Can Ducks Die From Heat? How To Protect Them?

Ducks yearn for water bodies, search for them constantly, and can spend hours swimming happily in the water without getting bored. This has made many associates his swimming-loving behavior in the water with the fact that he loves summer and enjoys hot weather.

But this is not true at all, as ducks are very sensitive to heat and cannot adapt to it. Rather, they often search for water bodies to reduce their body temperature.

Therefore, there is no relationship between his presence in the water and his love of hot weather. Ducks’ bodies are designed to function better in the cold than in the heat.

Where you find that ducks swim in the water, although the weather may not be hot, yet they can adapt to the coldness of the water, as their bodies secrete a fatty substance that isolates them from the water and prevents their bodies from becoming saturated with water.

On the other hand, ducks do not have sweat glands, so they cannot function well in high temperatures. Let’s get to know more about the effect of heat on ducks in detail in the coming lines.

Can Ducks Die From Heat?

Three Ducks At The Pond

Yes, Emerging evidence of heat exhaustion in birds has shown that acute exposure to heat leads to increased production of free radicals. It also causes oxidative damage to lipids, DNA, and proteins, which the ducks’ bodies may not be able to cope with, leading to stress and death.

Let’s go further and explain in detail how heat affects ducks in the next paragraph by answering the following question.

Can Ducks Live In Extreme Heat?

The ducks don’t do better in the heat. Ducks prefer cold and can adapt to it, unlike heat. Ducks can grow and thrive in temperatures as low as 20 degrees! They can even thrive in sub-zero temperatures if they receive proper care and are given enough protection from frostbite to protect their limbs.

Ducks cannot handle high temperatures due to the nature of their bodies. Ducks have a high normal body temperature (41°C / 106°F) and do not have sweat glands.

When the temperature rises around the ducks, it tries to reduce their body temperature by panting and increasing their respiration rate to release heat from their bodies.

This process takes longer and requires more energy than the time and energy expended to maintain body heat through sweating. If the heat is not reduced, the ducks will become tired of heat exhaustion and will not be able to adapt much to it.

Increasing the duck’s respiration rate to reduce body temperature also affects the amount of ionized calcium in the body.

And since female ducks producing eggs require a high amount of calcium to be used in the formation of eggshells, exposure of eggs to heat stress leads to an increase in the production of thin-shelled eggs or a decrease in egg production.

How Do You Know If A Duck Is Too Hot?

You must watch for signs of overheating in ducks as it may lead to serious complications. The signs indicating that the duck is suffering from excessive heat include:

  • Panting
  • Keeping their wings away from their bodies
  • Drooping wings
  • Stand or sit with their eyes closed
  • Lie on their side, not moving
  • In clear down health

If all or some of these symptoms appear on your duck, you should quickly take her to a cool place and put her entirely in a basin of cold water. You should provide some water with electrolytes, or if it is not available, you can offer sugar water or plain water to help the duck with its heat exhaustion.

What Is The Perfect Temperature For Ducks?

A good temperature for ducks is 85-90 degrees. If you have ducklings, they may need to be in a warmer environment, especially during the first week, so it would be a good idea to keep them at 90-92 degrees.

Then the temperature should be reduced for the next seven days as the older ducks will prefer to be kept cool. Therefore, ducks must be kept at temperatures around 90 degrees.

Some Tips That Can Help Prevent Heat Stress In Your Ducks

Duck At Water

Cold And Clean Water

Ducks have a great need for water and go to waterers more times throughout the day than chickens. Therefore, clean cold water must be constantly provided to the ducks, especially in summer and hot weather.

Water for ducks is a key factor for all their vital processes. As the production of eggs requires a lot of water because eggs are mostly water. The process of laying eggs also requires water, as it withdraws a lot of fluids that the ducks drink.[1]

It is preferable to place water basins in excess and place them in the shade. If it is hot then you should add ice cubes in the duck water to keep the water cold.

Provide Shade

Ducks Are Sleeping Under The Shade

You should provide a cool, shaded place for the ducks so that your ducks will find a nice, shaded place to go if they feel any heat distress. The ducks will love this cool place and will go there to take a nap and conserve their energy.

Some small trees or shrubs around the duck’s path would be a good natural way to give the ducks a place to nap and relax out of the sun. You can provide shade for the ducks by using a shade screen, a partially covered pen, or by using an elevated house that the ducks can sleep under.

The important thing is to provide a shaded place for the ducks, which is of utmost importance, especially in the middle of the day when the sun is shining and the temperature is high.

Serve Moist Food

If the temperature is high, try to focus on providing wet foods that contain a large percentage of water for your ducks. Excellent summer food choices include lettuce, watermelon, cucumbers, blueberries, peas, and strawberries.

You can also freeze these vegetables and fruits and then serve them to the ducks as they will make a healthy natural ice cream that the ducks will enjoy. You can also freeze some mint leaves and put them in duck water, as mint naturally lowers body temperature.

It is not preferable to eat a lot of dry grains, such as cracked corn, oats, and others, on hot days, as they will raise the body temperature.

Swimming Pool

Ducks love to swim in the water, so if there is a swimming pool in their area, they will automatically launch it when they feel the heat, or even without it. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to set up a pool for ducks.

You can use any old plastic baby pool you have or any large container you have available. But keep in mind that you change the water on a daily basis so that the water does not become dirty due to bacteria and dirt, which could lead to food poisoning for ducks.

So you have to get rid of the water at the end of each day and clean the container with white vinegar and rinse it with water well before refilling it with water. It doesn’t take a lot of time from you, but it will make a huge difference in keeping the ducks safe and healthy.

Well Ventilated Shelter

Make sure your duck shelter is well-ventilated and not enclosed so that it retains a high temperature. As the ducks breathe, move, and excrete, the matter will get worse, as all these factors increase the temperature.

If the barn is not well-ventilated, allow your ducks to sleep outside during the night, with the need to secure them from predators.


What Happens If A Duck Gets Too Hot?

Ducks will suffer a lot if the weather is hot around them. They will try to reduce their body temperature by increasing their breathing rate, but this will tire them a lot as it requires high energy to keep panting to lower the temperature. The duck’s condition may get worse if it is not moved to a cool place.

What Temperature Is Bad For Ducks?

Ducks staying in temperatures over 95 to 100 degrees are bad for ducks. Where he cannot stay comfortable and safe in this heat because the average normal body temperature of ducks is higher than that of humans, it is about 107 degrees Fahrenheit.

In addition, ducks do not have sweat glands like humans but rather reduce their body temperature through panting and increasing the rate of breathing, which represents great pressure on the bodies of ducks that cannot continue to be healthy with it much.

Are Ducks Sensitive To Heat?

Yes, ducks are among the most sensitive birds to heat, as the duck’s body is covered with a thick layer of skin and fat, so its body retains heat more.

He also does not have sweat glands through which he can lower his body temperature but only relies on panting and increasing the breathing rate to reduce the heat, and this is what incurs a hard effort.

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Doaa Salah
The shy one (too shy to put her photo) and the only girl in our team! Doaa is a veterinarian who is passionate about writing content. She knows a lot about animals and birds, as she has been studying them for many years now. Her goal? She is researching and learning to convey to you all the knowledge she have and what's new about farming.