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Care for Ducks in Winter

Posted by geiger 7 (My Page) on
Fri, May 5, 06 at 13:06

I've had such wonderful responses to my initial inquiry about my dyed pair of baby ducks, Louise and Ruby. While I have decided I would like to keep them, I never contemplated how I will care for them in winter. I don't intend to have them be house ducks. It's just not possible.

I'm posting here before doing the research hoping someone with experience will post.

Thanks everyone!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Care for Ducks in Winter

geiger,
what exactly do you mean care in the winter.
my ducks love the snow, since they don't have much feeling in their feet, if any, they aren't bothered by swimming in cold water either. I just make sure they have lots of hay or straw for bedding and they will be fine, and keep thier housing dry so they can get dried off adequately.


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RE: Care for Ducks in Winter

Ducks are hardier than most chickens and survive the winter quite well. Laying ducks even produce more eggs than chickens in winter. Their tender feet are susceptible to frostbite and need winter heat in areas with severe cold. I find that my ducks don't like walking in the snow (they prefer staying in the straw) but winters here are very cold. The most important thing is to provide heated water pails and make sure they don't freeze into any water sources. It's also advisable to provide more heat-producing feed like wheat and corn.


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RE: Care for Ducks in Winter

This is good news. I live in Georgia so winters are short for the most part and milder than in the north. Thanks everyone!!


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RE: Care for Ducks in Winter

Here in kentucky, I have a stall set aside for the ducks and chickens. In winter they need more protection from predators, so I had a run in the old place. They like to perch on things, so they really messed up the barn.

I would recommend an enclosure like a dog run and a straw filled doghouse. Feed them inside the enclosure at night and you will not have to herd them in.

We have a big coyote population, so I lost more ducks in winter than in the summer. Unless you count the peeps lost to cats and birds.

The best part of living in the south are the long lingering falls!


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RE: Care for Ducks in Winter

This is my first question and I know I am not posing it in the right spot. (I will figure it out but in the meantime...) I am moving to Saskatchewan, Canada (where it gets to be up to -45C / -49F in the dead winter) I have never seen ducks on any farm out there and I am guessing thats for a reason. We will have chickens and of course a coop with proper heating etc. Will ducks do okay in that life with the chickens? I know NOTHING about ducks and little about farming really. I will learn fast though (single mom). Any and all replies would be kindly appreciated.


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RE: Care for Ducks in Winter

ElleBackInSask.....

I have ducks and I live in Maine. They seem to do fine, and we have gotten down to 15 degrees so far. I have them in my goat barn in a separate stall with plenty of shavings and hay. During the day they come out and forage all day, and they don't really mind swimming in our pond in the cold weather. I have had to break open a spot near the shore so they can swim and take a bath. I have one that is also sitting on about 15 or 20 eggs, they are due to hatch on Thanksgiving day. I am worried a bit about that, but If I have to I will move mother and ducklings into the warm greenhouse where we keep heated at night with a woodstove. I have heard that ducks are pretty tough when it comes to winters. Good luck !


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RE: Care for Ducks in Winter

Ducks do very well with chickens. I have some reservations about the cold tolerance of Pekins, but other breeds survive just fine. Ducks don't fight like chickens do, but that doesn't matter, as they have such thick down that a chicken's peck won't have any effect.
I wouldn't let them out to range in temps below 5F, but in a heated coop, they will do great!


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