Lisa of Fresh Eggs Daily ® is sharing her expert tips with all of you! Your ducks can be happy and healthy this winter, doesn’t she make this look easy?
Ducks are extremely cold-hardy and actually need very little in order to make it through the cold weather just fine. But there are several things you can do to help your ducks stay happier and healthier this winter.
Unlike chickens who are generally comfortable at temperatures 45 degrees and above, ducks are just fine down to temperatures around 20 degrees F. Below that however, they can suffer frostbite on their feet which could lead to amputation or lost limbs. However, there are a couple of things you can do for your ducks to help prevent frostbite and make them comfortable in the freezing cold.
- Before bedtime, high-fat, high-calorie treats such as cracked corn or peanuts help to put on a bit of extra weight for winter and keep the ducks warm overnight digesting it (peanuts are far more nutritious than corn).
- Be sure your duck house is well-ventilated. Ducks emit loads of moisture when they breathe and the moisture can lead to frostbite. Vents should be up high, not at floor level.
- Add a thick layer of straw to the floor of your duck house and use bales of straw for “insulation” along the inner walls if you live in the far North.
- Allow a minimum of two square feet per duck in the house. The smaller the house, the better able the ducks will be to create adequate body heat to keep the air above freezing.
- Ducks don’t need water in their house overnight, they will just play in it and it will end up spoiled and frozen on the floor, leading to wet bedding and a colder duck house.
- Ducks don’t need heat or light in their house. It’s a fire hazard and ducks generally lay pretty well through the winter with no added light.
- Lay down straw in teh run/pen so the ducks can get up off the snow and icy ground. If you notice them hopping tfrom one foot to another, or holding one foot up and only standing on one foot, it’s likely their feet are cold.
- Wooden planks, continue here..…………..
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