Duck Bedding (Litter)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Bailey1204, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. Bailey1204

    Bailey1204 Chirping

    Aug 25, 2014
    So next spring my family and I are going to be getting some domestic Mallard ducks. we know where to buy stuff and how to take care of them but we can't find any place that sells large quantities of straw or cardboard bedding. We need bedding since we live pretty far north in America and have bad Winters. Can anyone tell me where they get their poultry litter? Thanks a ton for any help you can give me. Also we need to know a good way to keep brooders dry and somewhat clean.
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Some feed stores and even hardware stores sell pine shavings. If you know anyone with horses, you may be able to find out their source for shavings and-or sawdust pellets (I like the latter for soaking up splashed water).
  3. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Crowing

    May 19, 2014
    Georgetown, TX
    I use pine shavings from the feed stores. Right now it's a mix of grass hay too since I snagged some for free, but once that's gone I will use shavings. Straw isn't fun to work with and most horse people don't even use it anymore.
  4. willowbirdks

    willowbirdks Chirping

    Apr 28, 2014
    We can also get pine shavings here at the lumber yard, and they tend to be a little cheaper and a little softer than what is sold at places like TSC.
  5. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack

    Apr 22, 2014
    I use a combination of pine shavings and food grade diatomaceous earth. I put two bales of shavings down originally in an 8x6' plastic shed. It has been 5 months with 13 ducks so far and I have just added the second bale (for a total of 4). That is about 5-1/2 duck-years of poop and I used less bedding than I used to brood the same ducks for 6 weeks. I flip it every day with a pitchfork (2 minutes) and toss any bits of duck-bark that are big enough to lift with the fork out in the yard (duck bark is what we call the pressed sheets of poop and shavings that you will get on the surface.) They break down quickly and don't make any more mess of the yard than the little darlings make of it anyway. [​IMG] The house doesn't stink and there are no insects in the bedding. Flies buzz around it in the day (there is cow pasture behind us), but no maggots. I add about 12 cups of DE each time I add a bale of shavings and maybe 4 cups once or twice in-between if it starts to stink a little. I figure I will use 2 or 3 more bales between now and April when I will clean it out and start again. Look up deep litter method elsewhere in the forum. I did, and will never look back [​IMG]

    As an added benefit, the ducks ingest some of the DE and get it on their feathers overnight and this should help keep them clear of parasites inside and out.

    If you have a hard time finding pure food grade DE locally (I did), I found a 50# bag on Amazon that was just under $50 delivered... I just looked now and it is up to $57, but that still isn't too bad.

    One other possible benefit, the decomposition that takes place may provide some additional heat for those cold winters. And if you start your cycles in the spring, then most of the decomposition will take place in the winter. I don't have any personal experience with this yet, but I am sure Montana can generate enough winter for me to give it a good evaluation this year.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  6. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I use shavings, any feed supply should carry these. I do toss a bit of DE in now and again too i pick clean several times a week and add as per needed. I also have a bit of flax bedding mixed in it too but that is an unusual product so shavings is probably the best go-to.

    Wood pellets for horses are good too, used them as well i prefer them mixed with shavings however.

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