Scovies icing up

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by wafflechicken, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    So I'm in the middle of this cold front, most of my birds seem ok (the big fowl are sleeping outside as usual and seem to be dealing with it fine, the chickens are in a coop stuffed with dry hay and seem to be ok in there too) but the scovies look miserable. They're sleeping in the coop with the chickens but, unlike the chickens, they're all iced up. Big chunks of it dragging their feathers down and likely not insulating as well.

    They're all laying outside now and two of them seem to be shivering quite a lot. I'm wondering if I should try to bring them inside the house (I don't have a garage or anything) for a while or the night or something. All I have to put them in is a medium sized dog crate so it would be a little cramped but it would be warm. But then the temp difference between outside and in would also be pretty significant. It would stress them out quite a bit to be caught/netted.

    Should I leave them alone? Try the house even if they're cramped for a day or two and stressed? The one that isn't iced up seems to be weathering things fine but the other three look awful and it's really not going to get warmer until Thursday.
     
  2. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    hmm. that is odd, is the humidity to high in the coop? were awful here too... -19C this morning windchill only added to the misery. None of my 'scovies are iced up, they are all in their barn though, outside is simply not worth it.

    Have they gotten wet in some other way? Your home would probably to much of an extreme but the icing up concerns me, i have never seen that before. Do you have a thermometer in the coop? so you can find out where things are sitting. Are you able to handle them? i would probably get a towel and warm them up that way to get the ice off.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  3. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't have a thermometer in the coop but outside the house it's about 8 degrees F. Windy, too.

    I open the coop in the morning in case they want to get out and also give them water. I guess it's possible that they could have splashed some of the water from the waterers on themselves but it seems like more water than just that. Course all the water around here that's not the waterers has frozen.

    The chickens in the same coop with the ducks have no ice on them so I don't think it's a coop humidity problem.

    The icing up concerns me quite a lot, too. And the shivering.
     
  4. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have freezing temps here but after the suns up, it usually warms up a bit.

    Is there water in the coop? If so, I'd remove it at night. If they are splashing that may be the problem. Do they have pond? If so, maybe try to limit their access to it on very cold days.

    I'd say maybe a heat lamp would be better than going inside. Easier for you and them.
     
  5. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    I suppose they could be splashing from the waterer, really it's mostly the drake. Poor guy. I don't have the water in the coop at night and leave it just outside the coop door during the day.

    They do have a pond but it's been frozen over for a couple of months now.

    The problem with the heat lamp is I'm afraid of putting one in the coop with all the hay that's in there. The chickens can get pretty fiesty and I'm afraid that one of them is going to knock it loose and then I'll have a whole different (and tragic) problem.
     
  6. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Here's what the icy feathers look like (he walked away while i was taking it. It's not really on his head much anyway)


    [​IMG]
     
  7. Henny Penny04

    Henny Penny04 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm really interested in what people think about this problem. I have three runners who are icing up, shivering, and have ragged feathers. Really, any water they splash around in should be sliding off their feathers if their oil production is healthy and their feathers in good condition, right? I'm wondering if perhaps we have a mite/lice issue that is causing poor feathers which is causing water to stay on the feathers and ice up? Could this be happening to you maybe? I really don't know what else to think... but will be waiting for other's advice. Good luck with your birds!
     
  8. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm not sure about the oils. I know that scovies have less oil production than most ducks but I don't know what that means in terms of icing up. Hope your runners are ok! (I've been thinking about getting some of them just because they're so neat looking. Well, and eggs...)

    Mine seem to have made it through the worst of it. It looked like it might have been a miserable couple of days for the drake but he did manage to chip most of the water off his wings so he got a bit more coverage. His tail and one of the girl's tail are still pretty blocked up with ice. But everyone's ok and moving around, eating, flying, etc. And it's supposed to get up to 40 in the next day or two so everyone should have a chance to thaw out a bit.

    Whew!
     
  9. learycow

    learycow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The next time it gets cold like that, I would suggest taking their water away. I offer a bucket full of water that isn't large enough for the to get into, but low enough for them to drink out of. That way they can't really splash it around and get themselves wet.
    The icey feathers will prevent them from keeping warm. I would've suggested bringing them in the house long enough to thaw out and dry off, then put them back out in the coop with deep, dry hay for bedding. And maybe not let them out in the snow as I have seen mine try to swim in the snow which will also cause them to ice up like that.

    Where are you located? It's been FREEZING here in southern maine for the past week. 0- single digits during the day and a few digits below zero at night with a wind chill anywhere from 15-30 below. CHILLY!
     
  10. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    I had taken their water away and was only giving them water from little one gallon waterers (frequently filled). Honestly I have NO IDEA how he managed to get that much ice on him from the little trough around the waterer. There wasn't even that much spillage around them. It's a mystery. We haven't had much snow either. It reminded me of tundra for a few days there. Dusting of snow but otherwise a barren, windswept landscape.

    I'm in Michigan, it hasn't been quite as cold as you've had it (got down to -3 a night a few nights and a high of 8 one day there - wicked windchills, though) but still cold. I tried to catch him and stick him in a dog crate to bring him in and let him thaw. All that did was show me that I need a better net for the scovies. It's OK for the turkeys but the smaller (which is relative - he's a BIG duck) bird just got tangled in there and by the time I freed him from the net I didn't have a good enough grip to hold him. Once he got away once I couldn't get near him with the net again.

    I did add scads of extra straw to the coop though. I'd still like to know how he iced himself up like that...
     

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