Winter living?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by farmkat55, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. farmkat55

    farmkat55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2016
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    I wonder what is the best way to keep our Pekin couple in the winter months? We live in South Dakota and we can have pretty harsh winters. Our coop is attached to the garage so that there is an enclosed area inside garage and then another enclosed area on other side of outside wall with a walk thru opening for them.

    We usually let them out in the morning and they roam and forage all day in the yard. They have a kiddie pool in the yard that they head straight for when they come out in the morning!

    So...how do ya'll do their pools and such? It would be frozen eventually. Do they like to go out in snow? I know ducks are not big on confinement, but I just want to do the best for them when its very cold outside!

    Any ideas or examples of what ya'll do will be greatly appreciated! As you can tell, it's our first winter with the duckies!!

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. tatswell

    tatswell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They sound like they have a great space. You can purchase a de-icer to put in their pool. Maybe shovel a little around their area and make sure they have a warm spot to go to. Ducks are very hardy but SD is harsh! I stack straw bales and make a small 4x4x4 area of so with an opening to keep them out of harsh elements here in CT.
    Make sure they always have drinking water and that it is not frozen. They sell de-icers and heated buckets on amazon.
     
  3. farmkat55

    farmkat55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2016
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    Yep, I know about keeping water from freezing with our horses, llamas and goats! I just wonder if the routine with the ducks would stay the same as now, even in the snow? Except for the coldest or snowiest times? Do they even WANT to go out in the snow? Do they want to get in a pool in the middle of winter if it's outside? Won't their feathers freeze?

    This will be our first winter with the ducks, as y'all can tell!
     
  4. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They will still want/need water for bathing even in the winter. If you don't want to provide a swim container all winter long, you can bring out enough water to give them quick swim times to get cleaned up and whatnot as your timing permits. But if their current pool would allow for a water heater, you could go ahead and add one and the ducks can come and go as they please. As long as they are healthy, their feathers shouldn't freeze.

    They may decide to hunker down on nasty days, but by in large, ducks are content to be out in the winter weather as well.
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    What I was taught....No need to follow my lead though...
    I never provide a pool during winter...Just heated buckets as deep as the ones I use during the summer...They like snow...They will treat snow the same as water, flapping and dunking their heads...We get very cold here during the winter...I put down Straw in the run and in the coop..Tarp the two sides that get the windchill being ducks can not handle wind...If we get a spring type of day I will put some water in a kiddie pool for a frolic, usually that does not happen that often...Spring comes and they can hardly wait to swim again...Ducks do not really need to swim...They just really love too..

    Enjoy your ducks!
     
  6. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Peyton, CO
    I also take away the deep swimming water. They have access to a heated dog water bowl all day. Here in CO we often get those nicer days were it isn't as cold and the sun warms things up. On those days I fill up a concrete mixing tub for them to clean up in. I empty it in the evenings so I don't have to worry about it freezing over night. I tried a de-icer in my 50 gal stock tank but they didn't want to go in with it. Might be a different story with a larger pool/tank.

    Usually our snow doesn't stick around (have had some big storms the last couple years though) so if it's light snow I just clear enough to open the run door. If the snow is deep, I'll shovel paths around the yard for them to get around. I have to do this for my dogs anyway.

    I cover part of the run with clear tarps to keep out wind and snow. This year I think I'm going to try covering the whole thing to keep out the big snow drifts.
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    I am not looking forward to shovelling for myself or the birds....Oh well, winter comes every year....Lots to do here to prepare for winter...

    Ducks are work in the winter...Easy in the summer.
     
  8. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know what you mean. Some friends and family here are saying they want snow. I just say "No thank you." I think the people who say they want snow aren't the ones who have to shovel it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Haha!! Or have animals to care for all winter??
    I have horses, Chickens, Ducks and Dogs....Yikes!
     
  10. NanaKat

    NanaKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Hatching ducks on or after 9/11. Figured the ducks would be similar to the geese we had several years ago.
    Will keep them in the barn after they feather out with a heat lamp over their water tub just outside their pen for swimming and just inside the pen is their drinking/face washing water.
    That lamp kept the goose water from freezing and the straw on top of cardboard kept them dry. We have a concrete floor in that section of the barn.
    The geese loved getting outside every day they could and would nibble what green was available. .
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016

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