putting ducks away at night in the winter

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Hooperdooper, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. Hooperdooper

    Hooperdooper Out Of The Brooder

    83
    3
    43
    Jun 28, 2014
    Tolland , CT
    I was wondering what people do in the winter as far as putting your birds away. Soon it will be dark before and after I go to work. Currently I keep them in a predator proof pen and let them out to forge when I get home. I plan on expanding the pen to include foraging space before winter. What do most people do? We actually let them sleep in the basement in a small pen. I only have 2 ducks a and enjoy them as pets.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    23,025
    2,022
    491
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    On the coldest winter days, I keep our ducks (also in a basement pen) indoors mostly, and take them out for walks. They have about 100 square feet for the thirteen small (4 pound average) ducks.

    On sunny days above 35 F, they can stay in the day pen. I am able to adjust my schedule so that I can let them out after sunup and bring them in before sundown. Perhaps you can get some help with that.
     
  3. Hooperdooper

    Hooperdooper Out Of The Brooder

    83
    3
    43
    Jun 28, 2014
    Tolland , CT
    The morning won't be a problem but the evening is going to be tough. I am going out of my way to make sure the pen that is 10x10 is very secure. Put 1/4 inch hardware mesh and then another fence over that with chicken wire. Also buried mesh into the ground and I'm putting stones all around on that. I don't want any surprises when I get home.
     
  4. allergymama

    allergymama Chillin' With My Peeps

    251
    7
    86
    Apr 26, 2014
    Michigan
    Thanks for asking this! I have the same question. I have 6 WH and 1 as-yet-to-be-determined goose. I have a "predator proof" (quotes so as not to tempt the local coyotes and hawks to prove me wrong!) duck run (10x10) with an attached house that was a shed (6x8). Right now, I let them out in the morning and they free range all day. At dusk I go out and put them back in the run and house. Soon, dusk will be happening before I get home from work (and sunrise after I leave). Should I just not let them out? That seems like it will be no fun for them. I'm in Michigan so I know the duck pond (outside the run and where they spend the day now) will freeze over so that won't be an enticement to be out anyway. Winter is long here and we all get cabin fever, I don't want them to have it, too. [​IMG]
     
  5. Hooperdooper

    Hooperdooper Out Of The Brooder

    83
    3
    43
    Jun 28, 2014
    Tolland , CT
    I don't let mine free range without my supervision. Too many predators in CT. They have a 10x10 pen now with a kiddie pool but no grass to forage in. I plan to make that soon so they won't get bored plus with shorter days, I won't be able to let them do it as much if I don't extend the area.[​IMG]
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    23,025
    2,022
    491
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Agreed about the predators.

    I put chopped straw and similar small high-carbon materials in the pen, and with the duck poop, it composts and there are worms to forage for (the bottom of the pen is coated chain link).
     
  7. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,704
    228
    138
    Jul 26, 2014
    Sweden
    I had the same question! This will be my first winter in Sweden with ducks, so I am still trying to figure out what to do with them during the winter (I'm from Florida, so we didn't have this whole "winter" problem). Winters here are very long and very dark, with only about 5 hours of daylight for much of it. It is still very dark when I leave in the mornings.They do have a pretty big duck house so I know they have plenty of space to stay inside when needed, but I just think they'll be bored to tears during the winter.

    Their outdoor pen has an electric fence attached to it (I don't like to take chances with my babies). But it's still only safe for them to be out there during the day, there are badgers around at night that I'm not sure the electric fence would keep away? Other than the badgers there are just foxes and hawks to worry about. The top of the pen is covered in chicken wire though, so no aerial predators can get to them. Do you think it'd be safe to have them out when it's still dark before the sun comes up a couple hours later? At least we don't have raccoons here to be concerned about. ;)

    How do you allow your ducks to bathe in the winter?? The pond will be frozen over and it certainly wouldn't be plausible to have a pool inside their house. They'd get all the bedding and everything wet. But, they need to bathe, so how does everyone handle that?
     
  8. Hooperdooper

    Hooperdooper Out Of The Brooder

    83
    3
    43
    Jun 28, 2014
    Tolland , CT
    I don't know what other people do as far a swimming but I plan on setting up a little place in the basement so they can swim. I know they have heated drinking bowls, perhaps they also have pools too?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by