Winter Habitat and water concerns.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Our Roost, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 13, 2011
    ScottsVille, michigan
    I have 2 beautiful Pekin ducks. 1 male and 1 female. Currently they share a very comfortable coop home with my chickens. They blend well with the chickens and there are no real problems I can detect other than their nesting habits and egg laying on the coop floor of straw. In the spring and summer months I have had a water tub for them to bath and frolic and also clean their bill vents. The tubs freeze in the winter and all I have now is a heated dog water dish for them which the chickens use as well. I do have nipple and water cup type waterers for additional drinking water for them. Is this sufficient for them or do they require more than that. I do know they need water to digest their food. Any suggestions and advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    You say you have a heated dog bowl? i know chickens are not big drinkers as i own a few myself that said, would a heated bucket be able to be put in? ducks use quite a bit of water...

    I have ones like these...

    [​IMG]
     
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The ducks won't really use the nipples. The dog dish is probably minimally okay, but you run a risk of them having trouble since they can't submerge their heads to remove blockages and excess feed caught in their nostrils. This can cause acute problems and/or long-term issues, so it's best to give them water they can get their entire faces submerged in.

    I like the heated bucket idea--this seems a good, practical solution for lots of folks. I'm fortunate that mine have access to a large farm pond during the day, so I fill their pool at night when they're fed, and don't worry about it freezing by morning because they'll be down on the pond by the time they need more water. If they didn't have the pond, then I'd want them to have a heated bucket.

    Good luck! :)
     
  4. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    An almost thankyou guys. Miss iamacuriositycat, my ducks "do" use both the water nipples and cup waterers. Imagine that! The heated dog dish is 1.5 gallons and I believe it should be sufficient but still am in question if they will require more than that. This is my first winter with both the chickens and the ducks. Freezing water seems to be my main issue and concern.
     
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    Well, imagine that! lol :D.

    I've never tried nipples with ducks, to be honest, so I was making assumptions that are obviously unfounded. Thanks for setting me straight!

    A gallon and a half may be just fine. See how it goes. If they're running out of water or not able to get their heads submerged, then you can look into other options. But if they get enough to drink, the bowl doesn't run out often, and they're able to wash out their nostrils, then it sounds like you're doing fine.

    :)
     
  6. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ScottsVille, michigan
    Funny we should talk about cup waterers specifically as wether or not ducks would use them or not. I purchased these little quacklings shortly after birth from Tractor Supplys spring sale on chickens and ducks that they advertize every year. I stumbled onto the nipple and cup waterers as an alternative way to provide water to my chickens without filling the plastic container type completely by accident. Next came a water barrel project and PVC piping along with the nipple and cup waterers I incorporated for use by the chickens. I introduced the ducks to the waterers pressing their bills against the nipples and cups and a miracle happened!! They have been using them ever since. I surely hope these guys all make it through the winter here in michigan. It can get pretty darned cold! Thanks for the tips and advice.
     
  7. mrsp523

    mrsp523 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for your post. I also have 2 female ducks in with my 20 chickens. And my main issue has been water ~ which in all seasons but winter is managable. They have swimming pools and plenty of water buckets I change daily until the cold weather sinks permantly in. Short of finding them a new home I have told my daughter we will try all we can. The concern being inside the coop at night as I can change their water outside daily by lugging warm water down to the run. Not only do I not want to deal with the freezing water insided the coop for the sake of all the birds, I need to care for these ducks correctly. So I got a large deep heated dog bowl, and I place that inside a larger calf type feeding bowl that is wider but not as tall. That way when the ducks dip their heads in most (not all) of the spillage goes into the second bucket. They seem to leave the chickens water feeder alone now. Its a chore, but I think it is going to work. And from talking to a friend who has had ducks and chickens mixed in the past ~ he seems to like this idea.
    I will follow this thread to see what else others have come up with. good luck to you and your ducks! Let the winter begin!
     
  8. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ScottsVille, michigan
    Dear Chillin'With My Peeps,
    So far it has been a mild winter here in Michigan. I well know that old man winter has yet begun to talk to us. I have the water lines from our water barrel and water cup pipes wrapped with insulation and an electrical heated wire wrap. So far it isnt freezing. The 1 and 1/2 gallon dog dish container is also heated and should suffice. My ducks are already getting dirty and most likely wish they had a means to bathe themselves. A long stretch til spring and putting their swimming pool back in the run for them. I really dont know what else to do. As goofy as it sounds, I may just bring them in the house and fill the bath tub with luke warm water and let them enjoy that for a while. I'm really not worried about my chickens as much. Aside from a few birds molting really bad, they seem to be doing just great so far. I realize they are all typically domesticated but I feel the ducks are more dependant on us than the chickens. For what ever reason, I give them more attention! Maybe its because they follow me everywhere and quack when they see me or my girlfriend coming. Hoping we both get them through the winter. Take care and good luck with all your flock.
     
  9. countrygirl74

    countrygirl74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are not providing them with anything to swim in right now either as everything has been frozen solid the past few morning. I just run lukewarm water out in the morning for drinking and dunking. They are about 9 weeks old, pretty much all feathered out and adult size. However, every once in a while (usually about every 2 weeks, we will bring all 4 of our ducks in the house for a bathtub swim. It's so worth it! They go absolutely crazy and the kids love watching. Just have your shower curtain ready as I needed to pull it in front of me a couple times so I didn't have to take a shower - lol, they splash water everywhere! Then, we place them on an old towel and let them preen and slightly dry for a few minutes before taking them back outside. So, I don't think it's goofy at all - they will love it!
     

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