water in the winter


11 Years
Jun 14, 2008
Ann Arbor, MI
I'm been dreaming of adding ducks to our flock for a while now - I just keep getting stuck on the water issue. I live in Michigan, where it's winter for about 5 months out of the year. How do people in the north handle their ducks' water needs with everything freezes constantly? I can't imagine trying to thaw and refill a baby pool several times a day in the winter. Or am I missing something totally obvious here?

I don't have to worry about it down here, but when things freeze, just don't worry about swimming water. Just give them drinking and cleaning water and for that, you could buy a heated dog dish type of thing (or other type of outdoor heated dish). Then when you have some extra time, bring out a bin of water to let them get their swim on once a week or so - doesn't have to be very big or very deep, just big enough that the can get in and dunk themselves a bit (concrete mixing pan, rubbermaid storage things, etc)
I have a couple of those cement mixing pans in the pen, with a de-icer in each (my pen is quite close to the house so we use the same extension cords for the de-icers you'd use for christmas lights.) We have a 5 gallon collapsible water jug thingie that I fill at the spigot and dump/refresh their water daily. They've been jumping in all winter, I have never once come out to find that water clean
Im in Iowa with long cold winters too. I did want my ducks to be able to swim all yr. This was my first winter and everything worked great. I put a drain in the bottom of my pond which drains in about 5 min. I put a hydrant at the other end to hose down and refill. I used a stock tank heater w/thermostat to kick on at 32 degrees and kick off at 45ish...I change the water every other day as I throw treats (veggies) in there and they pooo it up quickly spending so much time in it.. I hardly have pooo clean up anywhere else. I enclosed my pen with plastic and put straw all over. I cant imagine them not getting to swim.




I have a landscape pool with a drain and heater that we've used all winter (North central Ohio). My problem with it is that I have to drag out the hose and run it from the house to the shed. Maybe we'll have water put in over by the coop by next winter. Due to the hassle to get the hose out, it didn't get changed as often as I would have liked - once a week, but really needed changed after 3-4 days.

For drinking, I use heated dog dishes and they're great. The ones I have are deep enough for the ducks to rinse their faces in (and they get inside them...)

The winter before, I used a rubber tub for bathing, about 4" high, and filled/dumped it twice a day. That didn't work out too bad.
I've got heated buckets that I've used for horses. My friends used them for their ducks during the last big storm we had a few weeks ago. Their ducks were cooped up for 3 weeks and were very happy with them.

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