Cleaning the Brooder

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jyoumans2290, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. jyoumans2290

    jyoumans2290 New Egg

    Jun 23, 2016
    Hello friends

    So I have one blind Pekin Duck who is just about three weeks old and boy does he poop a lot. Right now he is in a large container and will be moving into a large dog crate soon. I was just wondering what everyone uses for the bedding and how often they clean the poop. Right now I have been using liner that goes into drawers (rubber kind) because he has some leg issues and the vet had me use this to strengthen his legs (making lots of improvements). His legs seem to be fine now and was wondering if there are easier ways to clean his brooder? thank you![​IMG]
  2. GraceHomestead

    GraceHomestead Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Jun 21, 2016
    I have a 50gal rubber tub(walmart brand)
    I use Pine shavings! I tried straw but didnt care for it at all!! At the moment I have 5, 22 day old ducklings and they make alot of mess!! Ugh, def have to get used to the smell of duck poo, yukk!!!
    If they are in there most the day I change twice....def started a compost after getting these ducklings!! I made a chicken tractor that they were in most of today so only had to change bedding once.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
  3. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2013
    I think the shelf liner is really the way to go. Using anything absorbant with ducks creates a stink. Without bedding, you can rinse the brooder tub out right onto your plants to water without the need to compost shavings. Chicken poop had to be composted because it needs to age but duck poop can be used straight as liquid fertilizer without composting. We use plastic trays to make a higher floor so the mess goes through the grate floor and channels into the side wells so our ducklings stay high and dry. Our brooder tubs are inside so there is no way I could tolerate the stink of wet shavings in the house.
  4. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2015
    New England USA
    This year I used disposable puppy pads on top of shelf liner to keep them from slipping. I brood inside in my spare bath tub.

    I changed the puppy pads daily or as needed.

    I also used a sweet pdz-type product to eliminate odors while we were at work. I was very happy with this arrangement and my ducklings never tried to eat or shred the puppy pads.

    When i move them out of the brooder they go into a secure pen with pine pellets (the soften into a saw dust type material once they exposed ot moisture/ "gross" from the ducks) and a top layer of corn cob pellets. The corn cob pellets are fantastic at absorbing liquids. I stir it all around

    I haven't tried either in the brooder because I didn't want to put them in my bath tub. You may be able to use the pine pellets/corn cob pellets in a brooder.
  5. gal5150

    gal5150 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2016
    My ducklings did tear up a puppy pad, easily remedied by placing it under the rubber shelving pad! So easy to clean, too! Just took out the rubber shelving, hosed off the poop, and threw away the puppy pad. Rotated two shelf liners and had a super clean, non stinky brooder.
  6. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2013
    Our entire brooder has a grated floor with shelf liner over it so all the mess collects in the channels of the tub (not just spilled water) while the ducklings stay clean and dry.

    Our stage 1 brooder uses a dog heating pad under the tub so it evaporates water spills and dries up messes but at that stage the ducklings are only hatchlings up to a week old so they don't make as much poop mess to clean.

    We just hose the mess outside as fertilizer for the bushes and then wash the tubs in the bathtub with antibacterial dishsoap. While we clean the tubs the ducklings get a bath as well so they love getting to splash and swim (supervised) before drying off in a sanitized tub.

    If you are raising a few ducklings once in a lifetime you can get away with almost anything short term but we hatch ducklings (and chicks) so we raise hundreds of ducklings a year. Most have new homes between 3 days old and two weeks old but we have raised some future breeders inside for 4 weeks before they go out in a safe pen and then join the flock in groups.

    Fortunately ducklings grow and feather in fast so they are off heat pretty quickly. Ours are at room temperature within 4 weeks and then they are ready to go outside where they can enjoy swimming unsupervised as much as they want.

    I have always thought ducks are so much cleaner than chicks but that is because we keep them in an environment that handles the mess well. If only raising chicks was as easy as raising ducklings. Their waste is harder to break down with water and their feather dander makes so much dust. Their brooder is drier but it takes far more scrubbing to clean chicken poop than duck poop and they waste more feed since it is dry while our ducklings get wet feed (the consistency of oatmeal). The ducklings will get food in their water so we use that to wet the next batch of food while the chicks manage to poop in theirs so their waterers need daily scrubbing and refilling (even if they are still mostly full).

    All babies require more care but to me the ducklings are so much easier to keep clean and I enjoy socializing them more. They are so much smarter and friendlier than chickens that I get more attached to them. They grow so fast but I love hatching and raising the babies so much that we do it most of the year. This year has been harder but once I get my surgery and get back on my feet I will be glad to get back to hatching again. Right now we are letting the hens do the hatching and we are not keeping any ducklings to raise.

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