"Automatic" Waterers, Ducks and Winter


6 Years
Apr 26, 2014
Ok, I don't know if I am doing something wrong, but I took someones idea to use the automatic waterers and take the plastic pan off the bottom, put it in a deeper pan (I used a rubber one from TSC) with some bricks to hold it up off the bottom so that the water was deep enough to dip their bills all the way in. The problem is that the nasty duck water (you know how they apparently are a little racoonish in that they want to wash every bite of food) is seeping back into the water reservoir and that part seems impossible to get clean.

I started just filling the rubber part and tossed the reservoir to the side, but I'm thinking either I'm doing this wrong or there is something that I'm missing if others are doing this. Help?

And with winter coming I am worried about making sure that they have enough thawed water available. What are you all doing? TIA


5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
You might want to put the plastic pan back on and only use the rubber pan to catch the overflow.

If you have access to electricity, you can use a heated water dish to keep water thawed. I don't have access to electricity, so early in the spring, I just poured hot water in twice a day. For the winter, someone on this forum suggested using the rubber pans and having two of them, one to fill and one you can clean out for next time. That's what I'll be trying this winter, as I plan on wintering over my muscovies. When I was younger, my mother just poured hot water in the ducks' pans twice a day and they were fine--I lived where winters were very cold, often below zero. (We did have a female mallard who sat in the water and would get her feet frozen in. I haven't seen it since, but it happened more than once with that particular duck.)

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