How should I keep my ducklings pen clean?

kristenm1975

Songster
11 Years
Jul 23, 2008
831
17
163
Seattle, WA
Here's a picture of their set-up:




There are 5 of them in there with their Silkie mix momma. The tractor is resting on a grassy area. I have covered the sides of the tractor fully with a tarp, to keep the wind out and make sure the ducklings don't get too chilled. There is a heat lamp, but it doesn't shine directly on them because it's positioned above the ramp so that it also shines in on the sleeping area. I may change that so they have a fully warm spot in the run.

After about a week of them playing in their water bowl, which is an extra large dog dish which I refresh several times a day, the run was a mess of compacted soggy duck poo and mud, and a little of their food. I added pine shavings this morning in an attempt to alleviate the stink and mess.

Any other suggestions??
 

Lach Cnoc Farm

Songster
10 Years
Apr 16, 2009
428
0
129
Western Washington
Ducks are WAY messy! i've always kept my babies in a good sized pen, you'rs is probably just too small for 5 of them. i always use pine shavings, i used some free cedar shavings once and it helped SOOOO much with the smell and wetness.

most people will say dont use cedar but my ducks never had a problem with it, it was Shavings, not powdery or anything.

mine have a shallow rubber feeding pan for water so they make a big mess too.
 

Sweetfolly

Songster
10 Years
Apr 17, 2009
2,123
59
191
Kildare, Wisconsin
Can you just move the tractor around the lawn to a slightly different spot each day, so that they don't turn any one single spot into a soggy, compacted mess?

Those babies are absolutely adorable!
 
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redtailross

Songster
10 Years
May 18, 2009
126
4
111
Salcha, Alaska
I have a few duckling and goslings, in an old bath...and have been using shavings but that absorbes so much moisture and smell, so today im going to try wood chips from teh local garden centre...I'll let you knw how I get on, the theory behind this is for drainage... the water shouldjust drain through to the bath, then out of the plug hole, the wood should only absorb an small amount?!

we will see and I will let you know, could be a possibility for you to try too?
 

redtailross

Songster
10 Years
May 18, 2009
126
4
111
Salcha, Alaska
Update on the new substrate.

The wood shavings are working really well, lots of drainage. I just picked up regular bark making sure it was not cedar.

They have grown out of their bath already, after two weeks! So I am going to make them a new brooder, with a mesh floor, and wheels, then wood shavings so I can hose it our and let the waste water drain through to ground. They should dry out pretty quickly.

Now I am trying my wood chips as nesting material for my chickens!

give it a shot, a pretty cheap and long lasting substititue for shavings...ill let you know how the hosing out works...
 

xfilesnumber1fan

Songster
11 Years
Nov 24, 2008
532
3
141
Missouri
My cage has pea gravel and all I have to do is wash the rocks off..The water runs out and is all clean,I tryed shavings,hay nothing worked got to be alot of money and work raking it up amd cleaning it out every day...

 
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xfilesnumber1fan

Songster
11 Years
Nov 24, 2008
532
3
141
Missouri
Quote:Thanks it was easy..Dog kennel, chicken wire with poles welded to the top with a tarp over it..Nothing underground as I have nothing around here that digs..The cage as sunk about an inch or 2 since it is setting on 3 tons of sand that is were the pool I had use to set..I have a drain installed in the pool just like a tub the hose runs out the back and the water drains down hill..I have pet barns in there now for shelter or nests..I have 4 adults taking turns on 1 nest..They are very bonded..
Here is a no so good pic of the cage and one pet barn as of now will get 1 or 2 more for winter..

 

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