Raising & Housing Ducks
Ducks are pigs! Anyone who has raised or kept ducks knows this. Yet we still keep them! Obviously they are worth it!
Here are a few things I have figured out in the years I have kept them...
1st week- Standard Chick Waterer with Paper Towels over a layer of pine shavings.
2nd week- Start with the milk jug waterer and remove paper towels from shavings. Float a nice green piece of lettuce on the water surface to get them interested.
Make sure the hole is too small for a body to fit through, and is as high as they can comfortably reach. As they grow move the hole to the top.
Then as they are able to easily reach that, move the hole towards the back.
Once they start making a splashy mess you can make a wire platform that sits over an aluminum baking pan. This way the pan can be emptied more often than you change the bedding.
For a trio this is the house I use...
I had been using plastic kiddie pools for the past few years, but all winter it became difficult to keep even a part open with the ice, and they needed to be replaced often. So for the winter I switched to small rubber pans that could be turned over to get out the ice (you can see 2 in the background). My ducks were doing ok, but their feathers got crusty and stained....so I finally got my dream pond!
It is a 5'x1' galvanized tank($140) with a floating de-icer($29). So far even in the cold spell it was clear of ice in the morning, yea! Unfortunatly the shallow ones dont have drain plugs, but it is easy to set up a siphon to empty it out and refil it. I put cinder block steps into and out of it, just like in the kiddie pools since my ducks have shrimpy legs. The only drawback so far is having it near the shed in order to get power means they splash water closer to the pathway, but our soil is sandy so as soon as it warms up the icey mess is gone. I have spread straw around it a few days after a snow, and then it's not so slippery. They really like it!