it, lol. My second question concerns the female. She is a pekin, approximately two to three years old, and we named her Waffles! My fiance's aunt said she got her from someone who raised her as a child's pet. Her feet are fairly pigeon-toed (see attached picture), and she seems to have trouble walking. She will walk a few steps and then lay down. Is there anything we can do to help her with this? She has a difficult time going up the ramp for the pool, and trips a lot. I'm afraid she might injure herself. It's obvious she developed that way, and seems to be healthy otherwise. It does make her easier to catch, haha. Also, what is the normal laying schedule for pekins? Is it seasonal or all-year-round? She hasn't laid any eggs since we've had her. I've tried placing a few golf balls around the pen to encourage her to lay. Our other duck is a year-old male mallard named Potato. My fiance's aunt said she's had him since he was a chick, but I'm not sure where she acquired him from. He's very attached to his lady-friend, and seems very concerned when we pick her up. His raspy calls sound different when we hold his gal. I'm wondering if he will be able to mate with her? He's a lot smaller, so I don't know if he will have trouble, ahem, getting up there. I would love to have chicks form them. Also, we decided to clip his wings until he's used to the new place, and we also clipped his talons (claws? toenails?), as they were long and curling to the side. Is this something we should keep up on, clipping his claws? And lastly, how do I befriend these birds? I know they will probably never like being caught or touched or even hand-fed (which is why we want chicks that we can hand-raise), but I do want to gain their trust somewhat. Having to chase and herd them into their night pen is exhausting for us and stressful for the birds. I know that, with time, a routine can be established, but these birds lived in an eight-foot circle of chicken wire with no water for swimming. They hardly know what to do with the pool, and have no idea that I'm trying to entice them with yummy corn, or that corn is even good for eating. They just want to get away. What works best? I've heard peas are a good treat, and I know enough to stay away from bread. Just looking for suggestions. Sorry for writing a book, but I just want to make sure I'm taking care of them the right way. I'm new at this, and any info would be appreciated. I've attached a picture or two (I'm lying, there's a bunch!) to this thread. I think I'm in danger of becoming a crazy duck lady, haha! Thanks for reading! ~PW Potato and Waffles! Finally enjoying some splashy time, but Potato isn't so sure... She's a clumsy duck. Waffles and her crooked feet. Coming outside for the day. All cozy in their night pen.