My Best Duckling Brooder Set-up Yet


Overrun with Drakes
12 Years
Jun 8, 2007
Kitsap County, WA
I have tried a few brooder set-ups for ducklings, in my time, but this go-around I had to get it as close to perfect as I could, because I had 12 ducklings to house and could only clean up after them twice a day, most days. When they were a few days old they stayed in my older tuperware brooder, which I still think works well, but once they were big enough to get farther from the heat light, I put them in our old 100 gallon plexiglass aquarium. These aquariums are nearly perfect duckling brooders, IMO. All you really need to do is make sure the top holes are covered, if you have housecats, like I do.

Here is a picture of my set-up, just after I added the ducklings. It hasn't looked this clean since.

This time around, I didn't monkey around. As I have learned from experience, I made sure that the water area was lower than the bedding area, to minimize "bed wetting".
I used sand to "soak up" the excess water near the waterers. I used plastic produce clamshell bottoms as trays (filled with sand) to keep the water as immobile as possible. The clamshells needed to be dumped regularly, and I replaced the sand a few times to keep things cleaner, but overall they helped immensely. Later, when I put a larger waterer in, I ditched the plastic clamshells for a smallish tupperware tub (again filled with sand).


The bedding in the picture is the horse stall pellets that have been mentioned here in other threads. They worked great, IMO. I used them because the ducklings were choking on the super-fine pine shavings, which were all I had access to for pine shavings.

Anyway, I hope this helps someone!

Oh, and just for kicks, this is a photo I took, just after three ducklings hatched together and all went into the "fluff box" together.

Wait a minute . . . aren't all ducklings adorable???

Thanks you all. I was very pleased with the relatively light amount of cleaning I had to do for 12 ducklings, so I thought it would be good to share what I have learned by trial and error.

LOL, I'm not sure yet Terrie, but it looks like we might have 8 drakes to 4 ducks. Either that or we just have 4 very girly ducks, and a couple tomboy ducks.
Thanks for giving me an epiphany! My 6 are a little over 1 week and have already outgrwon the rubbermaid brooder I had for them. I've been trying to figure out what to use next. I never thought of putting our old fish tank to use. Thanks for the stoke of genius!

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