How to keep duckling cage dry?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by askjcm2005, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. askjcm2005

    askjcm2005 Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego
    We are having a hard time keeping our duckling cage dry and they have been waking me up the last few nights because they are cold. Any suggestions?

    Right now they are in a 3x3 bird or rodent cage because its the only thing we have right now to keep them safe from the cats. We rescue cats and dogs and dont really have a spare bedroom at the moment to separate the ducklings into. When they no longer fit in the cage I will be moving them up to my moms house (on the same property) its just were rarely up there and she is never home so they wont get as much attention up there then if there were in our house.

    There is 5 little ducklings all under a week old and they are going thru a gallon of water overnight and another gallon during the day and every time I get home there water container is empty!! [​IMG] I know that MOST of that water is going in the bottom tray of the cage and all over the ducklings which is why they are always cold. I know they love water and love to swim but is there any way to not have so much water spilled out everyday? Will they learn to drink from a rat or rodent waterer? LOL We have the food and water on one half with 2 puppy pads underneath it and a few puppy pads on the other side in hopes it absorbs some water they track over and a ton of pine shavings and no matter how much I put I come home to a wet soggy MESS which I dont mind but the babies are freezing even with a 200 watt light bulb they are sitting under and I stick my hand under the bulb, its only 12 inches from the top and it is really warm but I guess not warm enough. I have been taking the puppy pads and shavings out and replacing it every morning and night but at that rate I am going to go thru way to many pads. I have added cardboard to the 3 sides to not allow any drafts but my house is very draft free usually. I put a towel up on the front clipped to keep it warmer and block those draft and still they are freezing!
  2. BlackBrookPoultry

    BlackBrookPoultry Crowing

    Jun 15, 2010
    Western Wisconsin
    Some people set it up so they have to put their heads through the bars to drink and that way they can't get their bodies in the water. I use a small poultry water and put it in a pie plate. Any water that spills out goes on the plate. I've had ducks break a heat lamp by splashing water on it, so be careful.
  3. bt03

    bt03 Songster

    Mar 1, 2011
    Over the rainbow...
    The best solution I was given was to put a pie plate or some other container under their water to catch the splash. I forgot to put it in a few times and boy was i sorry the next morning. Mine only spilled in a certain radius of their water jug so it wasn't to hard to judge what type of container and where best to put the jug inside the container. Good luck with your babies they are such a wonderful mess to have [​IMG]
  4. askjcm2005

    askjcm2005 Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego
    Yeah I was thinking about that but the water jug is a gallon and its as big as the pie tray or bigger. The little quart sized one would fit but they so far have shown me they needed more then a quart which is why I went and bought this gallon waterer in the first place. When you said they broke the light from shaking the water do you mean the bulb shattered? They ruined 1 bulb already from splashing but it didnt shatter just burned out. If it can shatter what do people use to keep them warm and not risk it shattering when they are gone??
  5. The Duck ABC's

    The Duck ABC's Songster

    Feb 5, 2011
    I had more ducks then that and they used less water. My space is twice that much. I use a shipping crate, which you can get for free from moving companies or import companies. I line the crate with plastic sheeting. You need to have it setup in a way that they do not play with the water and only use it for drinking. In general I use quart sized jugs only. They do need something they can immerse their head in to clear their nostrils or they can die. I found that a quart size chick waterer works for me with a deep dish underneath to catch the extra water, and a cookie sheet underneath the whole setup. I refill 3 times per day or as needed. I use pee wee pads covered with old bath towels. The towels need to be changed about 3 times per day. For heat I use a 40-75 watt while light bulb from 2 feet above. Never had a chill issue with that, but my ducks are not wet either.
  6. Lamar Estate

    Lamar Estate Songster

    Mar 3, 2011
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    I only have three 3-week old ducklings using this, so this won't work for everyone.

    I tried using a lidded plastic bowl with a triangular shaped cut on the lid. That worked okay, but they would still drip water all around it.

    Now, I'm using a Microsteamer made by Tupperware. It has a base, removable steamer tray, and a cover (the cover is not needed for the ducklings).

    I put the ducklings food and water bowls inside it. Water spills inside the Microsteamer, which then drains into the bottom of it.

    As you can see from Tupperware's website, this is not cheap ($30). I bought mine at a thrift store for $2. I also have a similar microwave steamer product that I use for my chicks. In case my darling grow out of this, I have cake pans with baking racks (the racks were used for something else--a toaster over maybe) that fit inside the pans. I've also thought about using a broiling pan, but that's smaller than the cake pan.

    I'm a big fan of the base and insert with drainage holes!
  7. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    I use the double decker brooder method. See the link in my signature.
  8. Lamar Estate

    Lamar Estate Songster

    Mar 3, 2011
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Quote:I used Wifezilla's concept for my newborns. It's fantastic. The duckling poo washes right off. When they grew too big for it and I had to move them to something larger, I started to use the Microsteamer.

    Someday I'll make a larger double decker brooder. The largest plastic tubs are over $25 each, which just makes my husband roll his eyes at me.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2011
  9. 2txmedics

    2txmedics Songster

    Jul 5, 2009
    Manvel Texas
    I read in here that ppl put a waterer INSIDE rubber maide container that have holes in it, so that they only stuck there necks into it and drink water....I think it would work real good, of course I read it AFTER, my babies are going on 3 wks and are, mine are out, make there mess and swim in a baby bath tub that has a brick in it so they can stand. They love it.
  10. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    These are some neat ideas! I hope my duck eggs hatch, the love of water is a whole new dynamic that chicken babies don't do.

    I was thinking of using my regular chick waterer into a pie tin? And having the water on the complete opposite side of where the food is. I remember that smell of wet chick grower, and that was 8 years ago.

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