Runner ducks - ewww - they so nasty!!!!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by happydog, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. happydog

    happydog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2009
    Western NC
    Yes, they're cute as all get out, and I love them but... When I first got them I had them in a big cardboard box on my kitchen counter till I saw water running out the bottom. So I transferred them into a big rubbermaid container. But my gosh, there's NO WAY to keep them (or their bedding) clean and dry! Is it just runners or are all ducks like this? How soon can they go out to live in a secure coop? And even then, how the heck do you keep IT clean??

    I'm using old hay for bedding just because it's what I've got. Is there any bedding that would work better? I've tried putting their water in a pan but they just tromp in it with their big feet and then slosh all over the box. Also, it looks like they're, I don't know, barfing? All over the bedding.

    Is there some special trick to keeping them, and their quarters, clean and dry that I don't know about? Or are they just supposed to live outside and not on my kitchen counter? (like dh keeps saying [​IMG])
  2. Goat_Walker

    Goat_Walker I Am THE Crazy Duck Lady

    Jul 9, 2008
    Aspen or pine shavings work best for me - But I still have to clean it out every other day or so. My ducklings are 2 weeks old and are outside 24/7 . Its been HOT here but as long as they are in the shade they are fine. I have them in a cage with no bottom so they have acess to the grass. I just move it around the yard everyday so it doesnt kill the grass.

    As far as the water - either go buy a waterer with little individual holes or just put marbles or rocks in the watr. That way they can drink but not splash it everywhere.
  3. DuckLady

    DuckLady ~~~Administrator~~~BYC Store Support Staff Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    We sacrificed our spare bathroom tub to brood ducklings.

    I went to the thrift store and got a big bag of towels for a couple dollars and lined the tub.
    Once (or more as needed) a day, I removed the towels to the washer, rinsed the tub with the ducklings in there (they LOVED it) and lined the tub with the clean towels from the last rinse.
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Yes, ducks are gross. I use a standard one-gallon chicken waterer and it works fine but there's really no way to keep them from making a mess with it. It's just the way they are.

    It's summer, so you can put them outside pretty much any time if they have adequate protection. Mine go outside to a wire brooder as soon as they are 24 hours old. It must be predator proof (I have an extra layer of wire, about four inches from the inner layer, on the bottom of the brooder to prevent raccoons reaching through and tearing off little legs--they WILL do this, so be careful!), draft-protected (mine have three solid walls, and I tuck straw into the crack at the back and place thick straw bedding under the lamp so they have a very cozy place to cuddle at night), and heated (a standard brood lamp). But outdoors is fine in summer unless you're in Alaska or something.

    The down side to outdoors is that they won't be as easily tamed. Indoor ducks get used to people much more quickly, plus you naturally handle them more and that tames them too. I actually just brought a pair of two-day-olds indoors for taming because outdoors they get very wild and become terrified of people, and that's not how I want my ducks to be. Plus, this pair are the only two I kept out of their batch and they were lonely. This way they have me for company all day, lol.

    However, two ducks indoors are WAY less messy than six or seven ducks indoors, so if you have a larger group and you can't stand the mess, it's perfectly fine to take them outside.

    Oh, I also have a large wire dog crate in the garage that I sometimes put ducklings in when they're a couple weeks old. It works well because the raccoons et al don't go in the garage, so the crate doesn't have to have a double layer of protection (the garage itself is the outer layer). And we don't have to smell it in the house!
  5. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008

    I aint just runners!
  6. Rebel Rooster

    Rebel Rooster I Will Love! :)

    Jun 29, 2009
    Central SC
    My Coop
    Ohhhh No doubt... Little Ducks are BIG nasties!!! [​IMG]
  7. Evermore Ranch

    Evermore Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 10, 2008
    NW Alabama
    yeah seems that waterfowl in general, but especially ducks are quite nasty. I enjoy them much more when i get them outside too.
  8. PriceFamilyFarms

    PriceFamilyFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2010
    Henderson, NC
    their cuteness outweighs the mess [​IMG]

    I do have a couple of tricks for the waterers though...I use 1 gallon waterers hung about 3 inches from the coop floor and have a galvanized metal pan under it. it keeps the bedding dry for the most part.

    In the new pens I just built, I used the hanging waterers again but cut a 16" circle in the floor and covered it with hardware cloth. under the pens I have pea gravel in a drainage trough. I just took possession of a bunch of new runner ducklings (thanks Heather!) so I'm trying the new system starting today.
  9. happydog

    happydog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2009
    Western NC
    Oh I agree about the cuteness! I got Runners just for how cute they are to watch. That's a great idea about the hole in the pen. I may try that too.

    Quote:I'm so relieved! I have TEN of the little suckers, er, quackers. [​IMG] They're two weeks old.

    I started with turkeys and they're so fragile to raise, I guess I just figured all poultry needs to be protected and kept off the dirt for the first 3 months too. I'm so glad to know the ducks can start going outside already!

    I thought they'd be tamer if hand raised in the house, but the smell and mess are really getting to dh, so there goes that plan. I have a 7 year old who is learning to move slowly and quietly in the turkey pen. She'll be taking her little chair out to the duck pen to give treats and tame the ducks.

    My husband is out in the heat today building their house as fast as he can. Sometimes when we come home the stench in here is pretty bad. He keeps muttering stuff under his breath about the Board of Health, and Unsanitary Conditions and stuff.
  10. crj

    crj Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 17, 2009
    Rocky Point, NC
    I had my 6 runners in the house for too long..... lol. My BIL made the coop for me. Oh yes, he is the best. The runners get big FAST. I had them in a large wire dog cage/crate. I ended up lining the trayes with towels, put the food in a chick feeder on top of a rubbermaid container and had a chick waters on a rubbermaid container in a roasting pan. What water they dribbled stayed (for the most part) in the pan. They never really ran out of water, just relocated it.

    Everyday for about 2 weeks it took 2 of us to carry the cage with the birds in it outside to a pool. That helped a lot with the smell. I only had to deal with the smell in the morning. It did get pretty gross. They are now just over 6 weeks and getting use to there new home. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to set up the inside of the coop. They poop where they sleep! Water getting all over too. I have the waterer on a concrete block but no pan under it.

    You would think one would say it is to much work yet you always want more ducks. They are just the coolest creature.

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