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What bedding to use on a dirt floor?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Pyxis, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    Hey all, I need some advice. Recently I suffered a major attack on my duck flock, and went from 14 to 3 in just a day. The remaining half grown duckling was killed in the night house by something unknown - it nailed her in the back of the head and she died, but it didn't eat her. It was my own fault for forgetting to close it up that night, and I feel guilty about it. Did the same thing to a silkie chick that was in there. If anyone has any idea what would do that, I'd appreciate you telling me, but I digress.

    Anyway, the only 'upside' to this is that the remaining ducks are finally using the duck night house, which means I finally need to get bedding for it, especially since I'm taking back two female ducklings I gave my aunt earlier (with promises of babies in the spring!) so I can have a nice flock of three females and my one remaining male, who survived both attacks. I don't really want to use pine shavings, because I can just imagine the mess the ducks would make in them, plus they would be really hard to clean out of there. I was thinking maybe hay, but I wanted to hear peoples' opinion on it. What do you think would be best for a dirt floor?

  2. duckluck

    duckluck Dulcimyrh Ducks

    Oct 22, 2009
    You might not want to hear it, but I like pine shavings, the best quality possible due to wanting them to be dust-free. Hay or straw is hard to move around, gets musty/moldy because it does not do a good job of absorbing moisture. I do use hay in my nest boxes but only during the laying season because I don't want pine shavings burning my grass. Straw I only use when foaling out a mare to try and keep small particles from getting into the open umbilicus on the foal. Straw tends to get stinky and is cumbersome to move when wet.
    1 person likes this.
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I think I'm with duckluck. Seems like with ducks, no bedding works really well - you're just stuck with a bunch of not so great options and to me, shavings are probably the best for what you are needing.
  4. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    Ugh, I guess shavings it is. Last thing I need is a bunch of duck poop to cake up. And hay in the nesting boxes is a good idea. Guess I better pick up yet another bag of the stuff tomorrow and get it spread out, especially since the duckies are confined until I get a better idea of what would eat 11 ducks in a day and not take a single chicken...I think I need a guard goose...but that's just my morefowl disease acting up :p
  5. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    Get some wood pellet bedding like used for horses. I am so sorry to hear of your loses.
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Does the dirt floor housing have protection for anything that would dig under the walls?

    I think the sawdust pellets are worth considering. I use them to catch splash in and around the watering stations. I use pine shavings as bedding, by the way, but it's on top of flooring material, not soil.
  7. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    The house is being surrounded by a run that can't be dug under. So I'll be picking up pine shavings. Guess I'll just have to keep up with it and do more changes than I do for the chickens. Ah well.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012

  8. Coyote Night

    Coyote Night Chirping

    Dec 24, 2012
    We use pine shavings and straw. Straw only during winter because the fronts are open wire on our duck houses for ventilation so the straw helps keep them warmer. Any other time though it's pine shavings.

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