duck must haves

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by All-American-Chick, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. All-American-Chick

    All-American-Chick Songster

    Aug 3, 2010
    My Coop
    I have a order in at Holderread waterfowl preservation and the ducks are do to ship out in october.very long wait but i have time to be fully prepared for them.

    so i have a shelter, enclosed pen with cover,we have a lot of hawks out here.
    an automatic waterer.

    what type of feeder do you all recommend? [​IMG]im guessing they need something different then the chickens since their beak is larger then the chickens and it may be hard for them to eat out of the chicken feeders,but i may be wrong.

    Ill be getting a small pool for them to use on occasion.

    Any other must haves?
    meds,wormers things like that
    saw the alushield for cuts on a thread-sound good to have on hand

    thank you for your ideas from a soon to be newbie duck owner

  2. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Songster

    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    I have a 40lb hanging feeder and this works well for them. The smaller ones were harder to get their beaks into. I also tried a large rubber bowl (horse ground feeder type) but they threw feed all over the place.

    My ducks are in their pool everyday. Well, not now since it's frozen. But they take their baths in the large water buckets! They are most happy when they have water to play in.
  3. kimb

    kimb Songster

    Nov 30, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I use a small rubber ground feeder for food (for the muscovies, calls & chickens). They only get full bowls at night when they come in to the coop so they don't make a mess. I only feed them what they will consume until the following pm feeding so change the amount I feed based on what is left over from the night before - so there's minimal mess & waste.

    I would get rid of the auto waterer. they're going to play in it ALL DAY LONG. that will make for a lot of water - everywhere - all day long. During the summer - I provide many different tubs & buckets for them to swim in and change it at least once a day (work days it's hard for me to do much extra for them).

    They get locked in at night - and while I feed them I also replenish water for their bathing outside for the following day (summer time).

    During the winter - I have a heated 9 qt bucket that I place inside a large rubber ground feeder that way it collects most of the water that they splash out of.

    You'll figure what works and what doesn't for your little quackers :) ENJOY - how exciting to know they're on their way :)
  4. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I use rubber livestock bowls for my ducks feed..( i only own Muscovy here) i actually use them for my water to ..they are durable.

    I would say have a lot of buckets.. i haul feed in them, haul eggs.. bring water.. i could on and on lol I have a stall fork to clean out my duck barn, mine is bedded with shavings and straw.. (floor is wood w/rubber stall mats laid down)

    That is all i have here that is duck related.. i do have wonder dust for injuries but really that is for the horses works for ducks to though.. but thankfully, other than in our early(ie; knew freakin' nothing) days i haven't had the need to use it.

    Honestly, you'll figure it out as you go.. i know we did, what worked, what didn't, what is best for our birds etc... time and actual real life experience answers what you need pretty good [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
  5. duckdad

    duckdad Chirping

    Dec 4, 2011
    Keep drinking water separate from fun/bath water. They will manage to make a mess of both, but try to keep clean water for drinking. It has to be changed often..

    I use a plastic tub that I place 2 smaller plastic containers inside for food and water. They take a bite of food then a drink. They MUST have water to swallow their feed. Then they MUST be able to dunk their heads in the water to blow out thru their nostrils to clean anything out of the vents in the beak.

    So feeding gets messy. My 2 big ducks act retarded when food is present....instead of one getting on each side of the tub, they will stand next to each other while one drinks the other eats and they trade places for 10 minutes while eating.... I often get aggrevated watching this and pick one up thats still chewing...never misses a beat, and place him/her on the other side of the tub so there is a spot open for everybody to get both food and water at the same time...I had no idea they were special ed ducks until I watched the feeding behavior.

    The idea about "double bagging" the feed & water in a larger container with higher walls is to keep the mess isolated to the tub and not all over the pen. Mold can be deadly, so you want to keep things as dry as possible despite the ducks urge to wet everything in sight.

    Pine shavings seems to work for many folks to help with oders.

