What do you do with ducks during the winter

Jadakraft1

Songster
Jun 27, 2020
125
331
133
Northwest South Dakota
Hey everyone!! I have 5 ducks, I think 4 Drake and a duck!! Anyway, I live in South Dakota and it’s getting to be that time of year, I’ve never really had ducks before and I can’t let them free range because of our dongs. They are in the pen with my pullets and roosters. They’ve had a pool all summer. Will they be okay without the pool in the winter?
 

416bigbore

Not A Care In The World !
Premium Feather Member
Jun 11, 2020
3,150
19,274
716
NC
Hey everyone!! I have 5 ducks, I think 4 Drake and a duck!! Anyway, I live in South Dakota and it’s getting to be that time of year, I’ve never really had ducks before and I can’t let them free range because of our dongs. They are in the pen with my pullets and roosters. They’ve had a pool all summer. Will they be okay without the pool in the winter?
Hello, Water ( clean water ) is very important for good duck health, they will still need some type of pool to bath in every day even in the winter months.

Their is a lot of great information on this BYC Forum for the proper care of Poultry in the winter months that should give you some ideas. Type in winter time care for ducks in the search box and that will get you started.

Also you do not want to keep your Drakes in with your Pullets because your Drakes can hurt your hens trying to mate with them. Drakes are designed differently then a Rooster in that area. :)

Please keep us posted, best of luck.
 

Callender Girl

Free Ranging
Sep 18, 2018
1,868
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North Central Iowa
Generally, you don't want all those drakes with one girl. However, and this is my experience only, she MAY be okay. My first four runner ducklings turned out to be one female and three drakes. Quinn was not only fine, she seemed to resent the new girls I got to distract the boys from her. But, that's likely the exception and not the rule. If you keep your girl, just keep a close eye out for problems This time of year -- and until next spring when boys' hormones kick into high gear -- it likely won't be as much of a problem.

I live in northern Iowa where the land is flat and the wind never stops. I'm sure you have it worse in South Dakota, but we have some pretty severe weather here. There is no way I can keep a pool unfrozen for any length of time during some parts of the year. I keep electric dog water bowls in with the ducks to they can get their heads into the water. Are they happier with warmer weather and pool access? Probably. But, they like me, have to wait for spring.

I don't house my chickens and ducks together because ducks are much messier and don't mind the harsh weather as much as chickens. Chickens create a lot of moisture that needs to leave the coop. Ducks like a lot of moisture and are happy with it in the coop.

While my chickens are all snug in ventilated cozy coops, my ducks are fine in shelters that are half covered and insulated with straw bales stacked outside. Since runners are horrible at flying, they have a run with two-foot fencing and are allowed out on days when the snow isn't duck-deep.

In any case, good luck with winter poultry keeping.
 
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Jadakraft1

Songster
Jun 27, 2020
125
331
133
Northwest South Dakota
Hello, Water ( clean water ) is very important for good duck health, they will still need some type of pool to bath in every day even in the winter months.

Their is a lot of great information on this BYC Forum for the proper care of Poultry in the winter months that should give you some ideas. Type in winter time care for ducks in the search box and that will get you started.

Also you do not want to keep your Drakes in with your Pullets because your Drakes can hurt your hens trying to mate with them. Drakes are designed differently then a Rooster in that area. :)

Please keep us posted, best of luck.
Thank you
 

davez

Chirping
May 19, 2018
31
61
76
Illinois
Generally, you don't want all those drakes with one girl. However, and this is my experience only, she MAY be okay. My first four runner ducklings turned out to be one female and three drakes. Quinn was not only fine, she seemed to resent the new girls I got to distract the boys from her. But, that's likely the exception and not the rule. If you keep your girl, just keep a close eye out for problems This time of year -- and until next spring when boys' hormones kick into high gear -- it likely won't be as much of a problem.
I was looking for someone who did this. I suspected it was possible. though I'd agree it may be an exception, not the rule.

I run what's called "pipe tape" - to keep pipes from freezing - in the duck pen as a heater and I run aloop around (underneath) their water bowl (coffee can) to keep it from freezing in the winter. It doesn't get too hot (120 degrees F max) and has a built in thermostat to kick on only when temps get below 40F.
 

Jadakraft1

Songster
Jun 27, 2020
125
331
133
Northwest South Dakota
Tha
Generally, you don't want all those drakes with one girl. However, and this is my experience only, she MAY be okay. My first four runner ducklings turned out to be one female and three drakes. Quinn was not only fine, she seemed to resent the new girls I got to distract the boys from her. But, that's likely the exception and not the rule. If you keep your girl, just keep a close eye out for problems This time of year -- and until next spring when boys' hormones kick into high gear -- it likely won't be as much of a problem.

I live in northern Iowa where the land is flat and the wind never stops. I'm sure you have it worse in South Dakota, but we have some pretty severe weather here. There is no way I can keep a pool unfrozen for any length of time during some parts of the year. I keep electric dog water bowls in with the ducks to they can get their heads into the water. Are they happier with warmer weather and pool access? Probably. But, they like me, have to wait for spring.

I don't house my chickens and ducks together because ducks are much messier and don't mind the harsh weather as much as chickens. Chickens create a lot of moisture that needs to leave the coop. Ducks like a lot of moisture and are happy with it in the coop.

While my chickens are all snug in ventilated cozy coops, my ducks are fine in shelters that are half covered and insulated with straw bales stacked outside. Since runners are horrible at flying, they have a run with two-foot fencing and are allowed out on days when the snow isn't duck-deep.

In any case, good luck with winter poultry keeping.
Thank you!! Unfortunately it’s the only pen I have for them right now and no electricity to it yet! I’ll probably have to get some squares to put around the pen for them. They have pretty good cover where they’re at, and haven’t been aggressive with my pullets.
I’m going to have to figure something out soon!! We just got snow and more coming this week and next!
 

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