Winterizing Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by trainman, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. trainman

    trainman Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2014
    Huntsville, AR
    I have 8 Pekins who free range in my pond. They "escaped" from the first pen area when they were about 3 weeks old and headed for the pond. They have lived in and around the pond since last March with no issues. I built them another duck house that has plenty of room and has a nice thick layer of hay. They don't seem to care much for it and rarely go inside. They have layed a few eggs there but usually we have the Great Easter Egg Hunt every morning looking for them all around and in the pond. Usually in different locations every day.

    With their first Winter coming I'm wondering what to do about it. They don't seem to like the house but will they seek shelter there when it gets bitter cold and the winds start blowing? Do I need to carry a hatchet to chop ice looking for eggs or will they lay them inside? Will they adapt to a frozen pond? Fortunately, I'm told they won't fly away but I want them to be safe and content during the long cold spell.

    Any ideas on what, if anything, I can do to make them more comfortable and endure the coming season?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Welcome to BYC!!

    Pekin ducks sitting beside a frozen pond will make a nice tasty meal for hungry preds who's natural prey is hiding under ground till spring. Even if they stayed on the water over night a hungry predator will swim for them Owls will be after them on the water, Pekins couldn't fly if they wanted to, They need a secure house that they can be locked up in for the night, with a pen around which will make it easier for you to get them in. Start feeding them only at their house to get them use to it. then of an evening when it's time to lock up hopefully they'll be inside the pen and eating all you'll need to do is close the gate and herd them inside. this is for their protection and your piece of mind. It's our responsibility to protect them. They will not go into a shelter with the door left open too easy for a predator to corner them. Give them a nice secure well ventilated house and they'll be fine for the winter over night. and on days the pond s frozen I'd keep them inside their pen since they won't have anyway to protect themselves if a pred comes around in the day time. Fenced pen around their house. Good feed and thawed water will keep them happy.
     
  3. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    Yes, as ML says Pekin are a non flying breed so a total non issue there. I would try food, for sure.. actually i'd try a routine of whole corn each evening and see if you can lock them, that way they become accustomed to the corn being brought and you have a chance to close them in.

    My pekin are very good at herding and routine of night lock up, they are not agile birds at all.. like a hippo in ballet.. so are massively pred risky due to that.

    Another option would be building a 'holding pen' and practice the same to bring them into it. If they can walk on the frozen pond sadly so can something that can eat them.
     
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