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Best ground cover in duck run? Help with messy poop!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by felicity1980, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. felicity1980

    felicity1980 New Egg

    Jun 14, 2011
    Hello, we recently adopted 2 Ayelsburys and 2 Cherry Valleys and built them a secure run for when we are not home but the base of it is just concrete and we thought hay would be ok as its great with the ex-bats we keep however after one nights sleep I could not believe the mess! The watery poop just sits there and they sit in it meaning my lovely white duckys look a lovely muddy pooey colour just hours after I clean them out. Has anyone got any ideas on how to solve this problem? We know how good diggers foxes can be so thought we were doing the right think with concrete! Also any other tips would be great as we are completely new to this.
  2. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    HM? Cannot help you...but I guess spraying down the concrete everyday would help ?? and maybe placing a small pool inside the closure ...I have a dirt yard for my 6 waterfowl ...hopefully secure ...and I use Straw mostly in the wet months ....BUT if it helps my white ducks still turn muddy ...
  3. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I know quite a few have pea gravel. Although i have no clue how that would work over a concrete pad. I just have grass in my run for now.. i hosed it down a bit yesterday and rake it... seriously considering adding pea gravel but i hate to cover up the grass that they forage on.. [​IMG]

    I am lucky mine don't dirty in there "pool" a small livestock rubber tub.. it does get dirty from mud and food though so it's dumped and cleaned daily.
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Some people have success with rubber livestock loafing mats - they clean up with a hosing and can be changed out. You might have to regularly pull them out to clean under them, though.

    Concrete can abrade duck feet, and in that environment, the ducks are at a higher risk of bumblefoot, an infection that begins as a bump on the foot but can become systemic and fatal. Early treatment twice a day with triple antibiotic works for us - no drama other than holding the duck for a minute.

    I wonder if you could put planters just inside the perimeter of the fenced area on top of the concrete for some vegetation and a place to noodle the soil.

    For a quick fix, if it were me, I'd try putting a combination of sawdust, straw, dry oak leaves, a sprinkling of peat moss, and maybe a little coir (some caution about salinity, so consider that) all about three or four inches thick on top of the concrete while I looked for a more long term solution. It will protect the ducks' feet, absorb odors and moisture, and give the ducks something to noodle with. The nice thing about this approach is that you would just periodically scrape the material off the concrete once it reached saturation, then add it to a compost pile to supercharge the compost. Or you could just layer it in a future garden bed and let it compost in place. That material is wonderful for plants!

    If the concrete is flat, that's going to make drainage nonexistent or at least very slow, so I would really lean toward having something high carbon and absorbent on the surface.

    Keep us posted!
  5. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2009
    Goshen, OH
    Pea gravel is to ducks what sand is to chickens. Get some pea gravel!

    I was so sick and tired of the mud pit and filthy ducks and the smell. The gross baby pool, the yucky waterer. Icky ducks! 2 tons of pea gravel covered their 10x10 run 4-5 inches deep. Was $100 delivered. WAY cheaper if you can pick it up yourself. Same price about as buying it in bags from Lowes or somewhere. I placed a non-biodegradable flower bed liner on the bottom, something you won't have to do on concrete. You would only need a skirt of treated all weather wood around to hold the gravel in.

    Let them poop on it all day, hose it off in the evening. Fresh and new for the next day. NO MUD! No poo slicks since it sinks into the gravel a bit, specially when they walk on it.

    Anything organic will smell when it gets wet. That goes for mulch, shavings, all of it. Poo + Water + Organics or dirt = stink and grossness.

    You're half way to easy management with the concrete pad.

    The rubber mats can grow mold under them so you need to lift them and clean under them periodically. You can hose them off same as the concrete. But it will still create the "poo slick" since it's a solid surface. Better on the feet though. But the gravel... helps out a lot.

    Where I have their outside food gets crud on it. I can take a kitchen strainer and do that corner and wash out the food debris from the gravel as needed. Keeps bugs down. Doesn't take long at all.

    Too bad they poop in their pool, I bought them a smaller infant sized one so that I don't feel so bad dumping it daily. The big 6ft pool was just too much water.

    At least you're not dealing with mud, that's the worse.
    1 person likes this.
  6. felicity1980

    felicity1980 New Egg

    Jun 14, 2011
    Thanks guys...as soon as I finish work I am off to investigate the Pea Gravel idea! Genius!
  7. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    Quote:I am surprised people would find those worthwhile, i mean don't get me wrong we have them in the stalls for the horses but i cannot imagine needing to lift them.. they are beyond heavy and incredibly awkward to move/carry.
  8. Scottingitup

    Scottingitup Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2010
    Crestview, FL
    Dead on with the pea gravel. My ducks are in a 20 x40 pen filled with gravel and a pond. Bonus as the gravel prevents them from dragging sand/dirt into the pond!
  9. ben is a terror

    ben is a terror Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2011
    I saw those squares that look like puzzle pieces 12x12 at Lowes. They come in bright colors for kids rooms or just plain black they are soft under foot and come apart to clean underneath I was thinking of these in the house and sand in the rest of the run. The squares are a pack of 4 for 20.00 Has anyone used this? I'm trying to deal with mess and smell. Maybe this idea would work for you. Like i said I have not tried this yet
    Any thoughts anyone?
  10. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    Quote:Oh my gosh ....I am in trouble ...I like the idea about Pea gravel .....Just wanted to ask what your opinions were on winter months ...i place straw in the coop but how does the run work out with the gravel during winter months? Always learning something on here ....

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