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Overwintering ducks (and other Questions)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Sachasmom, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. Sachasmom

    Sachasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    567
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    Mar 1, 2009
    Upstate NY
    Well, I hadn't *planned* on keeping ducks... I got some Buff Ducklings at an auction and was going to eat them. Only I have decided I rather like them, despite thier messy habits and resemblence to a Hoover come feeding time!

    I'm in Upstate NY, so it will be snowing soon. I asked at the feed store where they built a pond for thier ducks/geese this spring about overwintering them. They said they hadn't thought about it yet (this just last week!)

    Soooo, what should I be doing for them for Winter? Should I lock them up? Right now they are refusing to stay in the pen, LOL Can I coop them with my other chickens for the winter? (I kind of thought they would get pooped on then)

    I am 99% sure I have all girls, but I would like to get them a Drake. Do I need a pond so they'll breed? I have a turtle sandbox they seem to like, will that do? [​IMG] I thought I would keep them and hatch out their eggs come spring, or at least that is the plan.

    Do I need to give them a higher protein than the chickens? They're eating layer now and seem to be nice and fat!
     
  2. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Congrats on your ducks!!! This will be our first winter with ducks too! From everything we've read, ducks are much heartier in the winter weather than chickens. I'm planning on letting mine out each morning like I've done since spring. If they want to stay in the coop, they can. I had a separate pen for the ducks but they decided they'd rather be in the coop with the chickens at night. I'd suggest offering them a draft-free area in the coop if you have room. My chickens roost so that leaves the entire floor available for the ducks.

    A pond isn't necessary. I have big plastic tubs that I bought at TSC. They are sturdy and easy to dump/refill each morning. We also use a turtle sandbox as a pool which works well too. Mine mate right in the tub/pool and I've also seen them doing it on the grass. When it starts freezing, we plan to do away with the tubs until spring and just use buckets with squares cut into them, just big enough for them to get their heads in to drink (we've already introduced those so it won't be a shock.)

    I feed mine 18% layer/breeder pellets supplemented with cracked corn, wheat or oats. All my birds get the same feed because it's too hard to separate everybody. They all want what the others have but everybody is doing just fine.

    Overall I've found that ducks are happy no matter what you do. Just offer them dry feed, lots of water and a warm place at night and hopefully they'll be just fine!
     

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