How to keep baby ducks brooder dry??????

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ronshoney, May 22, 2008.

  1. ronshoney

    ronshoney Songster

    Nov 7, 2007
    Algonac, Michigan
    I have 10 almost 3 week and 2 almost 2 week old ducks and was wondering how to set it up to keep it drier...... they are now in a x-lg dog cage and I have to totally empty it 1 to 2 times a day because the shavings are soaked from front to back! I figure there has to be an easier way. I am in the middle of cleaning their cage so I figure I would see if anyone had any ideas.
    Last edited: May 22, 2008
  2. Try nipple type waterers like they use for bunnies. Watch them and dribble a little for them till they get the idea.
  3. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    Ha, if you find a dry way to keep ducklings, you be sure to let me know.
    1 person likes this.
  4. mtnchicks

    mtnchicks In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2007
    The only thing that helped me was to set their water bowl inside a pan (also with shavings) at one end of the brooder. Then most of the water stayed in the pan. I emptied the pan at least twice a day, and the other side stayed fairly dry for them. The trick was finding a container with a low enough lip that they could get over, but would keep the water from spilling out. I ended up using disposable aluminum roasting pans. I could bend one side down a bit so they could get in and out easier, and after cleaning it for a week or two, I could throw it away and use a new one if it was too nasty. But there were still days that the little buggers managed to completely soak the whole brooder. I wouldn't use a nipple waterer because they need to submerge their nostrils occasionally.
    Good luck!
    1 person likes this.
  5. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    Ducks are messy, and they love water. You don't want to use a rabbit water dripper thing, because ducks have to clean their nostrils after eating. They are going to make a big mess, and you are going to have to clean it over and over. It's just the way it is with ducklings and full grown ducks, too. Sorry. [​IMG]
  6. PearlD

    PearlD Songster

    Apr 15, 2007
    Northwest Alabama
    You took the words right out of my mouth, Dangerouschicken! Ducks are crazy messy!!! and it really gets no better as they grow.........the mess just gets bigger......and smellier. [​IMG]

    I tried to outsmart the universe last year with a watering method unknown to any man.......and after about 4 days, my ducks ran up to me with the biggest duck 'boogers' in their nostrils!!!! [​IMG] I sighed, turned around, and filled up the rubbermaid container that was the original waterer! Mess be darned..........Cleanliness is no match for duck 'boogers'.
  7. Frosty

    Frosty Songster

    Mar 30, 2008
    You can give them a water dish, get some fencing (like the 2" x 4" mesh) and have it standing up going around the water dish so they can reach their heads in to get a drink, but it should limit the splashing mess.
  8. Quote:Yes... ducks can be messy in captivity but it doesn't have to be that way if you have a little space to work with.

    The trick to keeping dry with ducks, young or old, is to keep watering, bathing and (as much as possible) bedding as seperate issues.

    For my adults ... bedding is in the coop, their waterer is outside in their yard and their bathing pool is outside in the far corner of the yard out of the sun. The bathing pool gets changed out once or twice per week.

    For brooding restrict the water around the bedding to drinking water. Bathing can be given as needed outside of the brooder. With a larger space, such as a small shed, seperate brooding and water areas work well. Also, feeders that discourage them shovelling with their bills keeps feed mess down.

    Quote:That's a good idea Frosty. Next time I may give that a try too.

    I thought mtnchicks use of the double pan had some good points too for brooding in smaller spaces. The two ideas combined might work really well. Hmmmm.... [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 23, 2008
  9. shy

    shy In the Brooder

    Apr 1, 2008
    What... keep ducks dry? No matter what you do, it will always be wet. Yes all the above tips will help some. A lot of the wetness happens when they eat. They will put feed in their bills then walk to the water to wash it down. Then they dribble water as they walk back to the feed. Great, so put the food right by the water, right? Then all the feed gets wet too. You just have to accept they are little messy buggers. But how can you not love them when they are so cute.
  10. moenmitz

    moenmitz Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Have had my 8 ducklings about 2 weeks now, and have spent most every day trying to find a way to keep their wading pool brooder dry. I THINK, I may be onto something. I have a combination dog feeder/waterer-one side is a round hole for a food dish, the other is an open "pond" type dish that you fill with an upside down pop bottle. For the food, I use a round, covered, galvanized chick feeder-the ducks can reach in just fine, but cant scoop it out. This sits just perfect on top of the "hole" Since I didn't want them to swim in the water bowl, I filled a second two liter bottle with water, poked a hole in the bottom, and set it in the center of the pool. Now they can only access the perimeter of the dish, which is only about 1 1/2" wide, so they cant swim in it. Because most of their emss seemed to be from their running back and forth from food to water dish, putting them in the same container seemes to really cut down on that. The food dish sits up a bit higher than the water, so this really makes a difference in keeping their food from becoming a swamp. BEcause the feeder holds only a small amount, not as much is wasted. It gets them through a day now, and since anythign older would ahve to be thrown away anyway, this way their is hardly any waste. I also put a pizza pan under the waterer side to catch any overflow and slobber. Ideally, some sort of rubber mat with a lip designed to fit the whole unit would be better, but I am still looking. Another method i has some success with is putting their water in one fo the round galvanized, covered chick feeders that hold a jar on top. I used one of the small red plastic water bases instead of the pan that came with it though. Fot perfect, and it kept them from soaking everything quite so much. If I could have made it fit on my combination dish, that would have been ideal, but the size wasn't quite right. Hope this helps.
    Last edited: May 23, 2008

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