Due to a mild winter during 2005-2006, all our ducks survived until spring. And thankfully, there were enough ducks so they could keep a section of the pond ice free by themselves.
This is so important, because without a place to scramble to, they are literally “sitting ducks” for predators. Ducks really are quite hardy when it come to winter cold. We feed them, so they can generate the extra energy to keep warm, but the really do quite well.
The biggest problem for domestic duck survival through the winter are predators. And its mainly because they can’t fly. That’s why it’s so important that domestic ducks have “unfrozen” water to head to.
We recently installed a fountain in the pond for the summer season. The fountain converts into a de-icer for the winter. It works quite well. It keeps a gook 30 foot diameter area of the pond open, no matter how cold it gets. Our ducks now always have “save haven” from predators!