Winter care questions.

Discussion in 'Ornamental Fowl (Swans, etc.)' started by Doctor T, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. Doctor T

    Doctor T Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2011
    Missouri
    I'm in Southwest Missouri, temps here have been in the double digits this week. Mandarins don't seem bothered by it,...but I'm worried about the ring teal.

    Any suggestions for general care during the infrequent cold snaps like this? In past years, temps have occasionally dipped into the single digits,...but I wasn't raising waterfowl!! [​IMG]
     
  2. philter4

    philter4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 3, 2011
    Placerville CA
    I have both grey and green jungle fowl, the greens are much more sensitive then the greys but it gets cold here, sometimes there is snow on the ground and the temp doesn't get above 20 degrees for days or weeks at a time. I keep all of my birds with a shed (I usually call it a barn) on one end, it is either a wooden one or metal, pre fabricated and I like the ones that are at least 7 ft x 10 ft with a 6 ft height. In each of these barns I divide it in half with wooden braces down the middle and then welded horse wire so I can keep two pairs of breeders or even two different species, then I use reptile style heat lamps, usually 3 per side, 250 watt, one about a foot off the ground (I put all of the sheds up on a cement slab) on the outside wall, and in the center by the wire divide I put two per side, one above the highest perch and one on the lowest perch. I put both heat lamps on the same side pf the perches so if the birds get too warm there is a place for them to get away from the heat, if you put one on each side of the perching area they may have no escape from the heat if they want it. I also have a reptile thermostat and thermometer/hygrometer wired into the lamps so it goes on any time the outside temps get to 40 degrees. The one I use has a max/min record so I can see what the coldest temps are recorded in the pens, one is as far from the heat as possible, the other is on the perches near the lamps.

    My grey jungle fowl have survived with no ill effects at 20 degrees last year, but since I was wiring the barn for the greens (which are very sensitive to the cold) I did both sides. up to now the barn has not gotten below 44 degrees on the opposite side where there is no heat at all and 56 under the heat lamps on the perches while outside temps are in the low to mid 20's.
     
  3. Doctor T

    Doctor T Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2011
    Missouri
    Do Mandarins, Ring teal, or Cinnamon teal need heat lamps? I thought it was bad for them!!
     
  4. KansasKid

    KansasKid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2010
    South East Kansas
    The more exotic species could benefit from cover and a little added heat when in more northern climates when it gets a lot colder. If you use a heat lamp it will screw their laying habits up (speaking from experience here). I'm in southeast kansas, about 15 minutes from joplin, mo. Right now my teal, mandarins, pintails, just get a small structure with hay in it that they can get under if it snows heavy. Last winter i had a heat lamp inside an enclosure for one of my mandarins that was feeling poorly, my birds ended up laying really early in the season , and the teal actually didn't end up using it. Remember last year when we had that enormous amount of snow fall? there was a good foot to foot and a half of snow in one night and i went out to look for my teal and i thought i had lost my hen and come to find out she had decided to hull up under one of the cedar trees i had put in there for cover. if you decide that they need heat i have heard of people using the reptile cord for heat you would just have to make sure any moisture can't get to it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. philter4

    philter4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 3, 2011
    Placerville CA
    I use red tinted reptile heat lamps and it doesn't seem to bother the birds or the reptiles as far as laying goes, at least in my case I have not noticed a difference. Normally animals don't recognize red colors as a daylight color and so are not put off their normal schedule. I have never tried white or soft white bulbs, and your birds may be able to take the low end temperatures your birds are exposed to but in my case the green jungle fowl do not handle cool temperatures very well and it gets very cold here, not just cool.
     
  6. waterdog

    waterdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 5, 2010
    Michigan
    Mandarins and Cinnamon teal are very hardy, Ring teal are not as hardy and are affected more by the cold, but all any of them need is open water and a shelter out of the wind with dry bedding in it we use straw. We are in Michigan and get LOTS of snow and night temps below zero with day temps in the low teens and do not use any heat. Open water is I feel is the biggest factor as this prevents frostbite on the feet. The Tree ducks are the only species we ahve had problems with.
     
  7. KansasKid

    KansasKid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2010
    South East Kansas
    Don't take this as being rude philter4, but being in placerville California what are your normal lows for this time of the year?
     
  8. philter4

    philter4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 3, 2011
    Placerville CA
    I don't usually take anything as being rude, and I am not sure why you would think it is but I actually live outside of town up in the hills and temps here for Jan and Feb are usually in the high teens to mid 20's. This is an unusually warm winter and tonight the forecast low is 22 degrees. Placerville averages are in the 30's for both months but last year was extremely cold and we got snow all the way to June, the last day it snowed at my house in 2011 was June 6th although it did not stick to the ground.
     
  9. Lophura

    Lophura Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 23, 2008
    Holden, Missouri
    Been trying to reply, but every time I hit "quote", screen freezes up or turns gray.

    Oh well, I'm in Missouri (just outside of KC) and have kept Ringed Teal several different times over the years. It is true that they are not as hardy as Mandarins (who even in their native lands can withstand extremely cold temps), but can do well in our climate with just simple modifications. Red lamps are the best and that's what I used for them, Marbled Teal, & Bahama Pintail (was never concerned about the native species). It was placed in a sheltered corner of the aviary with dry straw and out of the direct wind. The ducks would use it with no problem. The only ducks that I would bring in for heat were the White-faced Whistling (big feet, big problems). I also kept a pump running in the pond that allowed some open water for them.

    As for what KansasKid said about the birds laying early, yes it can happen, mostly with the species native to the Northern Hemisphere. However, they can and often will lay during their "normal" season. This was the case about 8 years ago when an ice storm collapsed my waterfowl aviary. I moved the ducks (which included northern ducks like Redhead, Mandarin, & Blue-winged Teal) inside a heated barn. The barn had a timer for lights and it triggered them (and a few pheasants & francolin) to lay. A few months later, when the weather/time was right, they nested again.

    With the way this winter is going, wow, I don't know what to think!! It was almost 60 here today, just a dusting of snow so far all winter - I expect to go birding in shorts tomorrow!! I know I'm enjoying it, just wish I still had my birds!!

    Dan
     
  10. KansasKid

    KansasKid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2010
    South East Kansas
    Thats what i figured, saw you were in california, but didn't know if placerville had a high altitude or not so figured i'd ask. Just said that so it sounded less like a personal attack, although it might have sounded a lot better without it....


    Dan, Today i went out and did morning chores in a coat and shorts. lol.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012

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