Pond question


8 Years
Jun 15, 2011
Portland, OR
My 4 Indian runners have a 4 ft kiddie pool in the run. They constantly get it dirty...not from poop or food, but from dirt. They not only swim/bathe in it, they use it to dig in the ground for worms or grubs or whatever. I think what they're doing is they use the water to soften up the ground to search for something yummy. Then when they get something, they hold it in their beak and rinse the dirt off in the pool.

I swear the pool is dirty again within an hour of filling it up. I'm on city water, so I have to pay for what I use. I'd like to get them a bigger pond with a filter pump to reduce refills, but I'm guessing the filter will clog right away and I'd be cleaning it multiple times a day, no thanks. Is there some type of pumping system that could help with keeping their pool/pond clean with all that dirt?

They do the same thing with the five gallon waterer and get the water dirty and use it up quickly, so it needs to be filled everyday...the poor chickens are always having to drink muddy-looking water. I'm going to put a drip water system in to fix that problem!
I also have to pay for water where I live- and will not compromise when it comes to the ducks having clean water each day. I have found other areas to cut back on water usage instead of cutting back for the ducks. I recycle the washing water when washing clothes. The rinse water from one load is used for the next. There is only two of us living here- and most washing is done on the weekend when I have the time to do this. Sometimes a wash will be done during the week, and then its all fresh water. Each wash saves about a duck pool full of water.

I dont water the lawn or garden at all with the hose- only dirty water from the pools is used on the plants. I time showers- ( my daughter hates it ) simple things like turning off the tap while you brush you teeth- not leaving the tap running to rinse dishes after washing- but just pouring water over them all in the drainer when done..... So many little things add up to save water. Not long ago we had massive water restrictions here in Australia. It was asked that water usage be limited to 155 litres per person per day in each house. ( 40 gallons ) I am lucky and have a small rainwater tank as well which helps when there is rain - and also have a block of land in the country where another rain water tank sits full year round. I was bring home water from there as well during the worst of the dry period.
Would it be practical to move the pond out of the run, and just let them have access to it for a certain time each day for swimming/bathing, rather than keeping it available 24/7? That way they probably wouldn't be washing food in it? Just keep the waterer for the ducks to drink out of and rinse food in (while adding the drip system for the chickens, good plan)
You either need to eliminate the pool or eliminate the mud. 5 inches of pea gravel will do it. It took me 2 tons to fill a 10x10 area 5-6 inches deep. I haven't seen mud since, or smelled any stink, it's been wonderful. Just hose it off once a day for cleaning.

They don't have to have a pool, you can give them anything deep enough to dunk their heads in.

You could make a drinking platform for the chickens, something about 1 1/2 ft off the ground with about a foot around it to stand on, out of the ducks reach. Or switch the watering system with your idea, either way.

With our duck pool elevated on the gravel, I can drain it off with a hose and water the lawn with it. I just change the drain spot every day, so that within a week, every spot in the yard got some. Sometimes I spoil them by letting them out during drainage time and they can pull weeds and grass and play in the muck where it's draining. Then I march them towards home, hose them off (they stand there like penguins for that!) so they don't return dirty, and they have a fresh pool to play in and no mud at all.

They still flood their run, they still sift in the gravel, they still act like ducks. Just mud free. And I don't have to walk in mud, smell stinky pooped on duck mud, or deal with it at all.

Once the mud is gone, you'll get to see just how much they poop in those pools.
I don't have a pool available all of the time, only every few days. I do like the sound of gravel but living in the suburbs, they would drop it in the front yard and I loath the idea of lugging it to the back one wheelbarrow at a time. I am hoping to talk DH into moving in about 1 year so, the expense and work would not be worth it for me.
that always cracks me up, I love the penguin imitations!
yep. what madelyn said.
It only took husband and I about 2 hours to drag it back from the driveway, we're suburban too and had to get a driveway dump. We may or may not be moving... but the ease of care from it... totally worth it even if we do move next year. I'll just wash the gravel and throw it around the fire pit since it's the same type of stone. Then the bird area gets tilled up and called a garden, as if they were never there, after we move the coop and runs.
If you get a load of gravel dumped out the front or in your driveway, get a big tarp and put it down and have them dump the gravel on that. Then you can carry the last bit in the tarp and you won't have to try to clean up remnant gravel from your driveway.

It is a pain to lug a lot of gravel in a wheelbarrow but it'll only last a day and then you'll reap the rewards of years and years of easy pen cleaning
unfortunatey, I can't let the ducks out of the run (it's rather large, though, ~450 sq ft in L-shape) because my dogs have the rest of the backyard. I also don't want the ducks or chickens to get comfortable in the other part of the yard so they're not tempted to try to get over there (and then get dispatched quickly by my whippets).

Gravel sounds interesting, then again, maybe I don't want to see how much they poop in the water!

Thanks for all your replies!
Do you have a truck? Do you have a way to get the truck into the back yard?
If so, find a place where you can get a yard of peastone or other rounded stone and get a truckload and go directly from truck to area around duck pool that you need it. The entire duck yard won't need to be peastone, just the area around your pond and a truckload should do that no problem.

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