messy messy??????????????

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by clucksbc, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. clucksbc

    clucksbc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2011
    Ok...planning ducks in the spring...
    so far designated pen space..of course will be properly protected..
    dog kenel...
    planed to go with a filtered inground pond...and have the pond...and one very cute flower fountain..
    hope to find a relatively quietish good laying breed, as there space is right next to the house
    not to mention..the bedroom window..

    ok question....I hear a lot about ducks being messy...
    with my chickens I do the pine meathod...
    but am wondering how people manage and deal with ducks...??

    ok spray it down...( I am watter conscious..)..
    with the chickens...I when ever I get around to it..I .throw the shavings on the compost...
    but the ducks space ...isn't even completely flat...has some undergrowth...that I wasn't going to remove...

    very interested to know how people deal with this delema..[​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
    Pea gravel is suppose to be beneficial in duck runs. Might be something to look into.
  3. QuartzRidgeRanch

    QuartzRidgeRanch Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 11, 2011
    Georgetown, CA
    We have 7 runner ducks in a 15x30 foot run that includes a hillside, the flat part is about 8x30 feet. We placed DG on one third of the lower part, Sod on a third and the pond takes up a third. They ruined the grass because that is where they lived most of the time. I could keep up with washing the poop off of the grass (2xday) Eventually, I gave up. This spring I plan on replacing the grass with pea gravel. Hopefully that will make it easier to wash it off. The pond I have to drain and clean once a week. We chose not to put a filter in as all our research showed that they will just clog up. They are messy...really messy. You will have to commit to cleaning up their coop at least once a day if you have more than a couple ducks.

    We did put some pretty water plans in it...they ate them all! LOL
    Bought a beautiful coop for them....they sleep on the dirt! LOL

    Live and learn right??

    Here are a few photos of the setup we have.
  4. Tivona

    Tivona Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2011
    I have mine in a dog run with wire over the top to keep things like raccoons out and rock/boards at the outer base to prevent things digging in. It has the nesting boxes in it, feed box, and kiddie pool. The base is about 4 inches of sand and then I put hay over that. I can rake the layer of hay out relatively easily and and almost all of the poop with it. Then just a quick spray deals with the rest. Depending on weather I leave it bare sand sometimes if temperatures are warm and sunny to let it air and dry. If the weather is cold then I add more hay. I have a few stones and an extra thick layer of sand under/around the pool as it tends to wash away when emptying it. The main reason I went with sand is its super low cost and the fact that mixing bits of sand in the compost is beneficial for the garden. Its not perfect but it seems to work for me.
  5. duckdad

    duckdad Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2011
    To understand how messy ducks are....

    What goes IN a duck....comes OUT.

    Fiber, veggies, the way it works in people, does the same thing in a duck. Except ducks are primarily vegetarians.

    Ducks "decorate" where they sit, stand, lay. Someone said in another thread that her duck pooped every 8 minutes....I was concerned that it was constipated.
    Ducklings are "jet-propelled" by poo.

    Besides the Poo issue, a duck can sling food half way across town. Floor, ceiling...they tear things by slinging it around and add water and it ends up everywhere. Then theres the "blowing" and dunking....head dunks and blowing water thru the nose/nostrils...more spray. A duck generates a mess from both ends...[​IMG]

    Whatever you decide to build your pen out of, the only chance of you surviving the poo war will be with a good water hose. Lots of folks use a screen bottom covered with something they can wash down and dispose of weekly, or use gravel & sand that water and poo can be rinsed thru.
    Being somewhat of a poo expert (from having indoor ducks) I can tell you that good poo washes away easily and breaks apart and dissolves with water.
    Outside, No matter what, it has to be washed down. Its going to be a constant battle because you must keep the pen clean otherwise the diseases start from mold and fungi that grow in wet poo enviroments. In the wild, ducks are'nt consolidating poo like they do in a pen so its not an issue, but in a confined space it builds up....rapidly. I get everyone out and spray bleach water around in my pen to prevent anything from growing there and allowing any mold to start.

    I'd bet that 2 adult birds can paint the floor of a 4 X 10 ft pen in ....2 days . Depending on the diet of course. I add chopped up carrots for a little color....[​IMG]

    I have to hose mine off daily, even when its cold. The birds don;t care about the water...they love it,. I just have to get motivated to go get wet when its 30 outside. Again, ducks will poop, squirt, dump, or whatever you wanna call it, right where they are. They will do it while you hold them, sitting on your lap, as they sleep. They poop where they sit, then will lay in it. Fortunately the oiled feathers act like Teflon so its not sticking to them as much as you;d think...actually very little.Thank God...They DO walk all in it and get it on their feet, so beware when you go to pick one may leave little poo foot prints on you. You;ll know.

    Ducks are extremely messy. But IMO...worth all the work. Whenever my youngest has an "accident" on my shirt, she'll look at me as if to say..."oppps"

    See it this way, you'll never have to fertilize that portion of the yard again.
  6. linen53

    linen53 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 26, 2011
    Fremont County, CO
    duckdad, thank you for the belly laugh!! And clucksbc, every word is true.
  7. 70%cocoa

    70%cocoa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2011
    Canberra, Australia
    Yep, all true. Except I reckon that ducks actually generate matter. What comes out HAS TO BE more than went in. They defy the laws of physics.
    1 person likes this.
  8. clucksbc

    clucksbc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2011
    thank you for your wonderful informative responces...!!!

    hummh will look into the pea gravel...

    your set up quartz looks absolutely lovely...and easy to manage...
    I like how you candidly paint the picture...

    tivona...I like your rake hay idea...but am wondering how that works outside...???
    does it get moldy...I love the sand with compost point..

    ducksdad...apreciate your candid camera picture of the situation...very well put...

    not sure I understand the screened bottom...are you speaking all over the pen...?
    or pool..
    my space is about 8 feet by 28ish...havent measured may be bigger...but is like a foresty floor...
    mossy, green...last year had a bunch of ferns that just overgrew in i am sure they will
    totally change the look ...
    my hubby after wreeling him into the idea of very enthused with getting ducks...
    he really loves comming home to chicken tv..and is still probably in the fantasy realm of it...
    but as usuall...guess who's signed up for all the
  9. StevenW.

    StevenW. Lovin' My Quackers!

    Oct 7, 2010
    Central, Illinois
    Hmmm. Mess?? What mess?? LOL I have been saved ever since I started using shavings!
    When I just used straw it would be nasty within 2 days and needed changeing in certain places. (Around the feeder, corners, and around the doors.)
  10. Mike Winters

    Mike Winters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2011
    never leave an open water bowl with a duck they take a bath in it, and get water into places you didn't think were possible for water to reach. ducks evolved in a water environment like penguins so they treat water as a very expendable resource.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011

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