Watering ducks in winter


13 Years
May 13, 2008
South Central PA
Just looking for suggestions for the best way to keep water fresh and not frozen through the northern winter in PA. We have built a warm duck "hut" complete with insulation in walls and ceiling but I haven't found a solution for the water. I am open to others' suggestions and ideas that have worked!
Sorry, I don't have any suggestions but I'm interested in ideas also seeing that this is my first winter with two ducks. My two sleep in the shed w/the chickens but have pans & kiddie pool during the day to use. Winter in the shed could be a problem with their sloppy water habits.
Mine just have to go without swimming water once it gets cold enough that I can't keep a hose out. I use plastic feed pans for their water and just refill 2 or 3 times a day.
You can get a outdoor dog water bowl that has a heating unit undernieth it. I used one last year and only on the coldest days did it freeze over a little.
I give some of them a smaller tub of water and have a 250 watt stock tank heater. The one that I use looks like cast aluminum, keeps the water thawed but doesn't get hot enough to burn their feet. (I just don't use the ones that look like an oven heating element because they get hot enough to melt plastic and I am sure would burn them) I use a small enough tub that I can pick it up and dump it daily. Keeps the water totally open even when it gets to -30F. But it does get a lot of ice build-up around it from the water that they splash out... The ducks that are in an area without electricity have access to the outside (where there is snow) and I just give them a small rubber tub of water. I take it outside of the pen, turn it over, and stomp on the bottom until the ice falls out. Then I take it back in and refill.
Thought of another one we have used....
The bottom of a child's sandbox (check clearance sales, yard sales or Goodwill) with a electric heater for birdbaths, stock troughs, pet buckets, etc,... Just make sure it keeps the water thawed and does not cook the duck!

There is no reason for your duck to go without his daily bath. You can find something to work.

I've also noticed a lot of baby bath tubs at Goodwill for $1 or $2. They are a very handy size for the birdbath heaters.
The only trouble with that is I really don't want to have to carry that much water from the house when I can't use a hose because of the temps. I don't have an outside hydrant anywhere close and have to carry all the water to them and my chickens by bucket in the winter.
I've been wondering about this exact topic for the last few days. Right now I fill my ducks' pool with rain water we've collected in barrels, but in the winter I'll have to haul it from the house.

Not fun.

So I'm thinking I'll have to get shallow feed pans and fill them a few times a day. Or we'll make one of those heaters out of a popcorn tin and a 25 watt light bulb.

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