Brooder Bedding and Water Questions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ecse129, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. ecse129

    ecse129 Chirping

    Mar 30, 2011
    What does everyone use in their brooder for bedding? The wood shavings have to be replaced daily on the water side because they get them so wet. I am looking for other options. I have the waterer in a large tupperware lid with paper towels to collect some of the mess but I have already changed the paper towels a few times today. I also thought I read somewhere that some people take the water out of the brooder at night. Any suggestions/ideas/anything? Thanks!

  2. Diamond Wire Farms

    Diamond Wire Farms Songster

    Jan 19, 2011
    Placerville, CA
    This is only my 3rd time brooding ducks, but I am currently using a jumbo dog crate.
    For bedding I rotate a stack of bath towels from goodwill. The have a jumbo dog bowl for a bath tub.
    I have a rubbermaid lid with a handtowel in it under the heat lamp. This way even if the main floor towel gets wet from their bathstravaganzas, the bedding towel stays dry.
    I change the main towel daily and the hand towel every 2-3 days. I have 9 call ducklings in there. This set up should last them another week or so and then they can go in the outdoor brooder with grass floor and heat lamp in night house.

    I still brood my chicks on shavings, but ducks are too messy.
    i would rather do an extra load of laundry than find room for a garbage can full of shavings every week.
  3. Emmalion

    Emmalion Songster

    Mar 2, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    I am actually using my bath tub as a brooder. The side with the drain has the rubber stuff for under carpets near it so the water and food can just go down the drain and the other side is where the towels are and the heat lamp. It has worked great so far. Much easier to have extra towels and liner and just replace as needed.

    On the plus side when you do a clean out just cover the drain and give the duckies a swim. They love it.
  4. bt03

    bt03 Songster

    Mar 1, 2011
    Over the rainbow...
    We use puppy pads. Our first set of ducks (4) went thru about 6-8 pads per day by the time we got them outside. Our second set of ducks go through the same amount it seems (2). They are disposable, come in large packs and are easy to remove. I would have saved a lot of money using the towel idea but DH wouldn't go for putting them in the wash (even thought I do the washing).
  5. donnavee

    donnavee Songster

    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    This is my first time brooding ducks and I couldn't find a suitable bedding either. I put their water up on a screen with a catch bowl under it but things still got soppy. I finally resorted to using old towels which I changed daily. I took the towels outside and hosed off the poop and let them dry in the sun before bringing them in for a proper washing. It was a pain, but not as much of a pain as changing out wet pine shavings. In contrast, my chicks seem quite clean compared to the ducks.

    Here in NC, it's getting pretty warm so I actually moved the ducks outside at 2 weeks - they slept in our greenhouse under a heat lamp at night, but now they are a month old and really big - no heat required.

    Good luck.

  6. Smiles-N-Sunshine

    Smiles-N-Sunshine Songster

    Oct 19, 2008
    Palominas, Arizona
    We've brooded ducklings twice now, and are starting to get the hang of it. [​IMG]

    The first time we tried to brood ducklings the same way as chicks. (I suppose everyone tries that.... ONCE!) [​IMG] Now we still use a Rubbermaid chick brooder with "agricultural quality" towels for the first week, then move them outside to a 5' diameter stock tank brooder with lots of pine shavings.

    The pine shavings by the waterer do get wet, but we just stir wet and dry shavings together with a rake. (Works great in a desert climate, maybe not so great in more humid climates???) The brooder lamp helps dry the bedding out as well, even when the ducklings don't need it for warmth any longer.

    Then about every week we add fresh shavings, kind of like the deep litter method, until about the fifth or sixth week when the ducklings are moved to a 10' x 10' straw bale enclosure with straw on the floor, and the waterer is placed on a screen on top of a tub, to keep the mess to a minimum. ("Minimum" being relative, of course.) [​IMG]

  7. missred871

    missred871 Eggxhausted Momma

    May 5, 2010
    Perry GA
    Quote:I too discovered puppy pads are fantastic. I wont get into how. Just that they work fantastically. I had to figure out a way to get the water to not spill all over but once that was figured out I only go through two a day (though I have one duckling and 3 chickens in that jumbo dog kennel lol)

    I wanted to add I have brooded three sets of ducklings, I found the best thing has been puppy pads, close second is towels, and last place is shavings, sometimes they want to eat them. A lot of times it gets wet disgusting and can get moldy very quickly. Not to mention the stench. EWWW. I would recommend Walmart (I hate that place but it is worth it) they have about a 200 pack of puppy pads for like 21 dollars. Go for it. I think you will find it works and clean up is rather simple and easy.

    To the person using a tub: that sounds like it would be amazing.... I thought of it once..... till I realized I only have one bathroom and being without a tub to shower in for a month would just be a bad idea LMAO [​IMG]
  8. julie75

    julie75 Songster

    With my ducks I did not put any bedding material where their food and water were located. I made a raised platform area that I used for their bedding area. I made the front a little taller so that they would not pull the bedding material out whenever they came out. On the rest of the flooring I used puppy pads that are VERY easy to remove when cleaning. I also used a large plastic lid (off of a 5 gallon bucket) under their waterer which helped contain the water when splashing. I have used this method when brooding 4 to 8 ducks at the time and it has been a life saver.

    Edited to add: As far as bedding material we have used hay, straw and wood shavings with the set up above
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011

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