Scruffy Winter Ducks!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ducklover15, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. My ducks don't get to have a pool in the winter because we shut our outside water off so I wouldn't have a way to change the water...we use a kiddie pool for them to swim in.

    They have a deep bucket of heated water for them to dip their heads in to clean their eyes, but they look really scruffy! I don't know if they're cleaning their heads in the bowl at all...

    I've kept ducks in the winter before, but no more than two or three and I have seven right now. I've never seen ducks get so scruffy looking. They seem perfectly healthy - eating, drinking, pooping, quacking and running around in the snow. I was thinking about taking them in and washing them in the tub. Would this be okay for them? It's very cold outside and we've been getting snow. I don't want them to freeze. I know they oil their feathers, but they're feathers don't look as sleek as they usually do and I'm concerned that they're not being oiled properly or something.

    Is drying them with a towel okay or should I dry them some other way? I don't want to put them outside all wet, but I think they need to have some swimming time.
  2. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    Letting them swim is a good idea. It will encourage them to preen and get oil of over themselves. I would just fill up the tub and let them have it. Maybe you can put down some old rag towels in the bathroom and let them dry/preen themselves for a while afterwards. When our pond was down for a while, our ducks went nuts when they got back into it and spent a good hour preening after their swim.
  3. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    It will be a huge mess in your house, and you can't really "wash" them... it would be a lot easier if you even carried buckets of water outside for them. Or perhaps a hose connected inside the house can fill up the pool or a tub big enough for them to jump in and out of? Perhaps get a tank de-icer to plug in so you can keep the water for a while without having to dump it or having it freeze.

    I brought one of mine in last year as he froze! I put him in the tub with cold water, and thawed out his feathers, I dried him off with a couple of towels and took him back out. My bathroom was a MESS [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  4. When the hose and spigot freeze up I put water in a basin outside with a couple of buckets I fill up inside. It's big enough for a bath but not to swim in. I saw four ducks get in all together once, they were so esctatic and it was hilarious!!! I won't do it everyday and I try to empty it before it freezes up, but it helps them keep clean and happy.
  5. Le Canard de Barbarie

    Le Canard de Barbarie Songster

    Jul 19, 2009
    I use a 15 gallon rubber tub for them to bathe in. It's better than nothing, and it can take a lot of abuse. The ducks look fairly good.

  6. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Colorado is a little weird in Winter. We can get really cold nights, but it usually isn't that bad during the day. For 2 weeks the duck's pool was a solid block of ice. This week it freezes a little at night but they can swim by afternoon.

    Before they got their pool, I had one of those under the bed storage containers and I would fill that during the day and dump it at night. It worked pretty good, but with 7 ducks you might need 2.

    Just wanted to add a rubber tub might be a better idea. The flimsier plastic can shatter pretty easy.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  7. tia

    tia Songster

    Apr 19, 2009
    Valdez, Alaska
    Mine are spoiled they swim in the tub a couple of times a week. I only have seven though. I wrap them up in a towel when they are done with their swim and they snuggle up... : )

    Then I scrub the tub out really good......

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