Help! Duck Waterers

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Scott, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. Scott

    Scott Ozark Bantams

    Apr 11, 2007
    Southeast Missouri
    I have four 1.5 month old call ducks. I have come to realize that ducks are far messier than chickens, particularly when it comes to the water in their waterers. When they were younger, I noticed that their water was always dirty. The lip of the waterer was small enough that they couldn't get into it, so I couldn't understand why it was so dirty. Eventually, it began to dawn on me that they were rooting around in the dirt/ground under the waterer and then drinking. Therefore all that dirt was being spit back into their waterer. I have no idea why they do this. Am the only one who has ducks that do this?

    When they were younger, I kept them in a brooder attachment next to my chicken house. Now that they are older, I have allowed them into the main chicken house and chicken yard until I get a duck pen/aviary and pond built. In the chicken house I have those hanging galvanized feeder and waterers like the ones pictured below. Once again, they are doing the same thing and making a mess of the waterer. The ground underneath the waterer is always wet and they seem to be digging around in the dirt around the waterer and then drinking. Therefore, the water in the galvanized waterer is filthy. Its driving me crazy. I dont know much about duck behavior. Why do they need to dig around in the dirt and then drink?

    Does anyone know of a solution to this problem? Can anyone suggest a different kind of waterer that might prevent the ducks form doing this. The only thing I can come up with is building a wood square covered with hardware wire to place under the waterer. Hopefully this would work. I just don't know.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
  2. Some people construct a frame for the waterer to sit on. You have the waterer sitting on a material the water can drip through, like hardware cloth or a metal rack, into a container below.
     
  3. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:
     
  4. Rosecomb-Ryan

    Rosecomb-Ryan East Indie Crazed

    Apr 12, 2008
    Sacramento CA
    Quote:Yep, all ducks are messy and play in the mud and do what GD said. Just a duck. All of my ducks have somthing like a tub so they can get in and swim. Ducks need to have somthing to swim in IMO.


    Ryan
     
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Yours are not the only ones. In fact, you really shouldn't try to prevent them muddying the water--it is how they clean their bills, and the option would be clogged bills and sick/dead birds.

    You could try having water located away from any source of dirt, but they would just run back and forth to the mud anyway.

    The thing is, it may look gross to you, but they don't care. Sure, they like fresh clean water. But they like muddy water too. They just plain like water.

    A nice kiddie pool for bathing would be greatly appreciated by them. [​IMG]
     
  6. kcardella

    kcardella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2009
    Leslie, AR
    I have just resigned myself to cleaning the waterers at least once a day, or more if I am home.

    I have used the platform with wire, and it helps keep them from digging directly around the waterer, but they will dig somewhere else and come back to the waterer and put their messy bills in it!

    So, I just change the water daily (in their pool also), and have started keeping the water out of their nighttime pen so it doesn't get so messy.
     
  7. Scott

    Scott Ozark Bantams

    Apr 11, 2007
    Southeast Missouri
    When I build their pen/aviary, I think I'm going to cover the bottom with several inches of river rock. Hopefully, this will keep them from digging around in the dirt.
     
  8. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    Colorado
    Quote:That might hurt their feet though, so you should probably make sure they at least have a little area where they can root around. You should see my duck pools, they are like mud pots and I clean and refill them every morning!

    All my ducks love to root around in the mud, far more than they like to swim in the clean water it seems. However, every single morning they are complaining about how muddy the pools are....you just can't win with ducks.

    [​IMG]

    The only birds I have that don't make a mess in the water are the chickens!

    Edited to add: I use buckets for water in the winter and baby pools in the summer. They still try to swim in the buckets and they only only the one gallon variety! Ducks...
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  9. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:That might hurt their feet though, so you should probably make sure they at least have a little area where they can root around. You should see my duck pools, they are like mud pots and I clean and refill them every morning!

    All my ducks love to root around in the mud, far more than they like to swim in the clean water it seems. However, every single morning they are complaining about how muddy the pools are....you just can't win with ducks.

    [​IMG]

    The only birds I have that don't make a mess in the water are the chickens!

    Edited to add: I use buckets for water in the winter and baby pools in the summer. They still try to swim in the buckets and they only only the one gallon variety! Ducks...

    Yes I changed to the smaller buckets. I used to get 6 gallon buckets for free. I came home one day to find a half grown goose had managed to get up to the rim to reach for the water in the bottom and fell in head first!
    She was cold and in shock but a quick warm up soon put her right. As for a big old goose wandering around with a bucket stuck on her butt that is just funny.
     
  10. DiVon80

    DiVon80 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 23, 2009
    Pearl River,Louisiana
    Quote:[​IMG] Thats the ducks for you! My geese are no way near as messy as the ducks. they are like a lil mob that goes around messing up all the water, Pools, buckest, puddles ect...they love water
     

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