Hello everyone! This is my first post and I am SOO excited to be here! We just moved to Southern Michigan (Ann Arbor area) from blazing hot Houston, Texas so we are in a bit of climate shock right now. Here coming up in the spring we are going to start raising Pekins in our backyard. SUPER stoked! So my husband and I have been doing a LOT of research and we have some questions for those of you that have to deal with subfreezing temps in the winter time and how that plays a roll with duck raising. We are going to be digging out a pond (12X8 and about 3 ft deep) and putting in a liner, aquatic plants, bottom feeders, barley hay, water lilies...basically anything and everything to try and make our pond a living ecosystem. The goal is to make it a self sufficient pond something like you would see in nature. Now, I know this is a tall order but we would like to keep the water running and filtered year round. So being that this is our first winter (EVER) we apparently get weather as follows: from December through March at least freezing temperatures with a low of -10ish at night (some nights, not all of the time though. More frequently it is 0-2 degrees at night). We have about 2 ft of snow and ice that has been on the ground since December. (This is so foreign to me...) So here are our thoughts thus far: The idea with the pond is that we could have a drain at the bottom that leads to a filter system (biofilter system ideally) that cleans out the waste and then flows back into the pond via waterfall. We plan to have an aerator as well to add to the oxygen levels and to keep the water from freezing. However, I don't think this will be enough to 1) filter out all of the duck poo sludge (although to be honest, I am not sure how much poo we are looking at here. We are planning for 6 Pekins in this space and really don't know...how much poo is there really going to be? Thoughts?) and 2) keep the water from freezing enough to actually flow through the system. Wow, lots of info. Sorry about that. So, if anyone has any experience with northern duck ponds I would be so grateful! Thanks so much in advance!