    Paint on the walls... I dunno about that. They will eat it. Duck poo hoses off easily if done daily. If you allow it to dry its more difficult. I clean my small pen everyday. If I have to skip a day its twice as difficult. Once a week I wash everything down with bleach water to kill mold and bacteria. You can mix up bleach and water in a cheap bug sprayer and spray the walls and house down, let it sit for 10 minutes and rinse off. This helps kill unwanted germs and oders.

    I'd make a door that YOU can operate and lock them in at night. They LOVE to sneak out. Like teenage boys climbing out their bedroom window at 11pm. If you leave them an opening, they WILL use it. Making a slider is easy. Cut the hole, make the door out of 1x6 and then nail two 1x4 horizontal rails on the outside that the door can slide back and forth in. Put a handle on it and you;re good to go.

    I like pens/houses that are elevated so they can be easily hosed out. The water hose, or a fire hose is your best friend with have to use it daily and need to develope a system thats effecient and effective. If you elevate, a wire mesh floor covered with shavings or straw works. Have the floor supported by slats or a frame just so the mesh can be hosed off and the poo mountains can be wahsed thru the floor. A rock/sand base under the house allows the poo water to be absorbed into the ground without the area turning to muck.

    If your order is not until Oct, 2012, you have lots of time to study ideas and collect info and develope a plan.
    Whatever you do, know that ducks are a LOT of work, but they are worth every bit of the effort that you will put into their habitat.

    There are few things in life that are more entertaining or cute than ducklings...
  6. All-American-Chick

    All-American-Chick Songster

    Aug 3, 2010
    My Coop
    thank you all for things to ponder on.
    mine will be outside on the ground,is this a problem,looks like many use bedding.ill be using straw in the house that will be closed every night and ill open it at day break(roosters make sure of that)

    I think i understand the work for these little cuties but wont have a full understanding until i get there i suppose.

    i agree if they play in their water bowl all day it will be a soak zone for sure.they will be happy little wet ducks.
    ill rethink the water situation.

    is there a yearly maintence on them for worming?

    we have had chickens for 3 years now and that is all i know.i plan on having these as my friends,spend time with them and trully enjoy them.
    im a bit of a chicken junkie but told hubby ill sell x amount of chickens if i can have these little black ducks.
    so we will be getting the black east indies.i saw them at a show and since then have not been able to get them out of my sooo in love.[​IMG][​IMG]

    keep the idea coming.i read much on the different thread on housing and needs but feel like i just dont know enough
    like someone said it a learning on the jod type of thing
  7. Smiles-N-Sunshine

    Smiles-N-Sunshine Songster

    Oct 19, 2008
    Palominas, Arizona
    We use an 18 gallon rubbery livestock tub for the ducks' water. They use it for washing and drinking, so I change it about every other day. (We're in a desert climate, so it's a balance between the ducks' desires and our need to save water.)

    No duck coop here. They prefer to spend their evenings under bushes or the rabbits' cages. (Notice I didn't say "sleep" LOL) Our home site is fenced with 8' chain link to keep coyotes out.

    I haven't heard of an annual worming required for ducks.

  8. jdywntr

    jdywntr Songster

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    After seeing the title "duck must haves" my reply is:

    Welsh Harlequins
    Umm, what else?????

    Oh you meant supplies. I did not read your post. [​IMG] You have gotten good advice.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England

    There´s a sticky on medical supplies for ducks - I recommend taking a look at that.

    Water management seems to be a biggie - it often takes people by surprise, that it can be such a challenge.

    It was much more work keeping the brooder relatively dry than keeping the duck house in good shape. Much of that was learning curve.

    Here is what I have for the basement-winter pen:


    For spring, summer and fall they have a porch attached to their house and the water and feed are kept on the porch. I really like them having a large bowl - large enough for them to climb into - in the summer.

    For feed, now that they´re adults (I have Runners and Buffs) I get plastic containers that were originally used to ship frozen fish. They´re about 18 inches long, 10 inches wide, and 4 inches deep. We have no problems with food splashing since going with these containers. The price is right, and they clean up quite well.

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