Best bedding for ducklings?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Kschwartz, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Kschwartz

    Kschwartz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2011
    Alright so I'm all very new to raising ducks and have never done it before! I am getting my 2 mallard ducklings tomorrow! [​IMG]

    Anyways, I was wondering what bedding I should use for them?

    I have heard that ducks like to eat pine shavings, and it can be harmful to their insides. But then I've also heard that they are perfectly fine as long as you keep an eye on them.

    Another alternative would be straw/hay. Again, I've heard both the pros and cons. The ducks don't eat the hay/straw and makes good bedding, but it gets wet quickly where mold can occur and be harmful around the ducks. I have also heard you have to change it a lot more..

    This last option actually came from my Dad who, like me, has never raised ducks before. He suggested sand. It would be easy to clean and pretty cheap, but it gets cold and stays wet. Plus, even though ducks are recommended to eat some small gravel, couldn't they eat too much with all of the sand available?

    I would only really need this bedding for about 3-4 weeks because by then I plan to have moved my ducks to their outdoor pen w/ grass ground (although i guess I still need bedding for their coop).

    So I've pretty much drawn a blank about which to choose.. Let me know which is the best in your guys' opinions! Thanks!
  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Ducklings are really messy, once you keep ducks you'll know why Donald Duck doesn't wear pants!

    They make messes with both ends, they dabble in their water, run back & forth from their food dish to their water dish, dribbling crumbles & water along the way. Then every 2.8 minutes they're squirting out their backsides.

    That's why I keep my ducklings in plastic bins lined with old towels. I'll have 5-6 towels in rotation, changing them once or twice a day. I take the old one out, hang it on the clothesline and hose off the poop, then let it air dry. Then I take the driest one off the line to replace in the bin.

    I also keep the water dish on one end of the bin inside a plastic tray to help contain the spilled water. And raise the other end of the bin an inch or two to also keep the spilled water on the lower side.

    Have fun with your ducklings, they're always delightful!

    Billiegoat6114 likes this.
  3. Keene's coop

    Keene's coop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2010
    neenah, wisconsin
    [​IMG] love the picture. the box says it all
  4. Kschwartz

    Kschwartz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2011
    I'm not even sure if I have any old towels that aren't already used for cleaning up motor oil... thanks though!

    What else could I use?
  5. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Right, I wouldn't use towels stained with motor oil for duck bedding. But you might be able to get some from friends or family, or FreeCycle, or the thrift store. Or even some super-cheap ones from WalMart for around $3 each. At least 2, maybe up to 4, so you have one in the bin while the other is drying on the line. Some folks will run them through their washing machines, but I'd rather not. I have found towels to be the easiest bedding to use with ducklings.
  6. RavenStorm

    RavenStorm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2008
    Southern CA
    I used old t-shirts that I know I'm never going to wear again and are too ratty for the donation pile. I usually do layers though: newspaper or cut up paper feed bags on the very bottom to wick away moisture, a t-shirt to cover the paper, and when they are a little older I put grass on top to keep the poop away from the babies. When we mow the lawn (unfertilized, no chemicals, etc.) I dry the grass if the weather is hot enough to do it quickly. Then I use the dried clippings to line lay boxes or brooders, or I use scraps from the livestock feed-grade timothy grass.
  7. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    I've been using shredded paper on my recent batch. We've been shredding years of household papers, things like old bills and old checks. Trust me, NO ONE is going to go through them and try to put them back together and get an account number after the ducks have been on them for 12 hours.

    I'm only doing this to be "frugal" because I have the stuff. It doesn't seem any more prone to odor development than pine shavings, but it also doesn't absorb nearly as much water. Been changing the bins every 12 hours and topping off in between.

    They're going to an outside brooder this weekend! Yeah!
  8. rebcart1905

    rebcart1905 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 11, 2014
    Princeton, Minnesota
    I read someone posted that they have used sandbox sand in their brooder, thoughts opinions? My ducks are coming like TODAY and I still haven't decided what to use!!!! Im brand new to brooding up ducklings too, I have 10coming in the mail, and a large plastic tote for them to go into---My question, how long until I can move them to our outdoor set up? Heat lamp IS an option out there im just nervous for the big move :)
  9. charlindabob

    charlindabob Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 25, 2009
    central Florida
    Advice from someone who has been there many times before and there now: You will soon find that water dishes and duckling just don't go together well. Your clean dry bedding will be wet in just minutes and then your ducklings will be wet. What a mess!

    How I avoid this: If you have only one clutch, say a dozen or less, I use one cleaned out gallon milk jug (they are stronger than the ones with water, but those will work too) and about two inches up from the bottom I make 2-3 holes about the size of a fifty cent piece but more elongated than round. Put enough water in the bottom to come up to within say a half inch of your holes, put it in a corner of your brooder, introduce the ducklings to the water and guess what, no more mess!
    1 person likes this.

    DUCKOBSESSED Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    I use puppy potty pads. you can get them cheap and they absorb the water well. I clean it 2 a day.

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