Winter Is Coming! Ducks require heat lamp?

CherpNPeep

Songster
Aug 8, 2018
250
402
151
Canada, Vancouver
Hey everyone! it has been a while coming back to this page and we are just preparing our duckies for winter! I'm wondering what temperatures ducks can survive until it gets too cold because out nights now are hitting -1 celsius which is like 30 fahrenhiet. I'm raising both Musocovy and Welsh Harlquinnnsss. We've already bought a heat lamp, now we just need to know when to implant it in their coop.
 

sylviethecochin

Free Ranging
Jun 14, 2017
5,499
11,292
701
Central PA
I remember one winter when I was a kid, we had -30 F weather for nearly a week straight. (That's with windchill. We were only in the negative twenties without it). The little mallard ducks didn't have housing so we herded them into the barn and bedded them down with hay in an old box stall. They were fine. I remember that we accidentally left a five gallon bucket full of water by the door at some point that week. Overnight, it froze so hard that the bottom of the bucket split, and part of the side ripped open. [EDT: many global warming jokes were made. Which is mostly why I remember this.]

I googled your question once and read that ducks can get frostbite in 20 F weather. I want to know what experience the author has had that he/she made that claim. Ducks are tough—far tougher than chickens are. I'd skip the heat lamp as a fire hazard and just make sure that their housing is dry and they have a lot of bedding.

EDT2: I just Wikipedia'd the climate of Vancouver. I knew it was one of the warmer areas of Canada, but, "The coldest month on record at Vancouver International Airport was January 1950 when an arctic air inflow moved in from the Fraser Valley and remained locked over the city, with an average low of −9.7 °C (15 °F) and an average high of only −2.9 °C (27 °F), making for a daily average of −6.3 °C (20.7 °F), 10 °C (18 °F) colder than normal. The coldest temperature ever recorded in the city was −18.3 °C (−1 °F) on December 29, 1968. [3] The coldest temperature across Metro Vancouver, however, is −23.3 °C (−10 °F) recorded on January 23, 1969.[4]"

You have nothing to worry about.
 
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CrystaBub

Crowing
Mar 17, 2018
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Shenandoah Valley
:frow I've asked the BYC experts this question also and the answer seems to be they will be fine with lots of bedding and staying dry. It's even OK for them to swim in the cold as long as they dry off completely after - especially the feet so as not to risk frostbite. We've had some really cold weather lately and I think my ducks are actually loving it - they are more active now than in the summer. I do plug the heat lamp in for a little bit after they do their morning and evening swim just to make sure they dry off. But I don't leave it on. At night they do seem to be just fine snuggled down in the bedding (I have a spy camera in their house lol).
 

chickens really

Crazy Mother of Goats
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 8, 2015
62,659
109,072
1,647
The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
I'm in Alberta, Canada.
Lots of straw which holds in heat is needed. Dry wind breaks also. When we dip down to -25C I will bring my Ducks into the garage for the night. Ducks are tough with the proper bedding. I put up vapour barrier plastic on all my Runs. My Runs also have roofs. I have a spot in each run with a bed of straw also.
I ran a heat lamp last year and it triggered my Ducks to breed too early. This year I won't Run heat unless we get below -25C.
 

CherpNPeep

Songster
Aug 8, 2018
250
402
151
Canada, Vancouver
I remember one winter when I was a kid, we had -30 F weather for nearly a week straight. (That's with windchill. We were only in the negative twenties without it). The little mallard ducks didn't have housing so we herded them into the barn and bedded them down with hay in an old box stall. They were fine. I remember that we accidentally left a five gallon bucket full of water by the door at some point that week. Overnight, it froze so hard that the bottom of the bucket split, and part of the side ripped open. [EDT: many global warming jokes were made. Which is mostly why I remember this.]

I googled your question once and read that ducks can get frostbite in 20 F weather. I want to know what experience the author has had that he/she made that claim. Ducks are tough—far tougher than chickens are. I'd skip the heat lamp as a fire hazard and just make sure that their housing is dry and they have a lot of bedding.

EDT2: I just Wikipedia'd the climate of Vancouver. I knew it was one of the warmer areas of Canada, but, "The coldest month on record at Vancouver International Airport was January 1950 when an arctic air inflow moved in from the Fraser Valley and remained locked over the city, with an average low of −9.7 °C (15 °F) and an average high of only −2.9 °C (27 °F), making for a daily average of −6.3 °C (20.7 °F), 10 °C (18 °F) colder than normal. The coldest temperature ever recorded in the city was −18.3 °C (−1 °F) on December 29, 1968. [3] The coldest temperature across Metro Vancouver, however, is −23.3 °C (−10 °F) recorded on January 23, 1969.[4]"

You have nothing to worry about.
Ahh, thank you so much! :wee
 

CherpNPeep

Songster
Aug 8, 2018
250
402
151
Canada, Vancouver
I'm in Alberta, Canada.
Lots of straw which holds in heat is needed. Dry wind breaks also. When we dip down to -25C I will bring my Ducks into the garage for the night. Ducks are tough with the proper bedding. I put up vapour barrier plastic on all my Runs. My Runs also have roofs. I have a spot in each run with a bed of straw also.
I ran a heat lamp last year and it triggered my Ducks to breed too early. This year I won't Run heat unless we get below -25C.
Oh my, - 25. That's crazy weather! 
 

CherpNPeep

Songster
Aug 8, 2018
250
402
151
Canada, Vancouver
:frow I've asked the BYC experts this question also and the answer seems to be they will be fine with lots of bedding and staying dry. It's even OK for them to swim in the cold as long as they dry off completely after - especially the feet so as not to risk frostbite. We've had some really cold weather lately and I think my ducks are actually loving it - they are more active now than in the summer. I do plug the heat lamp in for a little bit after they do their morning and evening swim just to make sure they dry off. But I don't leave it on. At night they do seem to be just fine snuggled down in the bedding (I have a spy camera in their house lol).
I'm probably gonna do that to make sure they dry up after their swims also. Thank you! :frow
 

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