Winterizing for Ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by our4chix, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. our4chix

    our4chix Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 16, 2012
    Hi All!!

    I am coming up on my first winter with my two ducks and I am getting a bit nervous. Our girls have always known warm weather until the past two weeks or so and now it it getting quite cold at night (we live in New Hampshire on the seacoast), so I have a few questions for you guys:

    1) what do you do to keep their coop nice and warm (if it is necessary)?

    2) do your ducks like the snow? if so, how do you keep their little webbings from freezing?

    3) do you have a pool for them? If so, how do you keep it heated??? We have a small kiddie pool that they have grown up with and seem pretty content with. I was thinking about using a floating water heater in the pool, but I didn't know if anyone made one that would protect the ducks from touching the heating element.

    Penny for you thoughts??? Any advise is greatly appreciated!!!
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Ducks really are well equipped to handle cold temps they have a layer of down under their feathers. Have you eve had a down comforter or jacket? very cozy warm. If they have a house they can be in out of the weather with good ventilation I vent my windows from the top in winter that way cold air isn't blowing right over them but they need good ventilation to keep ammonia from building up from their poop,even cleaning daily it can still be a problem unless their house has good venting. ventilation also keeps humidity from building up which can cause frost bite. No heat other than what they put off from their own bodies but heated water buckets make it nice when temps get below freezing as for pools I usually don't have any out in deep winter after temps go below freezing and stay there. On days when we get above I use cement mixing tubs they are so much easier to dump and also don't crack if we forget to dump the water like kiddy pools can. My ducks don't care for snow and usually just lay around keeping their feet warm with their bodies. but also ducks have this neat system built into their legs and feet that keep their webbing and legs from freezing. Now we did have some ducks suffer frost bite from staying in water over night when temps went way down below freezing. Not mine but some members on here. My Muscovy drake had some frost bite on his flesh on his face from sticking his head in the water buckets but it healed fine. I wouldn't use a floating water heater if it isn't safe to use with water fowl.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I would like to offer that my experience is a little different than Miss Lydia's - so it is in the category of, it depends.

    My runners weigh 3 to 5 pounds each. They do not cuddle together to get warm, and if they are below 40˚F they start showing signs of distress.

    I keep them in a pen in the walkout basement at night, and if it's going to stay cold during the day, like, below 30 or near freezing but cloudy, I leave them in the night pen with just short times outdoors (I don't have a good setup for letting them in and out right now - once they are out, they don't have a way to get back in without human intervention.

    Especially ducks that have been in a warm climate until recently, their down may not be that thick. I would watch closely and make sure they have plenty of good food and water, a place that is sheltered (out of the wind, perhaps a southern-facing space where they can get sun warmth).

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