Is it dangerous to let ducks swim in water runoff?

cityfarmer12

Songster
5 Years
Oct 18, 2014
1,231
96
171
Missouri
Hello everyone!

I have a small flock of 5 ducks that are currently penned up near the house in a chicken tractor. This winter, I am working on fencing off the back half of the property (about half an acre) to give the livestock (ducks, chickens, turkeys and hopefully goats) more room to forage. At the back of the property, there is a small creek with a constant water flow. I am not really sure where it comes from (thinking about it, I should find out). It is not smelly, and actually quite clean-looking, considering we live in the middle of a large city. Some trash does end up in it now and then, though for this problem i plan on putting a catchement if I fence off the creek, and collect the trash as needed, so it won't end up around my animals.

So, my question to you lovely people is, would this creek be a danger to my ducks? I don't deny, as someone who lugs buckets of water to the pen, I dream of being able to let them puddle around in the stream and bathe to their little hearts content! They would be so happy to swim in it (some spots are just perfect few feet deep pools for swimming).

If we were in a rural area, my concerns would be much less, but being in the middle of the city, I worry about toxins potentially harming my little friends.

If you think there might be some toxins, does anyone know what exactly might be potentially harmful? I was thinking I might find somewhere to get the water tested, though results would most likely change due to it being a running body of water. Anyone know where I might go to get water tested?

Any thoughts or experience appreciated! Thanks!
 

DuckyDonna

Free Ranging
Aug 26, 2018
3,509
13,128
706
Dallas, Georgia
Maybe you could bring a sample to the county extension office for testing.

Also, go to your city/county government and find out where this creek is coming from. You might be able to go to an online map and see where it begins and ends up. It might be a good thing to know anyway since it's going through your property.

Probably be better to go to the government office for their Platt maps the kind that you research when looking for a property. That should show it and if it's going through factory dumping sites etc. you'd be able to tell.
 

Beaglegal

Songster
Sep 8, 2019
510
1,231
161
Western Washington
Hello everyone!

I have a small flock of 5 ducks that are currently penned up near the house in a chicken tractor. This winter, I am working on fencing off the back half of the property (about half an acre) to give the livestock (ducks, chickens, turkeys and hopefully goats) more room to forage. At the back of the property, there is a small creek with a constant water flow. I am not really sure where it comes from (thinking about it, I should find out). It is not smelly, and actually quite clean-looking, considering we live in the middle of a large city. Some trash does end up in it now and then, though for this problem i plan on putting a catchement if I fence off the creek, and collect the trash as needed, so it won't end up around my animals.

So, my question to you lovely people is, would this creek be a danger to my ducks? I don't deny, as someone who lugs buckets of water to the pen, I dream of being able to let them puddle around in the stream and bathe to their little hearts content! They would be so happy to swim in it (some spots are just perfect few feet deep pools for swimming).

If we were in a rural area, my concerns would be much less, but being in the middle of the city, I worry about toxins potentially harming my little friends.

If you think there might be some toxins, does anyone know what exactly might be potentially harmful? I was thinking I might find somewhere to get the water tested, though results would most likely change due to it being a running body of water. Anyone know where I might go to get water tested?

Any thoughts or experience appreciated! Thanks!
I would bet there are some phosphates from fertilizer run off from people’s yards. We had a similar small creek when I lived in the city that would sometimes get toxic agal bloom in hot weather because of phosphate run off. Testing the water is good but you probably don’t want to send it just once. Someone up stream can illegally dump something and you wouldn’t necessarily know, do you wouldn’t want to rely on one test
 

Beaglegal

Songster
Sep 8, 2019
510
1,231
161
Western Washington
I would bet there are some phosphates from fertilizer run off from people’s yards. We had a similar small creek when I lived in the city that would sometimes get toxic agal bloom in hot weather because of phosphate run off. Testing the water is good but you probably don’t want to send it just once. Someone up stream can illegally dump something and you wouldn’t necessarily know, do you wouldn’t want to rely on one test
Also we had problems with people illegally dumping oil and stuff so even if it doesn’t go through factories, dumping can be an issue
 
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