Muddy mess in duck pen!


Aug 8, 2020
Hello everyone! So I was wondering if my pen setup for my ducks is okay for them. I have an old dog run with a concrete slab which I use for my 2 ducks. I know the concrete is hard on their legs and feet so I put sod down for them around their pool along with an area with a lot of shavings where they rest, only a small section where the door is has concrete showing. But my concern is that the sod I found out to make a MUDDY mess which I don’t mind at all, they seem to love mud and I clean their pen everyday if not twice a day and refill their pool (I try to clean it a lot because I am super afraid of bumble foot) but I just spray the mud out and off the sod. I was just wondering if the grass always being wet and muddy is bad for them? I needed something there because they dive out of the pool and I wanted a soft landing for them but now I’m wondering if I should move the sod to the other side of the pen where it won’t be a muddy mess.
Ducks and mud just seem to go together. Not sure where you are but I'm assuming somewhere warm if you have mud not frozen ground. My duck pool is put away for the winter now. When it is open, it is on gravel. This has prevented mud and the ducks don't seem to mind as they walk on the gravel lanes anyway. I suggest that you put something around the pool area that drains better. If you don't like gravel, maybe some smooth river rock.
pool surrounds are tricky - some folks swear by gravel/river rocks and others have found it to be a constant source of bumblefoot and other leg issues (especially if the pool isnt sunk into the ground and they're having to hop over the edge to get out, making for a hard landing on the rock) You can try it if you want, just know to keep an eye out for injuries and be prepared to pull it all back out if it doesn't wind up working. That could be a costly experiment.

My concern about all the mud would be less about the dirt aspect and more bacterial/mold issues with a constantly wet space thats full of duck poop. Out in the yard/wild theres lots more space to spread things out and wash away and ground for it to sink into and time for it to dry out before becoming wet again... in a man-made enclosure, especially with a concrete bottom, you've got a lot more waste hanging around not getting washed away/absorbed. I'd keep an eye out for the sod sheets dying/rotting and remove anything if you find weird growth going on. Wet shavings that arent drying out are a concern too.

Do you let them out of the run to free-range a bit or are they penned up 24/7? If you let them out a few times a week, removing the pool from the run and just putting it in the yard for free-range time might be your best solution. Switch their drinking water containers to something they cant physically get inside of and things should dry out considerably.

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