snow and ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by critterranch, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. critterranch

    critterranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2010
    Red Creek, New York
    anyone let their ducks free range out in the snow?
    mine stayed out all day high was 29 and 10 iches of snow they loved it.
    no i dont put hay on ground for them i see it as waste. i only put hay in their house 4x4 house with 60 watt bulb for light and heat. food and water stays outside.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  2. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    I am just getting into ducks...had some awhile back..all the females are gone but I have 2 males that come and go, but they are fine in what ever weather we get. I just brought 2 Muscovies this year about a month ago and am looking forward to putting them on the pond as soon as my fence is up...probably about another month or two....I need about 2000 ft. of wire to do it all...and I hate cold so if it's a nice day I can work outside...and they seem to be only nice when I am at work. lol
  3. JosieR

    JosieR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2010
    Orange County, NY
    I think I might. I will have to see...They have a small 3x5 insulated house, it has a small door out to an enclosed run. The entire thing is elevated off the ground. The door from the house to the run is open at night, though I have it propped open just enough for them to get in and out but closed enough to block some of the wind.

    I'm thinking of trying to put plexiglass or something up on the sides of their run to cut down on the wind while still letting light in. Will probably have my hubby build a couple of A frames to put in the yard. They free range all day so I'd like someplace where they can get away from flying predators when we have them and to be able to get out of the wind.

    At least 1 of them is molting right now and since this is my first winter with ducks I'm a little paranoid. I'm not a duck but it seems like a bad time of year to lose feathers LOL
  4. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    I did build a couple of a-frame type wind shelters and those have hay in it. This is in their daytime outdoor run. I did put hay onto the ground when it was getting below 20 degrees. An area just large enough for them to lay on it. They did use it and enjoyed laying on it soaking up the sun. They use the shelters only when it get really windy. I agree they don't need it when it is just around freezing. We also had a few days starting around 0 degrees and they did not like to walk on the ground. It was clearly stinging their feet, and I don't want to deal with frost bitten feet. So we covered the ground in the small run with hay as well and they were happy about it. They started to walk in the snow once the temps were above 20 degrees. They also love to dig in the snow. I don't think it was a waste to put down hay. They are quite happy about it. My ducks do sleep in an insulated duck house with an oil filled radiator running on low to keep the temps between 30-40 degrees. I don't think they really need it, but it keeps them producing eggs and keeps the moisture buildup down. So my overall suggestion is to put some hay down to prevent frost bite when the temps are below 20 degrees.
  5. roocrazy

    roocrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2009
    my ducks love the snow!
  6. JosieR

    JosieR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2010
    Orange County, NY
    Do you put the hay down based on temperature or the ground being covered with snow? I ask because I live in NY. The ground is very wet at the moment, though we went into the 40's today. We will have a high in the mid 20's on Tuesday. No snow, yet but the ground will be wet/frozen from all the rain we've had yesterday and today. Soon the yard will be covered in snow.

    I leave them out to free range all day and it would be impossible to cover the yard with hay! I'd like to think they are smart enough that if I put it in a couple of spots they would get off the snow or cold, wet ground if they were uncomfortable but I have my doubts LOL They are the sweetest little things and beyond cute but sometimes I question how smart they are [​IMG]

    I'm with you, I would much rather put out hay than deal with frostbite!
  7. MysticalMom

    MysticalMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2009
    We haven't had snow yet this year *knock on wood* And I'm hoping we can get through winter without any, which IS possible in Southern Maryland. But last year my ducks didn't seem to care that there was snow on the ground. 2 feet during our big blizzard. They had a nice warm hay filled pen and enclosure they could've gone in had they wanted to,and I put a big pile of warm hay in the corner of the front porch they can get in if they're cold, but nope. They mostly hung out in the snow all day. Every NOW and then you'd see them up on the porch. Last year I worried myself to death about them and their feet and were they warm enough etc etc. This year I can relax because I know ducks can handle wayyyyyyy colder temps than we get here.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  8. linda_zeagler31002

    linda_zeagler31002 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 12, 2010
    Adrian, Georgia
    Well I live in deep south Georgia, and let me tell you, me and my ducks are freezing, we don't have much cold yearly between 30's-40's for a month, but about every 10 yrs, we have a dang artic blizzard the windchill here is 7 yeah, that has to be a world record, the nightly local news weather man was going to go check our temperature gauges to make sure they didn't need replacing, that is how cold we are, our brains are frozen, but now my ducks seem to be handling it, we have put roll roofing around cages, carpet and padding around brooders with heat lamps, and 100 watt bulbs on large fowl, but them poor big ducks and geese, they are out in the open, we put barrels down for them to go in, and they want, we took roll roofing and hooked onto the sides of there pen panels to try and block some of this blizzard winds, we put indian t-pee up and they want go in them either.
  9. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    It's a little bit different up here in the mountains. The weather is so unpredictable and it can get very cold. You never know what you get. Last week we had to put chains to the box truck to get to a show selling gift items. On the way back it was nice and warm and half of the snow gone. I removed some snow with the shovel in the area to put down hay. I also used the snow shovel to take some of the new snow off the hay. I have to say they use it when they want it. We had this nasty frost with snow, then the rain and now everything is melted leaving a muddy mess behind. The hay outside is wet from below and they still like to sit on it. No point in trying to remove it, because snow is in the forecast for tomorrow night. I simply put more hay onto it. Today we broke the all time record with 55 degrees in the daytime. Two week ago we had -2 in the morning with a daytime high of 18 degrees. So yes I put hay up depending on the temperature. It gets below 20 degrees I make sure they have dry hay to lay on outside. It doesn't take much hay to put down a 2" layer. Just enough for all of them to be on it. Holderread said something in his book about the 20 degree mark and to prevent frost bite. It doesn't cost me much to put down hay and don't have to worry about frost bite. The large outdoor run is about one acre large and I put enough hay down do cover less then a sheet of plywood for 9 ducks. The small run is 20x10 feet and we covered it all. Not a very thick layer. That was when the weather was so badly cold that I had to keep them there for 3 days. Right now they can do without. I used to live in Maryland and I would not worry to much out there either. I would have some hay available and only use it if really needed. Doesn't get that cold out there. Right now it looks like you guys will have a mess coming in the next couple of days. I remember once a bad noreeaster we had in Maryland. 7 feet of snow followed by rain. It all caked down to 3 feet and froze solid. Took me a week to chop the driveway clear to get the car out of the garage. They bay was frozen and they could not get coal in and had to cycle the power grid. That was a mess, entire Maryland shot down.
  10. Hillsvale

    Hillsvale Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 20, 2009
    Hillsvale, Nova Scotia
    well my calls break the ice to have a swin... if they can. Their pool had 4" of ice in it and they didn't seem to care. Wild ducks here swim all winter in the harbour... which would freeze if it didn't have tides....
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010

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