walking surfaces for ducks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Oddyse, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. Oddyse

    Oddyse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2011
    Bristol
    Hey guys, currently in the process of building the worlds most awesome duck house for my babies. I was wondering if they would be ok walking on small stones, like drive way gravel? I was going to leave them some grass but from experience the grass will only last five minutes before turning into a mud pit. So that led me to the idea of gravel. Its the smooth kind of gravel but I was wondering if they would be ok to walk on it? Any help would be great, many thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. Oddyse

    Oddyse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2011
    Bristol
    anyone?
     
  3. 70%cocoa

    70%cocoa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 24, 2011
    Canberra, Australia
    How big are the stones? When you walk on them with bare feet is it uncomfortable? Duck feet are softer than our feet so if it is at all uncomfortable for you then it will be for the ducks.

    If the stones are rounded and small (like the size of peas) then it should be ok....but do the 'bare feet test' first. A lot of people do use pea-sized gravel in pens and you don't hear reports of problems.

    I have smooth river stones (about half an inch to an inch big) in my yard and the ducks have to walk on them to get from A to B - you can tell that they don't really like walking on these stones. I have river sand in their pen.
     
  4. showjumper_girl2002

    showjumper_girl2002 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 20, 2011
    Florida
    70%cocoa :

    How big are the stones? When you walk on them with bare feet is it uncomfortable? Duck feet are softer than our feet so if it is at all uncomfortable for you then it will be for the ducks.

    If the stones are rounded and small (like the size of peas) then it should be ok....but do the 'bare feet test' first. A lot of people do use pea-sized gravel in pens and you don't hear reports of problems.

    I have smooth river stones (about half an inch to an inch big) in my yard and the ducks have to walk on them to get from A to B - you can tell that they don't really like walking on these stones. I have river sand in their pen.

    hello! i'm new to ducks and housing too and was actually wondering the same thing since i'm getting ready to build my spoiled ducklings a ducky mansion [​IMG]. as far as the house/hutch goes what do you recommend is best for the floor? hutches i see in stores (for like rabbits and stuff) have a wire bottom just like the wire sides. is that ok for ducks?​
     
  5. 70%cocoa

    70%cocoa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 24, 2011
    Canberra, Australia
    Lots of people here will have views on this but here's my 2c worth [​IMG]

    I think that welded wire is ok for ducklings as long as the holes are small enough (like no bigger than half an inch). Wire is ok for call ducks too as they are small but personally I would not put anything bigger than that on wire (unless it was just around the water area - see below).

    The three other flooring types that seem to work well are (1) river sand (which I use, with a gravel base underneath for drainage), or (2) pea gravel or a (3) deep layer of organic material (mulch, leaves etc) that you turn over every day to mimic what a chicken would do (since ducks do not turn their own litter and instead create a compacted layer of poop). All these systems involve work on your part e.g. with sand it has to be raked and also I have to remove sand from the pool and waterers that are in the pen. Pea gravel can be hosed but that uses a fair bit of water.

    Some people have used rubber mats with success (mats with holes over a layer of gravel or smooth mats that are hosed off). Any surface that needs hosing off and that creates run-off will have to have somewhere for the poopy water to go, so drainage outside the pen is important too.

    Another system is timber slats or decking that are raised above the ground with half inch gaps between the boards. I do not know how successfuol this approach is but I am going to try this method for a duck grower pen (pen for teenage ducks) that i am going to make.

    I think that the main thing is to have good drainage around the water areas. The best idea I have seen is to set up the water on a 'porch' that is elevated at least a foot above the ground (so you can clean out underneath it) and that has a strong welded mesh base. I'm going to use this method for the pool area of my grower pen. It's described in various writings of Dave Holderread, a well known waterfowl expert.
     
  6. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2009
    Goshen, OH
    Yeah the Holderread set-up is neat. Their indoor pens have outdoor drinking "porches" of wire mesh, so that none of the water mess makes it inside. I made an internal version with a plastic tub under it, not wanting to cut another hole in the building.

    I have pine shavings inside, and pea gravel outside. I hose it off every evening. It's only 10x10, and we've built the dirt up around the outside 3 sides, so that is drains from the back and stays away from the building.

    I can see the benefits of hay indoors, but I can't find a good price on it that beats the shavings, and my compost pile would get huge fast. With the shavings, I grab the obvious poo with a scoop, stir the rest, add a tiny more, and we're done for another day. Having the water managed in a way that keeps the bedding dry is a HUGE help.
     
  7. cbohn80

    cbohn80 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2011
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    i've been using straw but it wet and the poop compacts on top. also the straw get wet and compacted, really holding in moisture. even if i hose the poop down it has nowhere to go. i'm now using gravel and covering it with chopped up tree branches. my yard has sasaphras everywhere and i grows so fast that i'll never have to buy mulch. the duck dont seem to mind it at all, the smell is almost non-existant, and the branches dont compact and allow the poop to wash away. although it is alot of work breaking the branches by hand, really wish i had a wood chipper.
    the sasaphras wood really has a nice smell to it as well
     
  8. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Indoor/Outdoor carpet can be hosed off and would be safe on their feet. I have my ducklings on pine pellets in the basement. Not very soft to sleep on (they sleep on a piece of fur most of the time) but they absorb all the yuckies.
     

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