how to keep ducklings clean?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by klf73, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    ok, I am obviously a newbie when it comes to ducks. I was placing an order for some chicks as I just can't seem to get shipped polish eggs to hatch and I think my tolbunts are all roos [​IMG] anyway, on to ducks.....I have some in the bator and was getting impatient so I figured I'd toss a few runners in the order. My goodness they are messy [​IMG] I am going to be putting the chicks in another brooder soon but need to know how to keep the ducks clean. They are on shavings right now and they are soaked. I understand why, I get that, just need a way to keep them a bit cleaner while they are in my daughters room (15 yo, she wants them to imprint on her). I think I saw someone with puppy pads? is this the best way for now? thanks for any help [​IMG]

    also, at what age do they like to start swimming? she was going to take them to the tub but not sure when it was ok? there is only 6 of them
  2. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    Swim at any time, just make sure they are dry and put them back under the heat lamp to warm up. Don't let them swim too long the first week or two, but a few quick dips and they'll be happy and you'll be laughing.

    Keeping ducklings clean - that's an oxymoron.
    It's about water control. You can try 3923 different things. What work at week 1 might not work so well at week 2.
    I used puppy pads under the waterer for the first week. Worked great. Week 2, not so much so I put a dish under the water and then a puppy pad. Not so bad.
    There is a post buried in here somewhere using thin bricks, mulch ring, pot base and a waterer that seemed like it would work well.
    Another option I might try if I can get DH more on board with adding 2 more - puppy pad, square cake pan with a little rack over it (small squares - look a cookie cooling rack thing) and then a waterer, so the splashed water can go into the pan, but the cooling rack will keep messy little ducklings out of it. Puppy pad catching some extra water.

    But I think that pot bottom, mulch ring and bricks and waterer would work pretty well.
  3. NewCitySong

    NewCitySong Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 28, 2011
    Quote:Hi! I'm a newbie too. My 3 Pekins are about 2 months old now. Here's my experience.
    The biggest difference between my ducks and the chickens is water (and mess) control.
    I used a box but quickly went to a baby pool filled with wood chips covered with burlap (because they eat the wood chips). I hosed off the burlap each night (had 3, one clean & dry, one under the ducks and one drying).
    I had a dry end of the pool and a wet end, where the water was. When I cleaned I took out the wet chips moved the damp ones down toward the water end and put more dry ones at the dry end (rotating the chips from dry to wet end).
    I used a 3 gallon chick waterer with a garbage can lid underneath to catch the "waterspouts" from their beaks.
    What they were doing was laying by the waterer with their beaks in the water and open & closing their beaks really fast - which makes "waterspouts" around their mouths and all the water was draining out into the bedding in about an hour!
    Unfortunately duck boxes do smell...and ducks grow faster than weeds, so I'm not sure how long your daughter can stand them in her room...ha, ha!
    For my ducks after two weeks I put them in the bath tub in lukewarm water only deep enough to stand...they get tired and can drown. You maybe able to do it sooner but I was cautious. I always made sure they had a spot to stand when they were tired. I'm not sure how long before they had oil in their oil glands and could float because ours have never had really deep water...only about a foot deep (we use a big black plastic cement tub for their pool now). Also it takes them a while to dry off so I left them in the tub with a towel under them until they were good and dry before putting them to bed!
    I hope this helps...and welcome as new duck owners! I love my ducks (Sunshine, Triscuit & Graham)
  4. lovesgliders

    lovesgliders Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2011
    Right now my tactic is cleaning the brooder at least twice a day. LOL They are messy little buggers! (and I only have three)

    Off topic, but hey to another Mainah! [​IMG] What part are you from?
  5. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    Quote:I'm in Windham....may have extra ducklings if all my eggs want more...right? [​IMG]
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Once you keep ducklings you learn the reason why Donald Duck doesn't wear pants! [​IMG]

    When brooding ducklings I use a big plastic bin, a plastic shoe-box lid, several old towels, and a few blocks.

    I line the bottom with one towel, and when it gets dirty I hose it off & hang it to dry on the clothesline. Then replace it with another dried towel from the line. Rinse & repeat, rinse & repeat.

    I put the waterer in the shoe-box lid to contain the splashed-out water. The waterer is on one end of the bin, the blocks raise the other end of the bin an inch or two, to help keep the splashed-out water on that one end.

    As soon as possible I like to put my ducklings under a wire cage out in the grass during the days. I also just give them shallow pans of water for bathing until they're feathered enough for swimming.
  7. gofasterstripe

    gofasterstripe Chillin' With My Peeps

    How old are hey. Cant you put them outside during the day and back to the brooder come evening. Mine have been out since day 4 during the day and they come in at night. Tonight they moeve out of my spare room brooder and into the duck house. They are 5 weeks old just now and getting to heavy to lugg 8 babies in and out of the house 2 times a day
  8. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    I use pine pellets (equine fresh) for litter. To hold their water I cut a hole in the side of a 2 liter pop bottle just big enough for their heads. I fill it up part way and lay it on it's side. The bigger they get, the more I turn to the bottle to make to hole higher up. You could use a milk jug too, it wouldn't roll. When they are little place it so the hole is on the front of the bottle. When they get bigger turn the bottle so the hole is on the top.
  9. lovesgliders

    lovesgliders Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2011
    Quote:I'm in Windham....may have extra ducklings if all my eggs want more...right? [​IMG]

    Uhm... maybe. LOL

    That's not too far from me! I am down on Vinalhaven Island.
  10. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    I'm not sure what type of brooder you have, so this may or may not work for you. I have a lot of open/air/raised brooders, so I place shelf liner in the brooders with the ducks. When they are in there splashing around, drinking water or just doing what ducks do, the water drains out through the liners onto the ground, so there is no mess. I change the liners out as needed. There is limited mess. I can purchase a roll of shelf liner for $1.00 at the Dollar Tree. I have tons of liner.

    I was looking for a pic of the ducks in their brooder but I can't find it right this minute but I did find a pic of my turkeys in a brooder with the liner on the wire floor. You can get an idea of how it's set up. Like I said, this may not work for you if you have a different type of brooder. I was just throwing in my 2 cents worth.

    Shelf Liner

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