view of cityscape

5 Tips How to Keep Ducks Warm in Winter.

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

While ducks hardly get cold and can survive even in terrible weather conditions, you have to make sure they’re comfortable and living healthy.

Depending on where you live, winter can be extremely cold, sometimes too cold for your ducks.

This is why you have to put everything in place so that your ducks can stay warm.

There are several ways to achieve this and I’ll be sharing some with you.

1. Get a winter suitable coop.

How to Keep Ducks Warm in Winter
Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on

During winter, your normal duck coop may not be adequate to shelter your ducks from cold.

You have to make sure their coop is built to specifically keep cold away.

I usually keep my ducks in our barn stalls during winter and this helps a lot.

Keeping them together with other animals in the barn at night can also be very helpful.

2. Use heated waterers.

Use heated bowls and buckets to give your ducks water so that their water won’t freeze.

An heated dog water bowl is a good example of a heated waterer.

That is what I use and it has never disappointed me.

Drinking very cold water can be a danger to their health, that’s why you need to use these waterers.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on the best duck feeders.

3. Use enough straw in the coop.

One of the ways you can keep your ducks warm is to provide extra straw in their coop.

Adding extra layers of straw in their coop gives them warmth and ensures their feet aren’t touching the ground.

One to two additional bales of straw should be enough for your ducks.

I usually add two bales on very cold days.

4. Ensure they have nighttime treats.

Ducks can’t forage in winter because of snow.

Everywhere is cold and covered in snow, so it will be difficult for them to get snails, slugs and bugs to eat.

You have to feed them very well during this period. Increase their food ration.

Also, feed them high energy treats at night.

Give them foods rich in fat and high in calories. Their body works to digest these foods during the night which will keep their body warm. The extra fat they will get also helps in keeping them warm. Treats like warm oatmeal, peanuts and cracked corns work well.

5. Prevent water splashing.

You can keep your ducks warm  during winter by making sure they don’t splash their water around.

It is not a secret that ducks like to mess around with water, splashing it here and there.

When they do this during winter, the water soon freezes because of the weather and their coop becomes very cold.

Frozen water all over their coop is not healthy for them.

Their feet could get frostbitten after extreme exposure to this.

You can prevent this from happening by putting their water bowls inside an old tire (that’s what I do).

You can also put a large space chicken wire or fencing over their water bowls to secure them.

Can ducks freeze to death.

Yes, ducks can freeze to death but it is not a likely occurrence.

Ducks have a lot of features that keep them warm during  winter or when it’s extremely cold.

Their waterproof feathers keeps water and cold away, their down feathers and the layer of fat under it also ensures that they do not get cold.

However, when they are exposed to cold for too long, ducks could become too cold and even freeze to death but I’m sure you wouldn’t be so careless with your ducks. 

Their legs could also get frostbitten if they are exposed to cold for a long time, and this could lead to amputation.

So ensure you employ several ways to keep your ducks warm, it’s not only good for them, it can preserve their lives during winter.

Do ducks need heat lamps in winter?

No, ducks do not need heat lamps in  winter.

Cold does not affect them like you think because they have their feathers to keep them warm.

There are also other ways to keep them warm apart from using heat lamps, which I already explained.

You can only consider heat lamps for baby ducks because they are small, fragile and do not have waterproof feathers to keep them warm yet.

Adult ducks however do not need them.

Another reason you should also avoid heat lamps is because they could start a fire.

Ducks are very active pets.

They are very agile and love to play around knocking things over.

That’s why their coop is always messy with their water splashed around.

Your ducks could knock these lamps over while playing, which is highly probable, and this will result in fire.

Therefore, heat lamps are more dangerous than beneficial.


Depending on where you live, winter can be extremely cold and very bad for your ducks.

While ducks hardly get sick during winter and die from cold, prolong exposure to it can cause terrible harm.

This  is why it is important that you take extra care of your ducks during winter.

It keeps them healthy and you get the best out of them.

Keeping them healthy and warm also ensures that their production of eggs do not reduce and you don’t get sick or dead ducks on your hands.

There are several ways you can do this which I already explained.

Provide extra straw in their coop, change soiled beddings constantly, prevent them from splashing their water around and provide them high energy foods like oatmeal at night.

Your ducks do not need heat lamps to be warm.

They are naturally built to withstand cold. You can only consider heat lamps for baby ducks.

Heat lamps should also be avoided at all costs because they have the potential to cause more harm than good.

Your ducks could knock them over. A fire could start inside your ducks’ coop because of this and cold would then be the least of your worries.

Photo of author

About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


HayFarmGuy - Get Info About Farm Animals in Your Inbox