Duck Feeding Schedule and Watering Questions

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Lydia, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. Lydia

    Lydia In the Brooder

    May 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I'm about to move my -incredibly messy- ducks outside and I wanted to know if I can feed them at scheduled times during the day as opposed to letting them free feed all the time. Half of their food seems to end up in the bottom of their milk jug waterer and they make a gigantic wasteful mess. Not to mention, they'll be out in the yard all day eating whatever is out there for them to eat.

    When I put them into their little duck barn at night, do they need to have access to water all night long? Just to keep the mess down I'm only going to feed them outside, but I'm not sure how to handle night time water consumption.

    What are you duck owners using for a waterer once the ducks are outside? I feel like they've grown out of the milk jug waterer and it's getting pretty disgusting anyhow but I don't know if a regular 2 gallon waterer will work. They also have access to a kiddie pool.

    Any guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciated!
  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    I can't think of any reason why you couldn't feed them on a schedule, it doesn't sound like a bad idea to me. I've seen several people on this forum who do not let their ducks have food and water at night because of the mess they make.
  3. My birds (ducks and chickens) don't get water or food in the coop at night. Mainly to keep other critters away. I have my chicken water and feeder under my rosemary bush so they can eat in the shade. The ducks have a big bowl I got from the feed store for water and a double pet dish I fill up with food 2 x's a day. The rest of the day they can eat weeds and bugs.

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
  4. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits...

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    well ,..what i have found that works for me so far is...i have 2 ducks..and they are in a long , low rabbit hutch at night, they have a nesting/sleeping area..the walls are all enclosed for draft protection..the floor is wire, but, i put a rabbit dropping tray in there((for easy removal and cleaning, and so they are not sleeping on wire)), and i put straw in there,...the other part of the hutch is wire..floor and sides....and i keep the food and water in that part of the hutch..(so the sleeping area dosent get all dirty with food and water, 'cause they are piggys!!!)....there is a little opening from the nesting area, that they can walk through to get to the food and water at night........and during the day...i have them in my yard..with a kiddie pool ...i give them veggies in the pool and yard during the day to munch on...and put the food in the hutch at night(to get them to go in at night)...i change the straw like every other day...and just hose down the wire section where the food and water far its been working.[​IMG]..good luck!..i love my ducks..they have awesome personalities..but they are messy!!!...and the wire under the food and water work well for me...[​IMG], Wendy
  5. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    [​IMG] My 6 little babies just moved into their own shed.

    I do give them food and water at night, in fact I fill up their dishes at bedtime.
    I use a roasting pan for water, so they CAN hop in if they feel like it.

    My ducks free-range during the day with the chickens, in our enclosed back yard, the ducklings are only 3 weeks old, but get along just fine. My only issue was the chickens figuring out where the ducks food is! [​IMG]
    Well the ducks found the chickens food today [​IMG] AND their water [​IMG]

    SO far so good, I do go out and check on food, and I will fill up a little dish or three so the ducks can have some during the day if they don't go to their shed and if the chickens havent' eaten all their food! [​IMG]
  6. moenmitz

    moenmitz Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    My ducks and geese free range all day. Towards evening, I break out the feed, and they all come running into their pen. I give them the amount of feed that they can consume in about an hour, with water of course-then when that is gone, they go to bed. Makes it easy to get them in at night, and they never appear ravenous by morning. They are fat and healthy looking, so I think it must be ok!
  7. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    You can feed on a schedule, but you have to make sure you can commit to it. Ducks are routine oriented and hate for their routine to be upset.
    If you feed them at night, they do need water as they wash their feed down those long throats, unlike chickens who have the feed in the crop until it is ground up and digested. That is why there is feed residue in the waterers. They scoop up some food and go to the water source and scoop some water to wash it down. Less waste will occur with pellets and more with crumble. If you feed them right before locking them down for the night, let them have fresh water and feed for about 20 to 30 minutes and then take it away.
    After they are done eating and washing it down, they will play in the water and make a mess.
  8. Lydia

    Lydia In the Brooder

    May 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for all the information- I bought a 12 lb. feeder for them but I think I'll be taking it back since I don't think it will be the best way to keep their food dry. My husband and I have been hand feeding them to get them used to us. Having your hand nipped by three beaks at once is such a strange sensation but they will eat out of our hands as long as there is food present.

    I've been feeding them in the morning when I let them out of their little barn -around 7am- and then again at 5pm. At 4:45 they are waiting outside the back door for their food just like the dogs do. I let them free range until about 9pm and then put them in their barn for the night. I don't want to give them a huge meal before they go to bed but they don't appear hungry so at this point I'm not worried about it. Right now, they don't have a pen so they are closed in their barn at night and then let out to wander the yard in the morning and swim in their luxurious kiddie pool.

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