Quick Reminder for those living where it is springtime

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
12 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,223
2,870
571
Southern New England
This mid-morning I unintentionally reminded myself of the reason that Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks tells us to be sure to provide plenty of shade once the outdoor temperatures are around 70F (20C) or higher.

It was a clear, sunny morning, very nice, perhaps 65F. I was tired after a long night, and decided to rest on the chaise in the tea garden with the flock. This, by the way, is one of my most favorite things to do, and I would love to be able to do it more often.

I lay back, covered my face against the sun. I was wearing lightweight dark-colored clothing, and was covered - except for my hands. Perhaps 20 minutes later, I realized how steaming hot I was becoming. Looking over, I saw the flock resting right up against the fence in the slender patch of shade they still had. They were fine, but I knew the shade would be gone within a half an hour. I have also provided a shade tent for them in the tea garden - but realizing just how hot it is, especially for one covered in dark "feathers," drove home to me again it is vital to provide plenty of shade for ducks when the weather gets mild - not hot, even. The sun is at its strongest season here at about 42 degrees north of the equator. It will remain at least this strong for another 14 weeks or so. Ducks can perish from overheating.

As I had planned to anyway based on the weather report, I set up a shade cloth over about half the Day Pen. I am glad I did.

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localife

Chirping
Mar 13, 2015
99
17
51
Thanks for the reminder! It is also good to remember that the position of the sun changes through the seasons, so the position of shade can change dramatically from spring through fall. Probably a good idea for all of us to sit back and enjoy a day with the ducks as frequently as we can manage in order to remain aware of where the shade moves through the day
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Amiga

Overrun with Runners
12 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,223
2,870
571
Southern New England
localife, glad you pointed that out. It is something that has become second nature to me, angle and timing. But especially for newer duck folks, very good to highlight that. For too many years I spent my time indoors. The ducks literally got me outside - such a blessing!
 

Kaessa

Songster
5 Years
Jan 23, 2015
1,336
102
176
Fruita, CO
Thank you! Good to know. I leave the duck house door open during the day for them to go inside... there's plenty of ventilation, and it's shaded by trees in the hottest part of the day. When the sun finally moves to where it's shining into the duck house, the fence on the other side of the pen is producing some pretty good shade.

I noticed them panting yesterday when it got up to 85°F and I made sure they had enough shade. Poor little girls, we went from winter to summer overnight. I hope they're going to be ok during that two weeks every summer where it gets up over 100°F here. I guess just make sure they have plenty of water in which to cool off.
 

localife

Chirping
Mar 13, 2015
99
17
51
localife, glad you pointed that out. It is something that has become second nature to me, angle and timing. But especially for newer duck folks, very good to highlight that. For too many years I spent my time indoors. The ducks literally got me outside - such a blessing!
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Yay for the ducks, and for you! This evening my son and I were having such a peaceful and pleasant time just sitting with the ducks that his bedtime came and went, and I just couldn't bring myself to break the spell... That may be what he likes best about the animals -- they so often keep us up past bedtime...
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
12 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,223
2,870
571
Southern New England
Kaessa, when it gets to 100F here, I replace the water in their swim pans with fresh around 2 p.m.. It is not always an option for people, but having the cooler fresh water in the afternoon helps.

Something else I do is move them back into the night pen - it is rarely above 70F in there. If we ever move I want to have a walkout basement "barn" for them - the soil keeps the night pen cool in summer and warm in winter. And I don't have to shovel snow to get to them in midwinter.
 

Debs Flock

Crossing the Road
Apr 28, 2015
8,071
15,307
862
Jefferson County, MO
Will my ducks be okay, then, as long as they have shade and relatively cool water no matter how hot it gets this summer? We made the jump from Spring to Summer over the last couple of days here. I've already noticed my ducklings no longer sleep directly under their heat lamp.
 

Kaessa

Songster
5 Years
Jan 23, 2015
1,336
102
176
Fruita, CO
Kaessa, when it gets to 100F here, I replace the water in their swim pans with fresh around 2 p.m.. It is not always an option for people, but having the cooler fresh water in the afternoon helps.

That's a good idea. If our drainage system works well, I *might* be able to do that. I'll have to see.
 

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