My baby ducks are so messy! We have a brooder box set up in the garage but I'm worried that it's still to cold so I had them in a box inside. They soaked the box within 24 hours. So, I had the brainy idea of putting them in the garden tub, that we never use. I put the water right on top of the drain, so anything that splashes out will go right down the drain. At the other end of the tub I put down old towels for bedding. I figure this way I can just wash them when soiled. Is it ok that they don't have a natural bedding like shavings or hay?
No pine shavngs or hay...ok?
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I used towels in the brooder. My sillies tried eating shavings….
I would take up the used towels three or more times a day (we had fifteen, then eleven ducklings), shake the poo into the garden (best garden I had ever had that year!), wash, hang dry, and keep a few sets of old towels cycling through. Worked fine.
Do be sure to cover all slick surfaces - ducklings can develop what is called splay legs or splayed legs, and that is a serious problem although it can be fixed when caught early enough.
Not ducklings of course, but I also had a question about bedding. What do you guys prefer? As indoor ducks I keep trying things and none of them work for me. Pine shavings are cheap and soft, but get soaked almost instantly since I put water in their bin at night...maybe I shouldn't but I feel guilty if I don't. They also stick to my carpets like velcro, and no amount of vacuuming will get them up! Towels also get soaked and musty, and after a week I ran myself ragged doing constant loads of laundry each and every night just to keep 'em supplied with bedding. So now I've switched to pine pellets, which don't track all over (a good thing since we're currently holed up in a pet-friendly hotel), but even with just duck poop, the moment it hits a pellet it just dissolves into sawdust, and that's no good, either.
I haven't tried timothy hay, but I hear bad things about it, even though it's what they slept on for the month they had to be boarded at my vet's and they seemed to do just fine. I also saw a corn-based litter at my local pet supply store, so if they ate it it wouldn't be a big deal, but I don't know how it'd handle duck poop and it'd probably get tracked all over my carpet, as well.
So...anyone got ideas?
Any possibility a Wobbles-Bean-sized watering station could help? Ducks only track moisture a few inches from the entrance to the station - so it makes it easier to clean up.
We struggle a bit with the sawdust and shavings thing here, too. My beloved is especially sensitive to finding a shred of shavings in his socks. Hey, we all have our limits!
We do find that something called a Rubba Sweepa that we bought from Flylady (I don't get any commission or benefit from Flylady) works really well getting bits of wood off of carpet. We also have a wood-burning stove, so we track in stuff from that, too (the ducks and I are not the ONLY contributors, is what I'm saying!!!). It has something like silicon, rubbery "fingers" instead of plastic or straw fibers, and those are really good at pulling stuff, including cat hair, out of the carpet. Just a thought.
I also had to brood my ducklings in the tub after they outgrew the plastic bin I bought (biggest one at the store but not big enough for 4 4-week old ducks). I also put the water on the end with the drain but under that I put one of those plastic mats with suction cups on the bottom. This took up about 1/3 of the tub. When cleaning I just rinsed it off right there in the tub. For the rest or the area I used puppy piddle pads. I put towels under the pads for cushion and to keep things from slipping. I put the used pads in kitchen bags with the Febreeze odor blocking. It helped keep the smell to a minimum, though it was still pretty stinky. I cleaned it three times a day. Almost every evening I would take everything out, give it a quick rinse and fill the tub for bath time. The ducks enjoyed it and it made it really easy to clean off some of the poop that had caked onto the sides of the tub. I do wish it hadn't created so much waste but it was really easy to clean up.
I didn't really notice a problem with dirty feet. I don't think it would be that much different from them stepping in the poop whether it is on a towel or a piddle pad. I think it just comes off as they walk around on the pad. Having bath time almost every night probably helped keep them clean, too.
Here is a picture of the set-up. They are almost 4 weeks old here.
And here is a random picture of from a week later. I found it while looking for the other and it is just so cute.
Edited by lomine - 1/21/16 at 2:16pm