I don't want a poopy mucky pen!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by momma's chickens, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. momma's chickens

    momma's chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2008
    Idaho
    We have 14 ducks right now. The new pen size will be 23 x 50. This is divided into three sections, one for the Welsh Harlequins, one for the Runner Ducks and one for the mixed pen. This is about 75 feet per duck. Is this a big enough size to help with the mud and smell or will it still just be a big mess?
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  2. momma's chickens

    momma's chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2008
    Idaho
    I am still trying to figure out exactly how to divide everybody up. I want to keep the breeds seperate for breeding this spring. Any ideas or advice?
     
  3. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    Shavings really help in my coop. I also HATE the mucky-ness that the ducks seem to love so much. Find a way to put a "drainage area" around your water. They can be SO messy with it and it really cuts back on the muck when you don't have water everywhere.
     
  4. momma's chickens

    momma's chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2008
    Idaho
    So if I put their wading pools up on pallets that would let air get in there and dry. Also the area has alfalfa planted in it right now but was thinking about putting pea gravel under the pallets that would hold the pools. There will be no food or water in their house. I was also thinking pine shavings in there. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  5. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    I am pretty sure chickens are but ducks might also be allergic to Alfalfa. But if its live then I am not sure.

    I just had to put some medium-sized, pebble-type rock at one end of my pen because of the rain and water pooling. it was a mess [​IMG] . A pallet might work well, al long as they can't get stuck in it or anything. You could also dig out a little around the edge of the pool and fill it with gravel to help get the excess water into the ground.

    Pine shavings are AMAZING for wet areas and for ducks. i've tried hay & straw but it just "cakes down" and becomes yucky quick. I also don't keep water in their house because of the mess but i do keep a food dish for the younger chickens to get away from everyone to eat.
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I would also recommend you be careful with the pallets - I think the slats on most pallets I have seen looks like the birds would get their feet hurt, but maybe the slats are so wide that could not happen.

    The pea gravel sounds like a great idea! I have seen it used and recommended in a number of places. It carries water away nicely, if there is some slope.

    As someone who used to help farmers fix bad, mucky situations, I can say that placing the waterers and pools where splashed water can flow away from the waterer & pool & the run is ideal (we don't always have ideal, though [​IMG] ) Sometimes you can grade the soil so it has just a little slope into a grassy area outside their run. That makes a huge difference, and the grass outside the run gets fertilized nicely! [​IMG]
     
  7. Sweetfolly

    Sweetfolly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2009
    Kildare, Wisconsin
    Has anyone tried using a nice, thick layer of pea gravel in their runs? Or would the ducks try to eat it?

    It seems to me that it's round and fine enough not to hurt the duckies feet, and could be easily hosed off and kept clean. [​IMG]
     
  8. L0rraine

    L0rraine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2009
    Whidbey Island
    I was just reading in Holderread's book, that due to the large number of birds they have to manage, they use pea gravel in their pens WITH a layer of sand on top (and some sort of sawdust shavings over that?). It sounds more manageable than the mess my pen seems to be turning into with all of our recent NW rain (in spite of my best efforts). Not sure how expensive or labor intensive it would be, but I'm going to have to explore my options. I have a nice big grassy area for my ducks (and chickens) to free-range in but birds-of-prey are a huge issue for me here and so I have to limit their time when I'm not available to try to keep an eye on things.

    On top of the mess, apparently bumble foot can be more of a problem in a muddy pen. Any and all success stories welcome!

    p.s. to 'Momma's chickens', I currently have seven ducks in a 16' x 45' penned area. Seemed like a generous space, given that they also get to free-range, but they sure do make a mess of things pretty fast in lousy weather. [​IMG]
     
  9. L0rraine

    L0rraine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2009
    Whidbey Island
    Quote:Thanks for the pallet perspective. I've been eye-balling our local nursery's 'free pallet's' offerings, thinking they might work for the pools, guess I'll have to reconsider. Right now, the pools sit in a large adjacent grassy area (which I've strung twine above to deter eagles and hawks). I can empty them and move them around enough that I don't have too much of a problem yet, but I can see the tell-tale ruts from the ducks digging in the wet patches next to the pools and worry that at some point they will get to be a problem. (and YES, my husband was impressed last summer at how GREEN and WEEDLESS the area became compared to the rest of the yard - life was good then [​IMG] )
     
  10. La Mike

    La Mike (Always Slightly Off)

    Nov 20, 2009
    louisiana
    I have mason sand in mine and that seems to work great.
    No standing water and easy enough to rake through and clean.
     

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