Bedding/Litter in a duck coop?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by shelleyb1969, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    This is my first winter with ducks. I only have 2 call ducks, and I've got them in their own little "duck coop" inside an outbuilding that I've converted into one huge chicken enclosure. What is the best bedding/litter I can use for them this winter? Is there ANYTHING that will absorb the watery mess that they make? I don't mind changing the bedding 1-2 times/week...I just can't stand all the cold wetness in their coop.
     
  2. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Just keep their water outside so they can't make a mess of it. [​IMG]
    You could use wood chips like you would for your chickens, but that would be alot of work!! Is the coop floor raised or on the ground? If it is on the ground, I would say just to put some gravel down and some sand on top. Both are good filters, and they wouldn't stay wet for long.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008
  3. giffy

    giffy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does the outbuilding have its own fenced in "run" attached to it? I would leave the water outside, they will be fine without water during the nite.

    There are different types of reinforced rubber pans you can get that when frozen, you can push on the bottom without cracking them. I always keep the water outside, your coop or housing you have for your ducks will remain much cleaner.

    giffy
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    GiffsFarm
     
  4. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    Unfortunately, I won't have any outdoor enclosure for them until spring. My chicken coop is actually a big block outbuilding with a concrete floor that I've put partitions in to make several small coops/runs. I've put a LOT of bedding down, including pine shavings and mulched leaves, on the floor for the chickens...and they are doing super and just loving it. On nice days, the main door is left open so that my chickens that are allowed to free range can come and go as they please. But with winter and lots of snow coming, those days will be few. The ducks are in their own enclosed run inside the building. I'm going to have to suffer with their watery mess this winter, but I was hoping that there was some type of bedding that would be safe and absorb at least some of the wetness.
     
  5. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    You could put some wood chips down with straw over the top of it. The straw wouldn't absorb the water, and the wood chips underneath would.
     
  6. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Roast DUCK !!!!! [​IMG]
     
  7. mothergoose1963

    mothergoose1963 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have never found a way to let them have a dish of water inside without a mess. SO--I keep a bucket they can dip their head into inside--a heated bucket. Outside, they have a heated cattle tank to swim in during the winter months and a big pond in the warmer weather. Unless it is un-Godly cold outside, they dont mind going outside at all. I have heat lamps on inside so they can go warm up if they want to--but usually they play happily outside. I use wood shavings for the bedding and I rake them every other day to keep them from matting down.
    I hope that helps! Amy

    www.fancygeese.com
     
  8. birdnutz

    birdnutz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're going to have a problem containing the watery mess to just the duck coop. It will run under your partitions into the chickens bedding. Been there,done that. Is there any way that the ducks could maybe free range with the chickens during the day? My chickens don't bother my ducks at all. Plus it is a real pain to clean wet frozen litter out of a coop. It will freeze to your concrete floor. How about putting their water over the top of some kind of catching pan? Thats what I do when I'm brooding ducklings. Use a shallow tub and put heavy gauge wire on the top and a ramp if need be.
     
  9. chickensducks&agoose

    chickensducks&agoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    I keep my ducks water-free at night, and they are totally, totally fine without it. They love the fresh water every morning, but I too have the same problem: My litter is frozen and icky, and matted down every morning. I keep layering new litter over old and then shoveling the whole mess into the compost. I use wood chips, but am considering straw on top...
     
  10. moenmitz

    moenmitz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We moved our 2 pekins into the barn for winter and had the same issue the first couple of weeks. Here is what we did. They have a pen, about 8 feet long and three feet wide, which is concrete covered in shavings. I put down one of those rubbermaid under-bed storage boxes on top of the shavings, and I put their waterer on a concrete block inside of the box. Feeder is also in the box. The box is about 2.5 feet long, 18 inches wide and maybe 6 inches deep- just big enough for the food and water, not big enough for the duckies to get in and swim! They can reach over to eat and drink just fine, can slop their food into their water as much as they like, but they cant really make a big wet mess of the bedding. Easy to dump the box every few days when things get mucky in there, rinse it out, and put in fresh.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008

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