Best Bedding for Ducks for a Compost Bin?

Whitneyd88

In the Brooder
May 27, 2017
9
7
11
Hello,
This is my first post! In about a month I will be acquiring 6 Welsh Harlequin ducklings. I had chickens years ago but this will be my first experience with ducks. I'm building a 20'lx8'wx8't predator proof enclosure with 2x4's & hardware mesh. They'll have the opportunity to come out and roam the yard when I'm home in the evenings and days off, but I wanted to make sure the run was big enough for them to be comfortable during the day. I'll post pictures when we get started next Sunday. We're also setting up a water reservoir to use dirty duck water to drip irrigate into raised garden beds.
The thing is, I want to be able to use dirty bedding for a compost bin, which after extensive reading I arrived on Straw Pellets. But I'm still not sure what bedding would be best.
If I use pellets, I'll have to make sure that the run/coop has a full roof on it, right? Or is a roof necessary no matter what? I originally planned on having half of it with a roof on it because it's so large, but then got to thinking about the fact that I'm in Georgia, so it's super hot, and we get random torrential downpours. So I'm guessing full roof is best? Maybe even a 1ft splash guard on the bottom?
For those of you that use old bedding in a compost bin (I'm in the city so I can't go stash a pile at the edge of the woods, I have to use a container) which bedding works best and breaks down quickly? I was reading that Straw Pellets are better pH wise for compost than Pine Pellets, and that regular or chopped Straw and Pine Shavings take a long time to break down. Also I was reading about how pellets can be beneficial for odor control. I have to be on top of the odor so I don't upset my neighbors.
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jul 26, 2008
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Hummmmm....

I would think that with your sun and rain, lots of roofing would be best.

Ducks make so much mess....

I would think gravel/ sand that you can hose down daily. And in their house use a very tall lip to hold in bedding, and use the pellets only there.

Make the house AS FAR AWAY FROM THEIR WATER AS POSSIBLE. Or they will miraculously flood the house on a daily basis.
 

Tlmcq

Songster
Mar 17, 2017
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If you use bedding and compost it, I have found corn cob bedding to be best, fastest to break down, and makes for a hotter pile making everything in pile break down quicker. It does not have a pine "fresh" smell...It's more earthy or organic smelling than pine, but absorbs much better than pine or straw.
And if you use sand or gravel do not put in compost bin...They do not break down and cause compacting, thereby not allowing the needed air for your pile to break down. You will just have a big pile of stinky garbage...lol
 
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Whitneyd88

In the Brooder
May 27, 2017
9
7
11
If you use bedding and compost it, I have found corn cob bedding to be best, fastest to break down, and makes for a hotter pile making everything in pile break down quicker. It does not have a pine "fresh" smell...It's more earthy or organic smelling than pine, but absorbs much better than pine or straw.
And if you use sand or gravel do not put in compost bin...They do not break down and cause compacting, thereby not allowing the needed air for your pile to break down. You will just have a big pile of stinky garbage...lol
Do they try to eat the corn cob bedding though?
 

Tlmcq

Songster
Mar 17, 2017
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They will pick at it and might eat tiny pieces, but will not hurt them...It's just heated crushed cobs from feed corn. All fiber not harmful at all. You would not want them to eat a bunch of it due to the fact it has no nutrition and if it filled up on roughage would pose nutritional problems, but is completely safe. I use it with my ducklings and chicks even.
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jul 26, 2008
33,342
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Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
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Bedding that might be eaten I usually do not start using until the chick's or ducklings are 2 weeks old. By that point they know what food is.

If you want to start using bedding earlier, then just sit there and watch them and teach them what to eat and what not to eat.
 

Tlmcq

Songster
Mar 17, 2017
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Pomeroy, OH
They will all mouth it and see if it's something want to eat. And are curious about anything new, no matter what bedding you use.
 

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