The hot season is here and is now time to switch off your sweeter heater. Your pet ducks have made it through the cold weather and it is now time to face summer. So, do you know how to keep ducks cold in summer?
Ducks are fluffy and their bodies are covered by a thick coat of feathers. When it gets hot, they will suffer from heat stress unless you step in to help.
So, do you have the means to keep your feathered friends cold this summer? In this article, I am going to share with you some amazing ideas to help your ducks battle hot summer heat.
1 Give them plenty of cold water to drink
Water will help cool down your ducks when it is hot. Ducks are water loving and in a single day they will drink lots of it.
It helps in the digestion of food and keeps the body well hydrated. Make sure your duck waterers are full of clean drinking water during summer.
If you have a large flock of Cayuga hens, make sure there are multiple water troughs so that all the birds can get equal drinking opportunities.
Putting the water in waterers will keep it fresh, clean and free from beddings and other contaminants that ducks throw.
It will be good if you place the waterers under a shade. This will prevent the sun from heating it and making it warm if the birds are living outside or on a large duck run.
2 Reduce the brooder heat
Any extra heat they you provide to your ducklings should be reduced on summer. This is especially important during the day when the sun is very hot.
Switch of that sweeter heater or raise the bulbs a few inches from the ground. Too much heat will bake the birds or lead to dehydration.
When it is too hot for your baby ducks, they will chirp in distress indicating that they are hot. If no action is taken, these little birds can easily die of too much heat.
3 Freeze their feeds
Placing their feeds in the freezer will make them cold enough to cool their bodies. This is a good way to deal with high summer temperatures.
When it is hot out there, toss these cold treats to your birds. When frozen the feeds are nourishing and more appetizing under the summer heat.
Avoid foods and treats cracked corn and scratch that will generate some extra heat when digested. When such foods are fed they will worsen the situation by adding more heat.
4 Plenty of shaded areas
Shade is a cheap method to keep ducks cold in summer. Let these birds shelter against direct sun under trees or under raised chicken coops.
This will keep them away from direct sun which makes them hot and uncomfortable. Remember that these birds do not sweat to release extra heat.
Therefore, they will rely on shelter to battle heat.
5 Ventilate the pens
Ventilations are a good way to allow cold air inside your duck pen and hot air out. This balance in air movement will bring a nice cooling effect to your birds.
Enlarge the windows to allow maximum air to get in when hot. You can also add a wire mesh on the door and remove some wood to act as ventilation.
6 Remove the bedding
It is a common thing with us to add a thick layer of bedding material when cold. This helps keep the birds warm because it will release some heat when decomposing.
During summer, too much heat becomes a problem. Therefore, remove the thick layer of bedding to help keep the ducks cold.
Replace chopped straw and pine shavings with sand. San does not decomposer and it will not release any extra warmth.
7 Avoid crowding
We prefer ducks to live together crowded in a small space when cold. Their bodies release heat and help each other keep warm.
When hot, you want the opposite of this. Add the space they are living in to allow maximum circulation of air.
This will help then keep cold and free themselves from the hot summer temperatures. Crowding will not only keep them hot but also make it easy for diseases and parasites to spread.
8 Kiddie pools
Ducks are water loving birds and adept swimmers. They will utilize any water body around them to swim and cool their bodies down. Unlike chickens that dust bath to cool down, ducks prefer to swim.
A kiddie pool or a duck pool with drain will do an amazing job. These birds will enjoy taking a cold bath and cool down when the temperatures are high.
It is fun and enjoyable to watch ducks do dancing courtship moves in the water. The other day I watched Florida ducks mating inside a swamp on a hot day.
9 Dunk them in cold water
Dunking ducks in cold water is a good and a cheap way to keep them cold on a hot summer day. Ducks love water and will enjoy it very much.
Put enough water in a basin and grub your ducks and dunk them one by one. However, be gentle when doing this to avoid harming them.
Do not use ice cold water just because you want to keep your birds cold and it is good to first ask yourself how cold ducks can tolerate. This might pose a health risk especially for the baby ducks.
10 Mist them
This is where you use sprinklers or water bottles to pour cold water to your ducks. This method is cheap but it works really well.
Just like when dunking them, avoid ice cold water. Use clean water to avoid dirt which may make your girls sick.
The hot summer heat can pose a health threat when raising ducks. However, be innovative and do not let your birds suffer under heat.
Avoid using methods that will add more heat instead of keeping your duck breeds cold. If you live in an area with electricity, a fan will help blow cold air to your ducks.
Keeping a large number of ducks in a small area will make the hot because they will generate body heat raising the temperatures.