Waterlogged Ducks


In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 2, 2008
Maryville, TN
I have 2 baby pekin ducks about a week and a half 2 weeks old. While they are the cutest things I have ever seen they are MESSSSSYYYYY!

I had them in a large rubber made container with 10 same age buff orp chicks. Well they flooded the brooder with the water dish, so I moved them kicking and screaming (they were very close with the chicks) they screamed for a few hours when seperated.

Now they have been in their own box for 2 days and I have had to change the bedding about 6 times. They keep soaking their bedding so bad their belly's are wet. How can I keep this dry and while I know they are waterfoul will this (constantly damp pine shavings)hurt them even if they are warm at this age. Any info on this would help a lot.



Has Fainting Chickens
12 Years
Dec 25, 2007
Chaparral, New Mexico
I know what you are going through because my young hens Penny and Charlotte are raising a baby Runner duck. I put the water container on top of a Mason jar so the duck could just reach it to drink out of it and not play in it, and the girls could reach it too. The main reason the duck will make a mess is that they have to be able to submerge their bills because this is how they clean out their sinuses. Twice a day I would let the baby duck out in the bathtub with a plastic container of water deep enough to submerge his bill in and it helped with him not making such a mess in the cage. After he and the girls were a little older I put a layer of clumping cat litter around the base of the water container (still on the jar) so that any spills would clump rather than flood. I had worried about the hens eating the litter but they didn't. They all just moved outside and the duck still thinks he's a chicken but they are happy and he can now swim in a dog food dish full of water until he figures out he's a duck and uses the duck pool.
Good luck!


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Jun 29, 2007
Kansas~50+ yrs of chickens
One thing I always do with my ducklings is use those puppy pads in the bottom of the brooder box. They still get wet and you have to change them, but at least they absorb quite a bit of water...better than shavings.


In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 2, 2008
Maryville, TN
I had two ideas neither of which may work but here they are if anyone has used these in the past or think they may or may not work please all input is appreciated. I have the ducks in their own rubbermade it is an extra large size plenty of room for 2 chicks.

Idea 1: put puppy pads or depends bed cover sheet under the water dish so it will absorb and not spread

idea 2: I have a medium dog taxi and I can cut a hole in the tub and attach the two boxes. I would put the water dish in the pet taxi where there is a small lip to keep the water from flooding the bedding in the rubber made with the bedding.

do you think this will work?


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 7, 2007
Forks, Virginia
I raised 2 little ducks last summer. I know what you mean about the mess.

This is what worked for me -

I used a very large rubbermaid tote. We filled one end with one of those water basin pans that you get when you are in the hospital. The other end I put in a couple blocks covered it with black plastic trash bag then piled in shavings. It was like their own private little splash pan. I only put about an inch of water in it.

Every day in the late afternoon I would fill my sink with warm water and put the ducks in for a real swim. They swam for about an hour while the kids ohh and ahh'ed and were spell bound by two little yellow and black ducks. It was one of the best experiences ever for them.

As they got bigger and the weather got nicer we moved them out side until it was time to find them a real home with a pond.

No more ducks for me until I can figure out a permanent water source for them - ie - get my hubby to build a pond

Good luck with yours!


11 Years
Feb 21, 2008
I have 2 two-week olds. For right now I use large cardboard boxes. I lay newspaper on the bottom then about 1-2inches of pine shavings. The side with the food and water dish I lay a big enough piece of chuck pad (like a puppy pad) that way when they run from the food to water it doesn't get everywhere. I also found that when I started taking them for a swim in the tub every night when I get off of work they stopped using their water bowel, as a bird bath, as much. At night when they are in the tub I throw the pad away clean out soiled bedding add a bit more and new pad.


12 Years
Nov 8, 2007
Lafayette, Indiana
I have my 2 little ducklings in a big tote for a brooder. I put a cake pan at 1 end and set their waterer in it. The still make a mess, but most of it stays in the cake pan now.


12 Years
Oct 31, 2007
West Melbourne, Florida
OOOHHHHH.....Duck are the messiest nastiest....When my ducks were babies I put them in a huge tote on wheels and it worked really good. I really put lots of shavings down and fluffed them up a few times a day. It seemed to help the shavings dry. When they got old enough to not have the light on anymore I moved them outside. Im not looking torwards the mess that my babies in the bator are gonna bring....so Im hoping to have them sold soon after hatching!

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