Do ducks need swimming water?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Quails1, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. Yes! They need access to swimming water at all times.

    13 vote(s)
  2. No! They can swim, but it's optional; they don't need to swim in water.

    9 vote(s)
  1. Quails1

    Quails1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2015
    Walnut, CA
    I'm not too sure about this, since I've never had ducks before. Hence the title, do ducks (or any sort of waterfowl) need swimming water?

    To clarify this, waterfowl need water to drink. Yet when it comes to swimming, do they need water to swim in? If so, is it that crucial (do they really need this)? Like, what's the importance of swimming water? Go ahead and answer in the poll and share your experiences!

    Any help is, and will be, greatly appreciated (no offensive comments, please). Thanks in advance!
  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2015
    Yes so very critical.

    They need to wash their eyes and nostrils out with it and they need clean bodies.
  3. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2008
    if you have muscovies, they can get by with less of it. but even they need water features of some sort large enough to get their whole body into, otherwise they cannot bathe themselves to keep clean, and wont be healthy or happy. but more water is better.

    if you dont have any natural water around and dont want to or cannot (because of water rationing or whatever) maintain something like a kiddie pool filled with clean water that you dump and change as needed, then, to put it bluntly, ducks are not for you. waterfowl are built to spend time in and around water.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Ducks love to swim...Do they need too? The answer is no...They do need water deep enough to dunk their heads...A pool is best to keep them clean and oiled...Best answer I can give you...Plus they need water to eat or they will choke...
  5. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    Do they absolutely need swimming water? No. They need water deep enough to submerge their whole heads to clear out their nares and eyes when necessary, but do they need water that they can get into to swim in to be able to survive? No, it's not absolutely necessary for their survival.

    Are they much happier with swimming water? Yes, hands down. They swarm around me every time I change their pool so they can get into the nice clean fresh water (it doesn't stay that way for long). They also play in the hose if I leave it running in the yard, splash in any puddles they can find, and they love the little seasonal wet spot we get in our yard every spring and summer and they are in it constantly after it rains and fills up.

    So yes, they greatly benefit from and are much happier with swimming water, but in terms of if they need it to live, no, they don't. I would highly recommend you provide some for them, however. A plastic kiddie pool isn't that expensive.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  6. Quails1

    Quails1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2015
    Walnut, CA
    They'll still live without swimming water, yet without this, will they still be healthy as they would be in the water?
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I do think it's not exactly all or nothing, for many of the reasons above.

    They need to wash their heads frequently, swimming - even in a small swim pan or pool - is very good for their health. In winter, sometimes my ducks don't get to swim every day because the water freezes, but they always have a large pot of water they can wash up in.
  8. Lilki

    Lilki Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2016
    Ducks will be much, much, much, much happier with swimming water. A kiddie pool is adequate. But This is from Metzger:

    Do ducks and geese have to have swimming water?
    No. The birds love it but you are making some headaches for yourself by providing swimming water. The biggest problem is what to do with the water after they have muddied and defecated in it so it becomes dirty. If you do provide swimming water, they don't have to have it every day. Limit it to a few times a week.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Swimming water also helps to keep external parasites off of water fowl.
  10. HannahDuckLover

    HannahDuckLover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2015
    By the jungle
    Fertility rates are much higher when ducks have access to water. Many breeds, I have read, find it hard to mate on land. I also have read that eggs and meat taste better when ducks have access to swimming water, but that's probably an indirect benefit. Water, of course, keeps them cleaner.

    And happiness is conducive to good health. Ducks who are not happy and clean are also likely not as healthy.

    So it's not absolutely necessary, but there's little reason not to let them have some water to swim in. (As far as where to dump the dirty water, I use it on our garden, but the grass won't mind extra fertilizer either.)

    What IS necessary is that they have enough water to wash their FACE in. And if they can wash their face, they can often throw some of the water back onto their body, which gives them a semi-bath.

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