ok i'll go straight to the question, how can i pervent them from getting water everywhere? they're inside so they have no kiddie pool, i have the waterer lifted up, thought that'd help but didnt. i know ducks are messy lol any other ideas?
Find a tote or shallow pan, and build a wood frame to fit it, sized to where there is about 5-6 inches of area around the drinker. Then cover the top of the wood frame in hardware cloth. When they splash the water out, it falls into the tote out of reach, preventing it from landing on the bedding. You can also set the drinker into a pan, but with the access they'll have to the splash water, it isn't as effective.
I built this one for outside, it will fit a 1 gallon and feeder, or just a 3 gallon drinker and no food. It's about 8 inches tall, just right for adult ducks. You would want a smaller one for babies.
I lift the frame off the tote, and take it outside and dump it. Dry bedding!
Do your ducks have a way to dunk their faces in something? I had always been told that they needed to be able to have something to submerge basically their whole head into to be able to clean nares and eyes. I use one round dish with a board across it (Hubby cut notches in it so it sits tightly on sides of dish) and that is set into a larger rubber feed tub to catch the water. We found this to work very well, they cannot get into it, but they can dunk their faces. Very little splashes out and makes a mess. Not like before when we just had a water pan, which they bathed in every night. Between the water, food and poop the shed was disgusting every am. Not so much now. Just the poop, but hey, gotta figure that.
Once a week is definitely not enough face washing time. Maybe for bathing (although I believe ducks are happier bathing daily), but I hope you can figure out a way to give them access to more water on a daily basis. They can have problems if eyes and nares are not able to be cleaned daily.
i found a plastic tub thingy in my basement, i washed it out and filled it half way with water, its big enough for them to wash their faces with since my baby pekin decided to stand in it and splash, just hope they dont trail the water everywhere lol