Please define "Severe Weather" & list your Remedies

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by HollyDuckFarmer, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you Experts help define exactly what is "severe weather" for the purpose of helping new duck keepers know exactly when to lock up their flocks?

    For example, if winds in my area go above say 25mph, I contain my flock to their pen. If it rains, I allow the flock to stay in the pen, but encourage them to enter their coop or igloo structure. If temperatures fall below 7'F, I lock them up inside. Or during a tornado warning, the flock is buttoned up inside the pen. But during fair weather, 35'F + my flock is allowed to free range.

    (my ducks *want* to be outside ALL THE TIME and it drives me crazy!)
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Some of this is our own personal comfort zone. I "pamper" my ducks. But a look at their health history indicates that we have had very few health issues. This may be a coincidence. Maybe not, though.

    If winds will be sustained around 30 mph or higher, I watch carefully and if it looks too strong (things flying around, ducks hunkering down) I bring them in.

    If it's around 35F and sunny, I watch the ducks and bring them in when their behavior dictates. (scrunched neck, that glazed look in the eye, walking with stiff legs, shivering). Rarely do I bring them in in those conditions, because they seem fine. Below 35F, or cloudy, and I just watch more closely.

    In the summer, I start watching more closely at 85F, and if it's going to be 95F or so, they get a water change (to cooler water) midafternoon. Above that, they may come in for a couple of hours in the mid afternoon, as their shelter is rarely above 70F. I have a shade cloth up on their outdoor house and veranda, and they are under a sugar maple tree in the Day Pen.

    Tornado warnings, they come inside. Hurricanes, blizzards, inside.
     
  3. Tivona

    Tivona Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I personally leave my ducks and geese out till the winds get to be about 35 mph sustained wind. But most of the area they get to be in is pretty safe with little that could be dangerous to them. When the wind gets over that then I start reducing where they can be. At about 45 mph sustained winds I limit them to smaller and smaller areas and start watching the gusts. We can get gusts here at up to 90+ mph and they get locked in if the gusts start getting dangerous. To me the sustained wind is less of an issue then the gusts. A sustained wind they can hide from if they like but a gust can send something flying towards them all of a sudden. It sort of depends on the area and what can be blown in the wind for that particular property in my opinion. Some places I would lock them in the coop and just not let them out at all when I still let them out here in the same type of weather here. This is because of the fact that there is not much that can be blown and fly into them in the area that they normally are in. Just the same, I have areas I lock them out of if I see anything weather wise that looks unsafe.

    I have several areas that they normally roam. Garden and back yard and front yard for good days. Garden only during regular storms. Pens and beside the house next to the pens where its sheltered from the prevailing winds for worse weather. And just the two coops/pens of the geese and ducks locked together to make a big pen/coop when we get the high wind gusts.

    Basically look at what blows around in your birds area during windy weather. Could any of it be big enough to hurt a duck if its blown causing it to hit a duck? Would a duck have a problem walking in the wind? Would a duck be in danger if it opened its wings for a stretch and got hit with a gust of wind? All of this is what helps me make up my mind on how safe they need to be in windy weather. If you can't reduce how much area they can roam in a storm then look at the same factors and just keep them locked in if it doesn't seem safe.

    We really don't have much in the way of cold and no tornadoes here so no opinion on those.
     
  4. wildpeas

    wildpeas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is a good question that is going to have a lot of different answers. So far I have not locked my ducks in their house because of weather. We have had some gusty days that blew them around a bit but they didn't seem discomfited by it. They are yarded birds with constant access to their house and they have an extra shelter that they can use if they want. We haven't had any severely cold weather yet but I don't think I will be locking them in unless we have a white out blizzard.

    So for me, I won't put them in their house unless the weather is extreme (meaning above and beyond what I would reasonably expect for the season), like an unusually vicious snow storm, or sustained winds that are blowing them across the yard.
     
  5. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Weather severe enough to keep the ducks in? hasn't happened. Now you mentioned a tornado? that i could see or other horrific type storms but otherwise, i leave the barn open and they can choose....

    High winds, rain, hail, snow, heat... you name it.... They have enough sense to sort out what is best. I think as long as they provided with an option your pretty much good to go for over 95% of mother natures adventures.

    It was -4 and my ducks were outside till almost an hour ago, only two had gone in the barn.

    ETA: forgot, we're in a valley, we routinely get high winds well over 25MPH.. nobody seems to care.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  6. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    -4?????? Yikes!!! It is 27'F right now here....Brrrrrrrrrr!!!
     
  7. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Yeah, brr is right! lol it's now down to -5 so er... 23F? they are all tucked into the barn now though, so they'll be fine.
     
  8. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So do you herd your flock in or do they go on their own?
     
  9. Tivona

    Tivona Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Both for my ducks. They will go in on there own or start hanging in a more protected spot near the coop/pen if it gets real windy. Only a couple of times have I had to herd them in due to weather. However all my ducks respond to vocal commands so I can usually get them to come without actual "herding" and that makes it easy.
     
  10. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Both as well, last night two of the ducks were already in, the rest i herded in as per usual. It's much to dangerous to overnight outside here.
     

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