Wintering Muscovies


Dec 2, 2015
Hey everyone! This is my first winter with my hens and my lovely Muscovy ducks. Im more concerned about my ducks as Ive read that they arent a cold weather duck. It gets cold here! I live in a small town called Summerland located in BC, Canada. Its typical for the cold to get -15 -20C. Right now its only getting about -8C at the worst, which is still pretty warm compared to what we can get. But my ducks seem so cold all the time! They get free range nearly daily and I watch them waddle accross my lawn (or wherever they are waddling to) and they cant make it without getting freezing feet. They gotta lay down to warm them up maybe 10 minutes. Then they will try again. There is that but they also cant enjoy their little pond without coming out just vibrating with cold. I keep pond time limited because I feel awful at how much shivering they do when they come out. I know they dont need swim time, I just know they love it. They have a lovely cozy coop that is very insulated with straw and access to it 24/7. But wherever they are they are always shivering, and its not just a little, its a lot. Very obvious. Im just curious as to how you winter your ducks in Canadian winters. I dont want to spoil my hens and ducks by already putting in a heat lamp, since we arent at our coldest temperatures yet. Ideas?!


Overrun with Runners
12 Years
Jan 3, 2010
Southern New England
@Going Quackers is up north and has Muscovies.

And @Miss Lydia is in the hills much farther south where it gets chilly.

If your ducks are shivering, you are right they are too cold.

What is their feeding regimen?

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16-17
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Oct 3, 2009
Mountains of Western N.C.
@BackyardNuts take away the swimming water if they are showing signs of cold. They may love to swim but it's not helping them if they are freezing when they come out. Muscovy's aren't as water proof as other Mallard derived ducks are, Try adding some whole corn to their feed or as an afternoon treat I do the afternoon treat and give all mine in winter a good amount since it's carbs it keeps them warmer at night. I know Going Quackers leaves whole corn out all the time she is in Canada and hopefully can give you even more advise. Mine do the walking and laying down on their feet even my geese do it so that isn't uncommon. But the shivering especially after pool time it easily eliminated by taking their swim water away, give them a few buckets to bath in they can dunk their heads in, until your temps are above freezing I usually give my Scovy's a small cement mixing tub when the temps get around 40F that way I can dump it easily at evening. a nice cozy house with fluffy bedding and they should be okay.

Hopefully others who live in Upper reaches of the north will also contribute how they care for their Scovy's in winter.
@Going Quackers especially.

Welcome to BYC.

Going Quackers

11 Years
May 24, 2011
On, Canada
You gotta watch the pools with scovies as temps drop, they simply by breed are not as waterproof as mallard derived.(i own those too) Many a winter i have ended up with some fool who has jumped in a pail or rubber bowl and is iced up and darn near froze to death, towels and a warm fire work wonders.

I also will put Vaseline on knobs of the facial fleshing as that tends to frostbite. Mine have tons of shelter options, whether they choose to take of it.. is debatable, though i do admit cold temps does soften the scuffles lol. I do feed whole corn here as ML said whether folks want to debate the issue with me -whatever- i own dozens of the darn things(scovies) and they thrive and breed very well, so what i do works for my flock, they also are free ranged and full flight.

I have a few of my originals here meaning several years old now, so they do get through it... nobody has lost limbs, or is damaged here from our winters(unless you count me) you do what you can, with a small flock i would probably ensure they do get in nightly. For myself, i now have barns open with the colder temps and let them sort it out... i cannot fight against dozens to ensure they go in.. they aren't stupid they do know how to take shelter and pulling up feet and nuzzling bills in is proper precautions mother nature has provided them.

You always watch for those that struggle, some just aren't as capable as others, as i said i typically end up with something in my house at one time or another lol. Sad when the house pets barely raise a head when other livestock is shuffling across the floor.
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Buck Oakes

5 Years
Feb 9, 2014
Madison/Gluckstadt, Mississippi
I would also reccommend some heated water buckets mine need them here and I'm in the southern United States. How many Jacobites do u have, mine tend to go to the immediate mode of 'idiot care who u are but in going to sit as close to u as possible to get warm' type of deal esp the males. I mean they will be Ruffles at each other like 30 min before and then they are cuddling for warmth. Very cute I might add

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