The cold snap this week has our ducks huddling in a smaller and smaller patch of open water on the pond, which has otherwise started to crust over with a layer of ice.
Their open water is near the Log Home, in the shallow end of the pond. Ducks actually do fine in cold weather so long as they have a little open water, which they need for drinking. As temperatures dip below twenty, their feet can get cold, but their unique circulatory system otherwise keeps those webbed feet safe from frostbite.
Fortunately, to warm up, all they need is a little shelter to get them out of the wind. Their bodies give off a lot of heat, and with the efficient insulation of their feathers, they can warm up pretty quickly. Knowing temperatures were supposed to dip this week, we constructed a new shelter for the ducks on the Servants Quarters’ side of the pond, with plenty of bedding inside. This will give them a wind-free area to hunker down up while still giving them a good wide-open view (which they like so they can be on the alert for potential predators—or for me or Frank when we go down to the pond to feed them!).