Winter care for my Muscovy and Indian runner mix

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Madeleinepb, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. Madeleinepb

    Madeleinepb Just Hatched

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    Oct 23, 2016
    Hubert, NC
    I have two ducks.
    This is my first time having ducks as pets.
    I have read from multiple websites on winter care for ducks.
    What I am wondering is that I would like personal experiences on how I should care for them during this winter.
    I currently just moved to Hubert, NC and I dont know the winters are here like.
     
  2. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rhode Island
    My Coop
    I'm in New England and don't too much special, except put cracked corn in the bottom of their feed bowls in the afternoon. The corn is easy to convert into energy for them, and eating it last means they have it overnight.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2016
  3. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm in KY. I have Muscovies and really like them...and I like Runners, too. What do yours look like?

    I remove the kiddie pools when it gets cold enough to freeze (for obvious reasons, lol) and just put out a couple of rubber tubs that are deep enough for nares cleaning but too small for swimming; if they can get into the water - icy or not - they'll swim, and their feathers can freeze. [​IMG] The rubber tubs are nice because you can break the ice out as needed, or add warm water to melt the ice.

    Muscovies are very cold hardy and unless it's bitterly cold, they'll go about their business as usual. I do put some extra bedding in their coop for insulation, too, and keep an eye on their caruncles to make sure there's no frostbite. My rooster, who had a huge comb, got frostbite and lost a couple of tips, but the Muscovies were all fine last winter.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Of my original eleven Runners, a few of them did not handle temperatures below 35F very well, so long story short, I moved their night shelter from the outdoor well insulated but not heated shelter, to a "barn" area in the walkout basement that stays above 40F.

    That made a huge difference.

    What I did was watch the Runners. Shivering, walking stiff-legged, feathers ruffled, no egg laying, partly closed eyes - they were too cold. I even took a couple to the vet who confirmed that a few of the ducks just aren't cold-hardy.

    Within days they were back to normal after moving their night pen. I also keep them in when the temperatures are too cold in the daytime, too. I know when to bring them in by watching them. And then below certain temperatures we don't go out except for a couple of brief daily run-arounds.

    One day, the ducks stopped at the door in the morning, turned around and walked right back in.

    Each duck, each flock is unique. Many are cold-hardy (my Buffs are more cold-hardy in general than the Runners). It also depends on the shelter, the food, bedding, how many ducks, etc.
     
  5. Madeleinepb

    Madeleinepb Just Hatched

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    Oct 23, 2016
    Hubert, NC
    [​IMG]

    Here's a pic of em.
    Mighty is the brown one.
    And Olga is white and black one.
    They mostly indoor ducks. They sleep in a pen in the back room in the house at night.
    During the day we let em rome the backyard. They have a pool, water, and food.
    I'm in the process of building their coop.
    Cuz when I go to work I'm gonna put em in there.
    They are about 2months old also.
     
  6. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Very striking! Do they "run" like Runners or move more like Muscovy?
     
  7. Madeleinepb

    Madeleinepb Just Hatched

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    Oct 23, 2016
    Hubert, NC
    They both run.
    In the morning when I let em out. They stretch their wings, run around, and etc.
    Mighty is flapping his wings like he wants to fly and Olga follows insuit with him. Do you clip their wings or no??? Read that both ducks aren't really good flyers, is that true??
     
  8. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    I can only speak to my experience with Muscovies, but I was very surprised by how well they fly. After losing a couple of ducks early on because they roosted too high outside for me to reach them and bring them in at night, I started clipping them. I had heard drakes were too heavy to really fly, so you can imagine my surprise when I found my very large flock drake sitting atop a fence. Another drake sailed around the pasture and fortunately landed on my property but in a different field (he's blind!). Now they all get clipped, and I think it's much easier to get them to go in at night. Better safe than sorry, IMO. [​IMG]
     
  9. Madeleinepb

    Madeleinepb Just Hatched

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    Oct 23, 2016
    Hubert, NC
    I was reading on a few websites that the females are the better flyers but we are still unsure what the sex of our two ducks are. Mighty I found the wild and he was injury he couldn't walk, swim and etc. the first couple days he barely ate. Olga I bought her. They like each other a lot. How early did you start clipping their wings.
     
  10. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    The females are definitely the better flyers. I start clipping now as soon as their flight feathers are in and they start doing "test flights" (probably 3-4 months old). I use the method where you leave the first two flight feathers intact so when they fold them down, it looks like they have full wings (fig. 2 here: http://www.cornerstonefarm.net/wingdemo.html).

    When I first started clipping, I clipped all the flight feathers and it made the first few ducks' wings look a bit stubby when folded (see fig. 3).
     

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