Poop control!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by thomassio, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. thomassio

    thomassio Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi all,

    Just a question which I'm sure has been covered but I can't find a solution...... Maybe there isn't one!

    I have 6 runners and they are great, not laying yet although they are just about 6months so I'm hoping they will soon if winter stays mild for us. My question is this; Is there a way of keeping there area semi clean? I know they are messy birds and I'm cool with that, just trying to figure out if there is a way of staying on top of it. They free range the garden most of the time but evenins and when I'm out they are in a pen around 70sq ft. The floor was dirt but I didn't want it to become a swamp so I gravelled over it. I was hoping that rain would wash the worst of the poop through the gravel into the ground. It works partially but not enough and eventually a layer ends up ontop of the gravel.
    Has anyone tried sand? What other ways are there of keeping there area clean-ish or just a little cleaner?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    At night I have mine in a shelter with several inches of pine shavings. In the morning, room service is picking poop piles, fluffing bedding, changing out the drinking water. Takes 15 minutes.

    No ugly odors or health concerns.
     
  3. thomassio

    thomassio Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Amiga, I try to keep on top of it but it's more the outside area I'm thinking about, when they can't free range. I will try and get a photo up to give an idea of what I mean.
     
  4. thomassio

    thomassio Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    So this is the house and you can just about see the gravel. Picking it up from the gravel is not an option as they walk it all in so when I come to do it, it is already squished between the gaps. I guess I have to accept that gravel isnt as practical as I hsd hoped. Im just wondering what the prefered floor is really.
     
  5. thomassio

    thomassio Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh, its worth mentioning that this is an old photo from when the gravel was new, its much dirtier now.
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    For our outside area, I went with a slightly sloped pen so water runs off, and the base is plant material that composts. So we have a fairly cushy base. I sprinkle some chopped straw or leaves over it every few days, pull out little areas where poo builds up once a week or so, turn it with a cultivator (garden fork on a long handle) every two to eight weeks.

    I'll go take a pic.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  7. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have sand over landscape fabric and I love it. If I could do over with unlimited funds and labor I would do landscape fabric, pea gravel, then about 4-6" sand. Sand world great here, prevents the muddy poo soup that I had from my clay soil, and all I do to clean is rake it. Of course I shovel up the solids that remain. Def 110% improvement over bare soil. I also have a slight slope, like Amiga, and it is important.
     
  8. BMW the Awesome

    BMW the Awesome Out Of The Brooder

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    I use river sand it is AWESOME!!! It dries out the mess quickly, works for sum grit, easy to clean like cat litter, and helps the smell!! I even use the sand in my nesting boxes, it cushions the egg and is easy to clean out.
     
  9. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When my ducks hung out in the pea gravel dog pen a lot during the day, I just hosed it down at night.
     
  10. thomassio

    thomassio Out Of The Brooder

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    I didn't want to start a new thread as this is in the same area........
    So I am undecided between sand and bark using deep litter method for my 6 runners. I was hoping with bark I would be able to turn it with a fork on a regular basis and it would compost itself or is this wishful thinking? Also, here in the uk, drainage is an issue so I will keep at least half of the area covered. If I use sand, I am assuming a coarse sand will give better drainage than fine sand? On the other hand, fine sand wood be easier to litter pick and sieve the waste out of wouldn't it?

    The issue I have with the gravel I have now is that it very coarse and the waste just gets walked into it and it can't be sieved, turned over with a fork or picked easily at all. I think paving slabs would be great, we haver a few in my current garden and I just sweep the coo up from them and throw it in the compost but I imagine a fully paved run would cause foot problems?
    Is there any other Ideas I'm not thinking of? Roofing a good portion of it? A slight slope to help drainage? I'm moving house soon so I am able to start from scratch and want to get it right and as manageable as possible, so if you lived in rainy England, what would be the best possible arrangement for a small area? The ducks will be in there for anything from 0 - 24 hours depending on work and things.

    Thanks in advance for any help with ideas and planning.
     

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