Putting a small inground pool in run??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Steergirl, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. Steergirl

    Steergirl Chirping

    Apr 10, 2011
    Houston Area
    I keep my 2 ducks with my pullets because I do not have the means to keep them separate. I was wondering if it would be ok if I put a small inground pool (4'x4') in the run if the chickens would leave it alone. I don't want any drowned chickens!

  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    My chickens would probably LOVE a 'pool' in their run from June through September.
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I think you'll regret it the first time you have to clean it out
  4. gertiie

    gertiie Songster

    Apr 18, 2011
    Warsaw, Indiana
    I was just going to ask this on another post. Can chickens swim ?

  5. WhySayWhat

    WhySayWhat Songster

    Nov 5, 2010
    I don't know if chickens can swim...but mine spent an hour outside today with a dog bowl full of water and all three of them decided standing in the water was the best place to be! From other posts, I had thought chickens had a real aversion to water, lol. Mine have only had water in a chick water fountain until now...
  6. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Songster

    Dec 20, 2008
    I have a 225 gallon pool that I put in over 15 years ago for my geese. I later added ducks, and it's a great thing to have. It's a pre-formed garden/lilypond- type pool so the plastic is super tough and has held up over the years.

    One thing I would say in caution, is that chickens will drink from whatever water source you have, and they can drown in relatively shallow water, so make sure that your chickens are big enough and the pool shallow enough that if they happened to fall in (easy to slip when perched on the edge to drink) they will not be in water deeper than their bellies.

    Another thing: ducks poop in the water, and they also dabble in the mud then dip their bills into the pool to strain out any "goodies." Muck and dirt gets into the water that way and it can carry parasites that ducksthey are immune to but that chickens could get sick from if they drink the pool water. I lost a healthy young OEG bantam after she drank from the waterfowl pool. Within 24 hours she became sick and died and I didn't figure it out till I realized that she had drunk from the pool before I had flushed it out. It probably was full of bacteria, protozoans and who-knows-what that didn't harm the ducks but were lethal to chickens.

    I learned my lesson and never let the chickens into the waterfowl pen again. I also try to flush the pool out with the hose at least once a week, and regularly scoop out any debris and fallen leaves and try to remove muck too.

    Not trying to be a downer but I just want to point out some things to consider. I call my waterfowl, "waterfoul" for a good reason. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  7. secuono

    secuono Songster

    May 29, 2010
    If it's too deep and hard to get out, they will drown. I have chicks that like to stand in their little water bowls, but it's not deep enough for them to be stuck.
    Also agree that cleaning it would suck. You can get a water pump from lowes though, just use that like you would an aquarium.

  8. 2wheelterry

    2wheelterry In the Brooder

    Apr 22, 2011
    Others probably have more expertise on this subject than I do as far as mixing ducks and chickens and the risks. I just wanted to add that my great grandfather was a big fan of concrete and built a small, shallow basin under the outdoor faucet to keep the area from eroding underneath. It was about 1.5 feet across and maybe 4 inches deep. Granny's free range chickens loved it and we often had to run them off in order to get water for the garden.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  9. Steergirl

    Steergirl Chirping

    Apr 10, 2011
    Houston Area
    I already have a pool pump for it as I have had ducks before (just never ducks and chickens at the same time) and I asked my vet and she said it would be ok to add a little chlorine- just figure how much I would normally use if it were a human pool that size and divide it by 8. If I come up with some crazy number and I have to break up chlorine tablets- I don't mind.

  10. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    My dear friend who has four ducks (2 pairs) found re-using a child's plastic sand/toybox (the green 'turtle' kind with the removeable lidded top) was ideal for their situation. She built a small 'ramp' so the ducks could waddle to the edge of the 'head'. They'd paddle 'round for hours! Then, at night, she'd 'close' the pool so racoons were not attracted to their habitat. Every few days, she'd dump the whole thing upside down and rinse out well, and refill. The ducks LOVED that! They'd try to race to get the puddles before they soaked into the ground! LOL.

    She filled hers very deep (full), the Swedish Blue ducks could swim freely without seeming to knock their knees on the bottom. Might be too deep for chickens. However, you could change the water easily, quickly and completely clean/disinfect the unit without too much trouble.

    Hope this helps somewhat.

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