Winter care

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by farmkat55, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. farmkat55

    farmkat55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2016
    South Dakota
    We have a chicken coop (but only have a pair of Pekins right now, chickens in the spring) that my hubby built that has half of it built inside garage and a door to pass into the other side which is against the outside wall of garage. Same size on each side. We are in South Dakota and hubby thought it would be nice to be able to get eggs and also clean and water them from inside.

    Now, how does everyone do the bedding for winter? I've done deep litter style for our goats and horses but it makes a whole lot of straw come spring! I would think it would not stay dry for the ducks as their water is in there. What do y'all use for the bedding? I use a certain type of shavings that is pretty much dust free and in between small flake and sawdust, sort of. I've also used a crushed type of wood pellets. I like both, but maybe there's a better idea for winter bedding. They are on a wood but it's got a linoleum floor.

    Also, I thought I read on here somewhere that they can go all night without water and food and it lessens the mess. I know if they have food, they must have water. Is this a good arrangement? In the winter they will not be able to forage like the rest of the year..would food in the morning be enough food if foraging is slim? Doesn't seem like it would. This is our first winter with them.

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    My Ducks live outside in a 10x10 Dog run and sleep in a Dog house...I close them in the Dog house every night...Before I let them out in the morning I give them fresh water...I free feed my Ducks..Food and water out at all times during the day..Before bed they get a salad of Romaine Lettuce, tomato, peas, cucumber, broccoli, brussel sprouts and some grain..All mixed into warm water....Not every veg is used in the salad....They gobble it up and go to bed with bellies full....I use pine shavings in my Duck house and straw outside in the run...

    Cheers!
     
  3. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2016
    NW Missouri
    Need a deep bedding or their feet can freeze. I've had a few ducks over the years loose a foot to frostbite. And I wouldn't water them in their house, they make such a mess.
     
  4. farmkat55

    farmkat55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2016
    South Dakota
    So, they are ok not eating IN the coop or dog house at night? I was afraid if they didn't have access to food day and night, it would be bad. But if I can free feed in the day like usual, and not at night when they are closed in...that would be very helpful! :)
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Yeah, They are perfectly fine with no food and water over night....That way no mess...They sleep all night...I let them out first thing in the morning...




    Cheers!
     
  6. RascalAndJemima

    RascalAndJemima Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 12, 2016
    I did not know this! My girls have a pen and house which is adjoined. The house has wood shavings and straw and the pen is placed over paving slabs for easy cleaning. They free range whenever we are in the house which is most of the time as my husband works from home.
    Will the paving slabs be too cold for their feet?! I'm in the uk so temperatures don't tend to get too extreme...
     
  7. EPLGAdvice

    EPLGAdvice New Egg

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    Nov 3, 2016
    United Kingdom

    RESPONSE:
    Hi
    It's our first winter with my three chickens. One is a bluebell, one is a gold star and the other a white leghorn. They're doing pretty well, however I have started noticing the weather change drastically. It has started to get colder where I live. The best bedding for winter time is straw, as it helps keep the coop warm; normal wood shavings or other sorts of bedding are ideally for nesting etc. also, please do check the ends of your chickens' combs to see for any signs of a frostbite. The ends will usually become darker or hard in texture. If this occurs, apply some Vaseline to the area. If it gets worse, it is advised to visit a vet/animal doctor.
     
  8. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Peyton, CO
    [​IMG]
    This is the duck thread so the original question was regarding keeping ducks in winter. Ducks are usually more cold hardy but some of the same principles apply to helping them keep warm. Provide a place out of the wind and draft free. The wind will ruffle the feathers and that warm air normally trapped under the feathers around the body will be lost. Make sure they have access to water, for some folks that means heated waters or frequent changes to keep it from freezing. Keeping water out of the coop will help with both the mess and the humidity. It is more important to keep the coop dry and well ventilated as apposed to keeping it warm. Humidity coupled with cold is often the cause of frostbite, not just cold. Chickens and ducks exhale a lot of moisture into the air when they sleep too so that's why it's important to keep your coop well ventilated (but not drafty).
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
  9. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2016
    NW Missouri
    Should be ok, I'd put at least a 3 inch layer straw down though.
     
    1 person likes this.

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