Winter Housing for 3 ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by binza1979, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. binza1979

    binza1979 Chillin' With My Peeps

    374
    7
    111
    Mar 6, 2011
    Utah
    I have three ducks and don't know what to house them in for winter. So far this year (we got them in March) they have been in a large dog kennel. I am in northern Utah and we had some pretty cold days in the winter. I am most worried about cold nights. Also, how do you keep the pond (kiddie pool) from freezing.

    If I am to build something for them, I want to get started before the snow starts falling.
     
  2. Karen09

    Karen09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    200
    1
    111
    Jun 27, 2009
    Wyoming, New York
    I keep my Cayuga ducks in a 4 ft x 4 ft "chicken coop" (really looks like an outhouse - after my husband was told this he painted a black crescant moon on it so it looks more so now) but I would take out a warm pot of water (the bottom of a steam cooker - 5 - 6 inches tall and about 1.5 to 2 feet in diameter) for them 2 to 3 times a day so they could wash their heads and one at a time could bath. I had to keep changing the bedding under it - more work for me but that way they did not make such a mess with the big chicken coop. Also the pot wasn't too big for me to carry and get myself too wet.
     
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    5,916
    545
    341
    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Ducks are a lot less demanding than chickens when it comes to shelter. I'm guessing they are in a predator proof enclosure already. I live in Michigan and have them in a covered aviary and the shelters are just four walls a slanted roof and a doorway with some straw in the bottom. It provides shelter from the wind and snow, but even then they usually choose to sit out in the snow. They have excellent insulation and tuck their feet under themselves. They don't really need swiming water available all day long like drinking water, but if you use an out door extension cord, I guess you could use one of those pond deicers. But really they would be ok with a heated pail or deep heated dog bowl and the pool is filled up periodically for a dip.
     
  4. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    7,538
    344
    311
    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    A floating heater would keep a kiddie pool open but i admit i think when we hit freezing temps we'll just skip the pool and get a heated water bowl instead.. i figure the snow can replace a pool for um, wet/water play [​IMG] As for shelter we built a small barn for ours.
     
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,703
    43
    228
    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I'd get them a doghouse or similar to stay warm in on cold nights. It doesn't have to be elaborate--they're wearing waterproof down coats already. Put a hay bale in front (but with a gap for going in and out) to block the wind in the entrance, and you're good to go. Bed it with straw so you can pull the straw out when it's messy.

    As for the pool, you can buy little tank heaters, or just change the water a couple times a day. The ducks will keep it somewhat clear themselves by digging in it constantly, but they'll need help especially at night.

    You can also build an insulated tank with just a small opening for them to drink from, and it won't freeze as easily. I've even seen some that are oriented with a dark surface toward the south to collect solar energy during the day. Good luck!
     
  6. bayyjayy

    bayyjayy Chillin' With My Peeps

    700
    0
    119
    Jul 5, 2011
    Utah
    Being from Northern Utah myself, we are in a neighborhood with TONS of ducks and we have never lost any to predators, so I dont' house my ducks....YET! We are working on a nighttime pen for them because their eggs keep getting eaten by something and now that I got up the guts to try an egg, I am SO excited to collect many a day!!! Anyway, I don't pen mine at night, and they survived last winter just fine. We have a bunch of willows around our pond that offers them a ton of protection...that is where they hang out right now in the heat of the day, and where they were during the winter months. We actually got them a dog house, but they never used it! Last year, every single morning, I would go out with a sledgehammer and shovel, break the ice on the pond, scoop out the ice chunks, and then would I would walk away, the ducks had a BLAST swimming and duncking and spashing around like they were in Hawaii!!!!! I was worried about them every single night....a neighbor who has chickens, ducks, and geese pointed out that we pluck their feathers to make coats for humans so what was I so worried about. Once she said that I felt a BIT better, but I still worry!!! This house we are building is going to help me a lot with worrying, but the ducks out there right now probably won't use it. My Anconas, on the other hand, better!!!! [​IMG]

    One night when I was really worried about them last year when we had really, really cold weather, wind and everything, hubby started getting his shoes on...I asked why....he said to go take care of my ducks, LOL....anyway, he went out there to move the doghouse to the middle of the willows to give them even more protection....when he came in he said, "They must not be that darn cold...they are in the MIDDLE OF THE POND!" And it was COLD!
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  7. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    22,035
    619
    448
    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Our winters are not that cold, so I don't do anything different. I make sure that the water and pools are not frozen. Other than that, nothing is different.
     
  8. binza1979

    binza1979 Chillin' With My Peeps

    374
    7
    111
    Mar 6, 2011
    Utah
    Thanks everyone! I will stick with the dog house they currently use...sometimes...when the mood strikes just right. My girls are funny...sometimes they lay in the nesting box we have by the pool, sometime in the doghouse, and sometimes in the corner of the run in the mud. Silly duckies!
     
  9. 1234duck

    1234duck Chillin' With My Peeps

    As another post said, ducks aren't that demanding for warmth and shelter. Yes shelter should be made available for them for any weather condition but my ducks prefer to stand, lay and swim in the freezing cold rainy weather. I don't lock them up in a coop at night or during the winter time. (they are penned on the side of our house, a fairly good amount of space which runs the length of our house.) They have little houses/dog kennels and a canopy for shelter but rarely use them. Sometimes i would add warm water to the drinking water and pools at dark so by morning i would need to give fresh water or break and remove the ice. ~Julie~
     
  10. 1234duck

    1234duck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Also try picking up a duck even a duckling at night time when it is cold or is just starting to be cold and you'll be amazed how "very warm" their bodies are... I couldn't believe just how warm they were. ~Julie~ [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by