Deep Litter Method for Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by AddictedToQuack, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. AddictedToQuack

    AddictedToQuack Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2013
    Ontario, Canada
    Hey all.

    I am still in the planning stages for the duck house and I am seriously considering the DLM. Obviously if I choose this route I will have to make the house taller to accommodate the layers of material I use. What is the best substrate to do this with? Straw, shavings, a mixture? I assume you would put this on a bare dirt floor to help with the natural composting of the material? Does anyone out there with ducks employ this system and how do you do it? Any drawbacks?

    P.S. The welshies are ordered for pick up in mid April. 4 ducks, 1 drake. Getting excited.

    Thanks,

    Chris.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Chris, I have used a modified deep litter method with shavings. A foot and a half of shavings, fluffed daily, with fresh topping every few days. The poo dries out pretty well and I add a 2 gallon bucket of dry peat moss to the shavings to lower the pH (raise acidity) to help reduce risk of ammonia formation. You could probably use Sweet PDZ instead. Just do the fluffing or adding this stuff when the ducks are outside, it's dusty and you don't want them to get respiratory injuries.
     
  3. AddictedToQuack

    AddictedToQuack Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2013
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    Hey Amiga,

    I'm kind of concerned with using wood shavings as they don't compost all too fast from what I have seen. Does the peat moss cause the dust issue in your duck house? It is dry and and dusty stuff. I can under stand how it would dry out the poop. Could I use pine saw dust from a mill to do the same thing? It is acidic by nature. Do you ever use dry leaves collected in the fall as a beddingl? Would this work? I want to be able to collect the material semi annually (maybe more often) to put on the garden and make good use of it. I'm also interested in the heat output it may create in the winter. Compost and pest management is part of the reason I want ducks.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Shavings don't compost rapidly, and I use them around the edges of annual gardens and as mulch for perennials such as raspberries, blueberries, hazelnuts, etc. The duck poop does speed up their decomposition, though.

    The peat moss is no more dusty than the shavings and less than the PDZ. There is a little moisture that transfers from the duck waste into the shavings and peat moss and keeps dust down.

    I use dry fall leaves as bedding outdoors in the Day Pen. Oak leaves seem to keep odors down in damp spots near the swim pans.

    And if I haven't mentioned this to you before, there is what appears to me to be a 90% give or take drop in slug population since we got the ducks.
     
  5. AddictedToQuack

    AddictedToQuack Out Of The Brooder

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    I just seems like a win win situation raising ducks. I'll admit, I am nervous but I'm sure I'll be fine. I've been researching for about a year but more seriously in the last few months. I like to hit the ground running.

    My hostas will like the slug relief. Wait a minute...... do ducks eat hosta leaves? If they do forget it... I love my hostas. [​IMG] I guess I can figure out a way to make it work. [​IMG]

    Thanks for the help.

    Chris
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    We have hostas and the ducks don't eat them. I do not leave the ducks in with the hostas all day, the hostas are part of a perennial garden that the ducks take a walk through once or twice a day.
     
  7. swarm

    swarm Out Of The Brooder

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    I realize this is an old thread and also I don't have ducks or chickens and am just researching. I recently read about someone who found a way to make deep litter work with ducks though so I thought I would share the link here. It only works if you also have chickens. http://permaculturenews.org/2013/11/13/worm-farm-duck-coop-alaska/
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Thank you, swarm, we are always collecting new information about managing flocks!
     

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