Quick Duck water/feeder/free range question

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jamband, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. jamband

    jamband Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2011
    ok so I have 6 muscovies I plan on housing under a porch. their exit is right by the garden and 15 ft from a tiny creek. I am letting them free range all day but would like to coop em at night if I can train them to do so. So I have the whole issue of when and where to feed water etc. In an ideal world I would withhold food and water at night from them to keep the coop cleaner. However I am having a hard time envisioning a plan than gets them all back in at night without food?? Do they just need the water while eating? or do they need access for a bit after eating?? So in other words would evening treats that I watch them eat with available water work? and then remove the water?

    So if that does not work whats the best waterer options for adult scovies? I will have some large containers/pool outside and there is a creek they can access easily that runs the length of my property as well as a semi marshy area.

    Can ducks use nipples ? they need to be able to submerse head right? not just drink

    are they gonna trash the area right by the entrance of the coop? I assume yes but ....

    the main thing if I have to give em water inside is keeping it poop free and trying to keep the bedding dry

  2. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2009
    More people are experts than I am on this issue, but the one thing is that they need to be able to bathe frequently and submerge their heads in water quite a bit to clean nostrils and eyes. I think I read muscovies don't swim as much as other ducks (not sure if this is correct or not), but I assume they need to be able to keep themselves clean.
    Mine used to make a terrible mess until I changed the way I watered them. I use a round rubber feed pan with a smaller one inside it, too small to easily climb into. On top of the small pan I put a heavy board across the middle of it. It allows them to dunk into the water but not get into it and splash it everywhere.
    Hope some of this helps.
    Oops, missed the tiny creek part! Guess that will help with the bathing thing. Got ahead of myself (again!)
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  3. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    I think that a small water bucket in a bucket would work inside. Place the small waterer in a Rubbermaid bucket and then just empty it as needed. You can feed outside, but try feed them near the creek so they don't have to walk far to dunk their bills (and get mud all over the yard).You can start now by giving them peas when you call them. They will eventually associate you with food so then at night, you just have to call them and they will come running.
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    You certainly need to have them protected from predators at night. I use half inch hardware cloth over all openings for the night pen. And do watch carefully. Creeks attract wildlife, as you know.
  5. ShuckyDuckyQuackQuack

    ShuckyDuckyQuackQuack Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 9, 2011
    I concur w/ EVERYONE !!!
  6. jamband

    jamband Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2011
    Quote:its enclosed and safe
  7. Czech's_chicks

    Czech's_chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2011
    Vista, CA
    They won't need pools, but they do like to bathe. This is my absolute favorite breed and I drove 4 hours 1 way to get my hands on some after my neighbor's dogs killed everything I owned.

    My only caution about housing under a porch is the smell and possible fly problem (which they will help with, as well too...great fly stalkers). If you ever get a broody, I don't think there is a wosre smell than broody poop:rolleyes:
  8. jamband

    jamband Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2011
    any good suggestions for an outdoor feeder that wont let the food get wet?
  9. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I think everyone sort of has there own way but for ours.. our food/water will be kept in our coop.. our main pool(a kiddy plastic type) will remain in there run.. ours are free ranged but the run is there for times when we don't want them loose.. ie(dog walking)

    Ours get pretty antsy as dark approaches we also take the method of locking ours in the run by 8 to ensure there not running about near dark, then they get hearded back into there coop. Ous heard really well, but this has been something we have been doing for awhile.. they 'know' what is happening and anticipate it, definite routine animals. Treats can be a great option.. you just need to find one yours go crazy for..

    As for containers i use the big black rubber bowls, there livestock type fortiflex brand ... you can use them for both feed and water.. ducks do need water deep enough to poke there heads into, another type i have is a dog/cat gravity waterer(by petmate). I do allow access to both water and food at night i use shavings as bedding and just pick and turn it over daily.. but i have horses to so i am pretty used to cleaning stalls daily [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011

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