Does deep litter method really work for ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by sweeetea, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. sweeetea

    sweeetea Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm thinking of using deep litter for 2 ducks that will live in a secured run, entirely covered in litter on the bottom. My goal is to rarely remove it, and also reuse soiled litter in the garden once composted. Does anyone do this successfully? I know this works for chickens but I hear duck poo is very different. Please share your litter material and experiences.

    I'm new to this and don't have the ducks yet -- just planning their home.

    Thanks
    K
     
  2. mommakurk

    mommakurk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We did 3/4 inch rock then a 3/8 round pea gravel and it works great to just hose the poop down..
     
  3. The Chickeneer

    The Chickeneer ~A Morning's Crow~

    I use the deep litter method in my coop. I have ducks, chickens and guineas living in there. I use straw, and it works for me perfectly. If your housing ducks alone, I suggest you stir up the litter every two days with a pitch fork or rake. Mixing it will keep it from getting to muddy or hard, Because ducks have flat feet, they tend to flatten out the litter, keeping it from being as absorbent as it would be. Since I house the chickens and guineas with the ducks, they scratch all liter up for me and I don't have to do it.
     
  4. Carcajou

    Carcajou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] I use the deep litter method in my duck coop. I start with a 2+" layer of peat moss and top with shavings. I turn it every day (except when frozen solid as it can sometimes be when temps are below 0). When it has an ammonia smell I top it off with more shavings. In winter, I put on fresh shavings every day. I clean out completely and put in fresh bedding 3 times each year, making sure it is about 6 inches deep going into winter as it helps insulate the coop floor. Sometimes I take a bucket full or 2 out to put on a garden when it gets too deep.

    Good luck!
     
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  5. Deester

    Deester Out Of The Brooder

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    For me, I have 3 ducks I've renovated a kids play house with wire secured to windows. I dug the ground down about 6-10 inches and put some crushed stone. Then arranged cinder blocks, dry and sealed with concrete paint for flooring. I got a commercial food service rubber mat with holes in placed it down on the floor. I have a have a plastic bin on one side with hay for them to nest. In the morning I take out the hay and hose any remaining stuff. Everything falls through blocks and this method works great for summer.

    Winter, this is my first with them is different. What I did was modify a skid. Removed on row of cinder blocks, stuck the end of skid in the channel. Modifications to size had to be made so that the house was still able to fit over the skid. The skid now on a angle I put vinyl flooring cut to size over the skid. I started with a combination of wood pellets and chopped hay. I mix it daily when it's not frozen as a previous poster mentioned. I change every week or two when weather permits. This last time a put a layer or natural mulch covered with hay. I add hay as I go and don't start with a large amount 2/3 inches.

    I don't know if you live in a cold weather climate but you also have to think of preventing the water from freezing. I use a ready made electrical bowl in their night pen.

    I have a large fully caged in pen that they spend the day. For there I use the cinder block/light bulb heater with a dish tub on top. They do find their way in the bin thinking it's a pond but that ducks for you.

    Heater


    This site tells you how to do the heater. I also have a pool that has drain and it is so easy. Here's a site to that.
    pool
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHnLeF4L-D4

    Hope this helps as I found it vital to my ducks world.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.

    Denise
    Connecticut
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
  6. sweeetea

    sweeetea Out Of The Brooder

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    Chickeneer and Caracajou have the method I'm going for. Manure is a valuable resource for gardeners that I wouldn't dream of wasting!

    Obviously the litter will need to stay dry so I intend this run/pen to be roofed, but how do I prevent spillage from drinking water getting the litter wet? Place the waterer over a mesh platform? Again, my goal is minimal daily schlepping required. Lazy-man's methods, please!

    (I live in a mild climate so water heater is not necessary.)

    I was thinking of a self-filling waterer like this one, suspended over mesh platform:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Carcajou

    Carcajou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I tried having water inside the coop over a mesh hole in one corner. I actually piped some of my spring overflow into a container in the coop over a mesh covered cutout in the floor with an overflow on the container so the water flowed back into the pond. The water was always fresh but the ducks get everything in the coop wet. Water inside the coop only leads to megamess and constant changing of the bedding. They can go through the night without food or water.
     
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  8. sweeetea

    sweeetea Out Of The Brooder

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    Any thoughts on waterer style when using deep litter method?
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Amiga use's bottom part of large dog crate and puts horse bedding the pellets in there then puts her pot on top, the horse pellets soak up the water that spilled and the high sides on the crate keeps the water from splashing all over. She has a pic on here some where or maybe she'll see this an show her set up. I don't put food and water inside my houses but I do use deep litter.
    Found A's pic. Hope you don't mind Amiga.
    • Amiga
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    I have found my ducks aren't keen on nest boxes, but they like to build their own nests in corners. I have put in some 2'x2' thick plywood panels at right angles to the pen wall and the ducks lay in the corners. Kind of neat.

    I use a watering station made from the bottom of a large plastic dog crate. Love it, love it.

    [​IMG]
    Sawdust pellets in the bottom absorb splash.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Thanks, Miss Lydia, sometimes I miss these threads. Yes, that watering station is a great blessing. This week I am especially grateful for it.
     

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