Water questions for Muscovy owners!


11 Years
Apr 1, 2008
Ok, we have the 3 Muscovy hens and they reside with our chickens and get along quite well!
We have a 4 gallon bucket for water that is filled fresh daily.
We have quickly learned that the ducks drink a lot of water and I am sure play a lot in it as they clear their nostrils, etc. but dont climb in it.
It is deep enough they can stick head in,etc. and if we see it really messy like mid-day, we empty and refill it with fresh water.

We have realized that we need to get a couple more water buckets to ensure that there is plenty of water in the pen, esp. once the warmer weather starts.

Here is question:
If we there is a water source available that is large enough for a duck to get in, say a 8 in. deep by 18 in. wide rubber feeder trough from feed store...... will the Muscovies end up climbing in and playing in it vs. just drinking it?

I want to get 2 more buckets like we have. Hubby wants to get these feeder trough things instead but I think that because of their width the ducks might take that as invite to climb in and play in water.

They def. will play/wash in it.
Is that a problem? They do need a bath to keep their feathers nice so if you don't have a place for them to bath regularly you could just put out the troughs a few times a week for an hour or so soooo they can get a bath. I'd get at least one of the troughs and poss. another bucket. I've seen a few my chickens stand in the middle of the shallow rubber ones in the summer to cool off their feet.
I read that they are not a breed that needs water a lot as their feathers are less waterproof and to give them water in winter when its cold could be detremental(sp?) to their health as a soggy Muscovy can get chilled easily when its cold and windy out, therefore get sick.
So, is that not totally true?

They do have larger totes in the yard with water in them for free range days and I have seen them splash and play in these a bit but not climb in.
We are building a small pond for them with a kiddie pool once Spring hits and it will be filled and available on free range days Spring thru Fall.

And we have a mister for the chickens that we use on really hot days, so am assuming the ducks will benefit from it as well.

Good idea on getting maybe 1 trough and another bucket.
Do you muscovy's like to swim? I have a muscovy that hates water, he has to be forced to take a bath. If they like to swim this is what I would do. Put the container in with them, fill it and see if they jump in. If they do then its an easy fix. Just go to lowes or home Depot and get a cheap roll of wire that will fit on top of the container. You do not want ckicken wire, I will post a link below of something that will work good. Once you get the wire cut out a piece that covers the top of the container. You are going to have to drill a couple holes in the cointainer right at the top so you can cable tie the wire to the container. Once you havde the wire secured to the container you need to take a pair of wire cutters and cut a hole in the wire that will give them plenty of room to put there heads in but not jump in and swim. You want to cut the hole started at the side and moving inwards. You will also have to find a way to cover the edges of the holes so that the ducks do not cut themselves on the sharp wire. You could do this really easy by get a some ruber tubing, cuting it open, puting it over the wire and cable tieing it in place. I use on of these for my ducks and it works great I can dump it out, rinse it and fill it back up without take off the wire. I know you can get peices that are made to cover sharp wire but I cant rememeber where.

Here is the link to the wire - http://www.lowes.com/pd_92203-16418...s_ord_nbr|0||p_product_quantity_sold|1&page=2
Great idea!!
The girls havent really got into swimming but then again, we havent had decent weather yet to fill up pool.
When we had the drakes(we traded them for the girls) we had a decent 65* day and filled the kiddie pool with some warm water so they could get clean. They were NASTY from place we rescued them from. One enjoyed it and one didnt go near it except to drink. Since then, weather has been rotten and not feasible for swimming. The girls like to drink and hang out at the water bucket. They do so a lot when they get to freerange and hang out at the totes set up about the yard, drinking water, splashing it a bit and whatnot but havent gotten in or attempted to get in.

I like the wire covering idea!
My Muscovy ducks love the water - we have a mill pond that they bathe in daily, however, it is true that they are not as waterproof as other breeds - mine have noticably been seen sinking lower in the water as they swim, it must be due to saturation of their plumage. They love to splash around but they don't stay in the water as long as my Indian Runners - the runners will be in the water for the most part of the day.
My muscovies LOVE their water!
I use a kitty litter pan for a water pan in the winter and they will...no, correct that- ONE will put themselves in it, take up the whole pan, and be quite proud of themselves!

They love to use the kiddy swimming pools- and love our pond in the warm months.
Their feathers are looking ragged now, they need spring to hurry up so they can get a whole bath..
Scovies don't have as much waterproofing, it's true. That said, my Scovies have bathed throughout the winter using 2gl black rubber bowls fm the farm store. They don't stay in for more than a few minutes and some will skip a day or just splash their head and neck in it. On the absolute coldest days they didn't bother bathing in but never missed more than 3-4 days in the coldest part of our winter before taking a quick bath. I do have a 100gl rubber tube/pool that is heated that they would take turns in to "warm up" days when their 2gl water bowls would freeze up quickly. I always gave them the option for a quick bath except for the few days I had to keep them shut inside because of the bitter temps in the low teens and single digits.
OMG, mine are in the hen house and they make a mess of the water every day....I fill it (4)gallons and they jump in it and splash around and with in a couple of hours it's gone....I can't wait to get them on to my pond..hopefully by the end of the month.

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