water dish safety


11 Years
Apr 10, 2012
What is the story on keeping ducklings safe from drowning in their water dish?
Is this a new hatchling sort of concern that fades quickly? Or do I need to keep putting marbles in their dishes forever? Okay, not forever, but for the next few weeks.

I had seen recommendations of making a waterer by cutting a hole in the side of a milk jug big enough for the head, but not the body, but that size is hard to judge, especially since I have Pekins and bantams together. In the end, it was a middling sized duckling that I had to extract from the contraption last night when it got one wing through. Thank goodness I was still downstairs then!

Anyway... ducklings are one to two weeks old. Can I ditch the marbles?

I use chick water things, you know with the mason jar? I still have my almost 4wk(fri) old on one at least for overnight.. i don't want it tipping over a small bowl. I find they are perfect for a couple weeks then it's time to graduate to the real deal lol Of coarse my babies have mums so they do learn to drink from larger containers along side the ducks as the forage.
we have four 8wk. old pekin's . we used the chicken (mason jar) type waterer when they were real little. Now we use a small dishpan (type they give in hospital) so they can wash their eyes and vents out, and have the large chicken waterer available also.
Brooding the two sizes seperately is a good start. Then you can create waters for each size. Ducks such as calls can be easily squished by larger breeds when brooded together. Otherwise just use a typical chick water, but remember ducks need to dip their nares into the water. So you will quickly need something deeper.
Separating by size is trickier than you'd think. There were hot & cold spots in my incubator that made hatch last nearly a week. The "bantams" are the oldest, though not as much so as I'd hoped, so they're actually in the middle of the size range at the moment, though the younger ducks are closing the gap quickly.
Then, there's the matter of two of the three bantams appearing to actually only be half-bantam. So, who knows what size they really are!
Not hard at all, you keep seperate brooders. We have 6 permanent brooders and 4 temp ones we can put together in a pinch. This allows birds to be sorted and moved around according to size. We have goslings hatched in February and goslings hatching yesterday, today and next week. So yes we do understand varied ages.
Don't they throw a fit when you switch the groupings and they can't find each other?
Or are you able to keep consistent groupings?7
I've had them in multiple brooders because we didn't have one big enough, but the bantams and pekins hatched within a day of each other, and were roughly the same size for the first couple days, at least compared to the new guys just barely fluffed out, so they were one brooder and the next 8 were a second brooder. Then 3 days later, another 7 including one last pekin in a third brooder.
That last pekin and the true bantam are now about the same size.

I put everyone in a big dog crate while I cleaned out the other brooders today, and suddenly everything is calm. I guess I'll try to find a second one so that they can at least see each other since no matter how I arrange them, it seems that at least one of them is sure I've done it wrong and cries for someone in another box.
At what point do I need to provide a deeper water source for beak cleaning? Beyond the chick waterer. Does it need to happen sooner if I am giving treats or yogurt?
i use bowls that they can get in and clean i dont use anything that they cant touch the bottom and get out of. as long as they can touch the bottom with their feet and half their body above the water line thats worked fine for me and my 8 ducklings

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