Duck people, let's see your winter setup for your ducks!

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by GeneV, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. GeneV

    GeneV Well-Known Member

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    Gonna be my first time keeping ducks in the winter, so I got to get a setup going for them sometime soon. Right now they're in this at night:

    [​IMG]


    I could figure out a way to winterize this weather-wise, but could see this being a pain to deal with over the winter. What do you guys do for winter housing, and also how do they do with a bunch of snow on the ground? Do you let them out all day?
     
  2. Skandi

    Skandi Well-Known Member

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    I don't change much, they live in the barn with a little door to go in and out of, mine don't really care for snow, they'll go out a bit but they prefer to sit on straw, last year I moved them into the stable with no outside access when everything froze, nothing for them to do out there anyway.
     

  3. Alder

    Alder Well-Known Member

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    I don't keep ducks anymore (especially over the winter) because they are a real pain in cold climates (I'm in Minnesota). I see you are in Illinois. You are going to need a building/coop for them, or a section of a barn. They need shelter and dry bedding. But dealing with their water is the worst of it - and nothing ever worked so that they weren't constantly on ice and wet, frozen cold footing, making a huge sloppy, nasty mess that was real unhealthy for them and their feet.

    Remember - they love to play in the water...ANY water, and they can't get up on a roost like chickens.
     
  4. Skandi

    Skandi Well-Known Member

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    ^This.. I had that issue, it was fine when it got cold enough to freeze inside the barn, I just sprinkled a little fresh straw over it each morning so they had somewhere dry and warm to sit. However when it melted it wasn't pleasant, and I have muscovys so I wasn't giving them enough water to swim in over winter either!
     
  5. oldasrocks

    oldasrocks Well-Known Member

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    Anyone want 4 white ducks. I'm not going to winter them. I like in southern Missouri.

    Too lazy to butcher them.
     
  6. GeneV

    GeneV Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys. I got a raised deck, am thinking of moving their enclosure under it and boarding it up on 3 sides with plywood.
     
  7. FCLady

    FCLady Well-Known Member

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    Same as for chickens, 6x12 building. Exceptions being on the floor nesting boxes are small plastic dog houses that come apart - top and bottom - that make two boxes for the ducks. A heated nipple waterer inside and plastic pool outside that usually freezes over. A ramp for ducks/ducklings to go in and out on.
     
  8. GrannyCarol

    GrannyCarol Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a little shed (9' by 10' utility shed) with an attached pen (10' by 11' for 12 ducks) that they use in our cold winters. I can shut the door and let them use a hatch if its really nasty. Generally ducks are fine with shelter from the wind, rain and show. Cold alone doesn't bother them much. As for water, I have a heated 3 gallon bucket on a raised grate. It's small enough that they don't tend to get into it and its 10' from the shed where I feed them. They have straw to cuddle up in. I use a concrete mixing pan (heavy black plastic, seems indestructible!) as a winter bathtub on the nicer days. It's pretty easy to crack ice out of and dump, its not inside the shed or its pen.
     
  9. Skandi

    Skandi Well-Known Member

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    unless you can walk under your deck I wouldn't. It would be a real pain to clean out come the spring.
     
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  10. GrannyCarol

    GrannyCarol Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, wet duck poo can be a stinky mess, you don't want it near your house or under your deck! Unless the deck is high, then you would be able to use a lot of straw and clean it out when needed. And keep your water outside of where they sleep - you don't really want the wet frozen mess near where you have to walk, feed ducks or clean up. If you can find a way to put the water bucket over a grate that helps tons too!
     
  11. Forcast

    Forcast Well-Known Member

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    And stink!
    I have a 4x8 coop for ducks and set up 5 gal water founts with a separate heater base. I raised it off the floor just enough so the didnt make a huge mess. Anyway it kept the water from freezing. I hook up a pocket hose in winter connected to the washer / or sink in my kitchen. That way i didnt have to carry water. Just once a week carry the hose out to the coop deal with water and back inside fast and easy. I made sure my coop was draft free, with vents near roof line. Gave them fresh air. Pop door to run. And a heat lamp hooked up ready to go if needed. Back in 2013 we had supercold end of december in Wva. Maryland. It was nice to have the heat lamps just incase hooked up so all I had to do was throw the switch (extension cord). Make sure if you use heat lamps to chain them on hooks so they cant get knocked down start a fire. For mud i keep hay straw wood chips what ever i have stored to keep dry and unfrozen so it can be used to keep mud covered. I start my winter prep early.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017 at 12:45 PM
  12. 1OldBear

    1OldBear Member

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    Carole Deppe recommends ducks for the Pacific Northwest as egg layers in place of chickens. Given how rainy it is up here that makes sense but I had a duck once and don't ever want to deal with that again. Besides, what do you do with them when you want to travel?
     
  13. Alder

    Alder Well-Known Member

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    A lot of people have to learn by doing. I did.

    Overwintering ducks in a cold climate (freezing weather every day for months on end) is waaaaay more work and trouble than most folks feel they are worth. But carry on, kids. ;)
     
  14. GeneV

    GeneV Well-Known Member

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    They're worth it for me Alder, that's why I'm asking. Great info guys, thank you much! Yeh the deck is raised, 2nd floor above a walkout basement. It was just one idea, would make it easier to deal with them as I would just walk out, mostly covered from elements, put in more straw for deep bedding, or clean it out, whatever. It's tricky with them as I'm forced to feed them in their enclosure at night, it's the only way I could get them in there and protected. So yeh, it gets messy regardless, and yes I'm concerned about the stink under the deck.

    Another idea is to put them in the mini-barn. But it's a ways away and I don't look forward to trudging down there twice a day in crappy weather, but I'll do what I gotta do. The upside to it is that I wouldn't have to build them a separate duck house, just move their enclosure in there, and just do as I do now.

    On a related note, can you guys give me an idea of how they do space-wise in winter when locked up, meaning do they huddle together or spread out? I'm asking because if it's anything other than putting them in the barn out there, I got to build them a duck hut to attach to their enclosure, need to know the size. It will be open to the enclosure so they'll have room to spread out in a secure place. I got 6 ducks currently (with a couple of the boys moving to the freezer soon), but the 2 girls have started laying.
     
  15. Skandi

    Skandi Well-Known Member

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    Mine always huddle, they don't care if it is warm or not, they like to snuggle. I kept 18 locked in a stable last year for 2-3 months, it wasn't perfect but they were ok, it took daily topping up of the straw though, so I wouldn't recomend it, although my duck is laying right now, I'm stealing her eggs as november is way to late to hatch out any here.
     
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