Winter-proofing duck coop

DuckyBabies

Songster
Oct 15, 2018
362
860
171
What are some good ways to winterize your coop? I have sand as bedding and I have wrapped the outside of the coop with plastic to keep the wind and rain out. What else can I do to ensure that my ducks stay warm?
 

sylviethecochin

Free Ranging
Jun 14, 2017
5,499
11,292
701
Central PA
Sand doesn't hold heat very well. I'd get straw or pine bedding instead.

Second, I'd remove the plastic. Ventilation is very important. https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...-there-and-cut-more-holes-in-your-coop.47774/

Third, check for drafts. You don't want any entrances facing the wind, and you don't want any ventilation holes directly across from each other. You want to achieve the happy medium between too much air movement (no chance for the ducks to warm up the air around them) and too little (ammonia and moisture buildup)

Fourth, put a sheltered area behind your coop so that you can keep the water outside. (If you haven't already done that) Water in the coop is a bad thing in winter.

And don't worry about it too much. Ducks are half-feathers (seriously; try plucking a duck carcass. They're equipped with the equivalent of two heavy winter coats.) Mine are perfectly happy at zero Fahrenheit or lower, so long as they have a nice, dry floor and a windblock. And lots of food, the feathered pigs.
 

DuckyBabies

Songster
Oct 15, 2018
362
860
171
Thank you! I should have said that the coop is only wrapped in plastic on the sides where the wind comes in, so the back is open (the back faces a tree line). They have like an “upstairs” that is mostly closed it, but they have always refused to go in it. I will have to get some different bedding for them to keep them warmer. Temps are beginning to get into the 40s, so I just want them to be able to stay good and warm.
 

llombardo

Crowing
Mar 11, 2018
3,015
4,803
346
Illinois
I use flax bedding. Super soft, super super absorbent. Their house is pretty solid, so i haven't added anything. It stays dry, I just turn the bedding to fluff it up and they flatten it in .5 seconds...

Their house
image.jpg
 

Soon2BChixMom

Herding ducks and Wrangling chickens
Jan 8, 2017
9,131
19,837
842
I found some chopped straw to mix in with my pine shavings. It actually helps to find clumps of poo vs scraping all the shavings out because they don't clump. Also, I use pdz to keep moisture down. I will use that inside the duck house all winter and am thinking of putting straw bales around the outside to keep it a bit more insulated. As well, I put up a heavy duty tarp around their run to help keep the wind off. My duck house is a repurposed double-walled plastic play house, so ventilation is also super important to keep the moisture out of the coop.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,244
126,335
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
What are some good ways to winterize your coop? I have sand as bedding and I have wrapped the outside of the coop with plastic to keep the wind and rain out. What else can I do to ensure that my ducks stay warm?
Welcome to BYC!
Adding some pics of your coop/run setup might help.
...and....
Where in this world are you located?
Climate is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, then it's always there!
upload_2018-10-21_10-18-22.png
 

Cayuga momma

♡Ducks♡, enough said.
Mar 13, 2018
2,382
7,443
462
Western NY
I use PDZ sand on the floor, but it isn't very good for warmth in the winter so I threw down a layer of pine shavings and then a layer of straw. It keeps my duckies nice and warm.
 

cheezenkwackers

Crowing
Aug 28, 2016
1,346
2,246
302
Memphis, TN
I use a plastic tarp over my house but I insulate with straw or hay between the plastic and the house. It keeps it much more toasty and provides some ventilation. My plastic is only on three sides as well with a screened window which I also place straw or hay in front of. My ducks like hay on top of shavings to sleep on and it is pretty easy to clean. When it gets really cold I place old gallon jugs filled with warm water in with them. It gives off heat all night. Like others said though, it depends where you live. We only get a few weeks of really cold.
 

DuckyBabies

Songster
Oct 15, 2018
362
860
171
My husband put a roof on yesterday. We are going to get some straw today to make a place for them to bed down in. Unfortunately, they don’t always do what we expect of them. I may end up having to spread hay all over to guarantee they will lay on it to stay warm. We are already getting freeze advisories here, but they are doing a good job at staying warm. At what point do you take water away from them at night when it is cold? It will soon be getting darker at 5, so I don’t want them to go 14 hours without water.
 

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