How to keep your brooder clean?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by pheasantfreak, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. pheasantfreak

    pheasantfreak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been raising ducks for over a year and am getting another batch of chicks this week and was wondering how you keep their brooders clean? They play in the food and water and just trash their tub they are in so is there anyway to get around the stinky mess they make?
     
  2. pheasantfreak

    pheasantfreak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2011
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    I'm fine with the big ducks doing it just hate cleaning them and the cage everyday. Haha any advice would be great.
     
  3. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It helps to add water to their feed so they don't have to mix it themselves. A mash is easier to scoop and swallow, plus they can choke to death on dry crumble (ducks swallow differently than chicks that need dry food). Then they drink more water and clean their bills in the water so I use their rinse water to make the next batch of food. They will still spatter on each other and on the walls of the plastic tub when they eat due to their swallowing motion but what they don't clean off each other and the walls rinses off easily enough. I take the tubs outside to clean them and water the trees with the fertilizer so it does not go to waste.

    I also use shelf liners that clean up nice so they can be reused for awhile and they give the ducklings good traction to avoid spraddle leg. My tubs have channels in the bottom to collect spilled water so the ducklings can stay high and dry. A dog heating mat under the first stage tub adds heat and evaporates the baby duckling splashes to keep them from getting wet. When they are bigger they go into tubs with plastic mats that have holes in them so the mess goes through while they stay clean and dry on top.

    I don't use anything that absorbs water because wet bedding makes a worse stink than the wet mess it absorbs and it is much harder to clean dirty bedding than to rinse out the tubs and shelf liner (with a quick scrub using antibacterial dish soap). There is also the risk of them eating the bedding when trying to clean up spilled food and that can be fatal. The bedding can also be kicked into the water and make a stink that way. I even use shelf liner for chicks because it is less mess and less waste but I know alot of people use shavings because they have not thought of using shelf liners.

    When you raise ducks you have to embrace the fact that they love water and they bathe themselves frequently, unlike chickens that bathe in dirt. They are very clean birds if you give them bath time. I start with the cheap plastic paint trays with a ramp for tiny ducklings without any oil and then they get buckets and tubs of water before swimming in the bathtub. Their bills have combs that take the water right off as they fluff up their down. Trying to keep them dry is not healthy for them so they need water to drink at all times and to bathe in as often as you will allow them to get wet.

    Avoid absorbant materials in the brooder and you avoid the mess and stink. It is actually that simple, although you do need to clean out the brooder tubs and not let the poop build up for too many days. I give the ducklings a bath, move them to a clean dry tub, and then clean out the messy tub. I raise hundreds of ducklings this way from April to October (I try not to hatch too late in the year so the ducklings will be laying when the flock starts laying again in February).
     
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  5. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I brood my babies in the bath tub. The water mess drains away.

    I have a roll of nonslip drawer liner contact "paper" down. It's not really paper but I don't know what to call it. It's sold as shelf liner/ drawer liner here for kitchen cabinets.

    I put a disposable puppy pad under the food pan, the grit bowl and the treat/new food to try bowl.

    I put a disposable puppy pad over their waterproof puppy bed. The puppy bed is under the larger brinsea brooder

    The water bowl/ dabbling bowl is directly over the drain.

    I've used this method for 3 ducklings and 4 ducklings in a normal sized bath tub. i've never brooded more than 4 ducklings.

    I clean 2x daily but removing the food & water dishes. Take just a few minutes. I can sanitize by removing the ducklings & all the bowls and things when needed.
     
  6. DuckGirl77

    DuckGirl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For a waterer, I use a 4 qt. feed pan with a piece of wood floating in the middle to discourage them from getting in. They still do get in sometimes, but they don't make a huge mess since the wood gets in the way. The brooder is built with enough space under it to fit a concrete mixing pan. The floor of the brooder is hardware cloth to let the splash fall into the pan, but I put newspaper and pine shavings where they sleep. They are three weeks old and this setup works pretty well, except it smells if you don't add shavings often enough. (Well, it always smells, even with shavings, but the shavings make it more bearable.) I use another feed pan for their food. It's near the water so they don't make a big mess going back and forth from the water to the food. The brooder is not clean, but it's nowhere near as bad as the cardboard box brooder was. Here the mess is contained. Just so you know, chick waterers are awful for ducks. I went from using one of those to using what I have now, and this is way better. Less than half the spillage as when there was a chick waterer.
    I agree with lomine, I don't see how you can make a very clean brooder, but this works fine for me. [​IMG]
     
  7. neetabeamie

    neetabeamie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could you take a picture of one of your brooders please? I would love to see it.
     
  8. nickolemarie7

    nickolemarie7 Out Of The Brooder

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    I will also suggest (which has worked for me) to slightly raise one side of the brooder (the side that doesn't have the food and water), it will keep the area they sleep dryer then the area they eat and spill water. The water tends to pool and soak all the bedding when its all level so if one side is raised I found myself cleaning it once a day rather then 3 or 4 times
     
  9. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have tried multiple times to upload pictures to this thread but it will not work for some reason.
     
  10. nickolemarie7

    nickolemarie7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2016

    It could be Internet speeds..mine sometimes won't let me when my Internet speeds get lowered (I live in the country and have satellite internet)
     

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