Winter tips for ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by LoveMyDaisyGirl, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. LoveMyDaisyGirl

    LoveMyDaisyGirl Just Hatched

    22
    0
    12
    Aug 16, 2016
    Nebraska
    Hello! My ducks are 10 weeks old and this is the first time I've ever owned ducks. This summer has been a learning experience as far as keeping them cool (using a baby pool, a fan in the window of their house, letting them play in the sprinkler, and providing shade). So now I thought I'd be prepared and ask for some tips and advice for how to best care for them this coming winter! I plan on using straw bales for insulation and also letting them lay in piles of it. I'll also keep the windows closed but still make sure they have plenty of ventilation. I'm still not sure if I'll need a heated water dish in their house or a heat lamp? Plus how long do I let them stay outside during the day? Those are some of my questions and I'm open to any and all advice! Thank you all!!
     
  2. chickluvinfreak

    chickluvinfreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    What are your tempatures normally in the winter. Ducks do very well in the winter, better than chickens. Because of their water proof feathers and insulation. If it gets below freezing than yes you will need a heated waterer. But NO heat lamp. It is unnecessary and dangerous. Especially in a coop full of straw. I would leave the coop door open and let them go in and out as they please. They can decide for themselves if their too cold to be outside. Also corn retains heat so it's a good treat to give before sending them to bed. Or a bowl of warm oatmeal in the morning.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
  3. LoveMyDaisyGirl

    LoveMyDaisyGirl Just Hatched

    22
    0
    12
    Aug 16, 2016
    Nebraska

    Well here in Nebraska I'd say in the winter the lows are usually between the teens to 40s. On really bad nights it can get to almost 0 with the windchill. I can definitely get some cracked corn and oatmeal every day for them to help keep them warm! And a heated bucket too! Thank you for the advice!
     
  4. chickluvinfreak

    chickluvinfreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your welcome, but try to not over do it on the treats. Especially if their laying ducks, you want to feed about 10% of their diet in treats.
     
  5. LoveMyDaisyGirl

    LoveMyDaisyGirl Just Hatched

    22
    0
    12
    Aug 16, 2016
    Nebraska

    So if I give them a couple handfuls of cracked corn at night in the winter (I have 6 ducks) and warm oatmeal only on the really cold mornings should that sound about right?
     
  6. chickluvinfreak

    chickluvinfreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Depends what a handful is. If your ducks eat about 1/2 a cup each, 10% of that is about a tablespoon. So for 6 ducks thats a little over a 1/3 cup. Then on days you want to give a bowl of oatmeal you can just skip the corn.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
  7. LoveMyDaisyGirl

    LoveMyDaisyGirl Just Hatched

    22
    0
    12
    Aug 16, 2016
    Nebraska

    Makes sense! Thanks again for the reply!!
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,983
    1,955
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I found with my Runners that some of them are not as cold-hardy as others, so I would like to add that you need to watch them.

    Also, some of us with ducks (myself included) don't always use specific terms, or we forget to include details.

    My less cold-hardy Runners do not thrive if their night shelter is less than 40F, or if they are outside too long in the cold. Too long depends on whether it's sunny, and the temperature and ground temperature. Early in the cold season the ground is still kind of warm, and so a 35F sunny day they can stay out most of the day. Late in the season, the ground is frozen solid so they can get chilled sooner. And so forth.

    So, again, just watch them. If you see them scrunching their necks up, feathers fluffed out, walking stiff-legged or not at all, shivering . . . they are too cold.
     
  9. dadaas

    dadaas Just Hatched

    28
    0
    12
    Jul 18, 2016
    What if I have ducks on the open. Will they create/find cover for them self? At my place it knows to go below zero and it knows to snow. Any tips what to give them to eat?
     
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,983
    1,955
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Domestic ducks need shelter that will keep them dry and warm enough with good ventilation and predator protection.
     
    2 people like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by