What Else Besides Pine Chips?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by OldGuy43, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    The baby quackers will be coming home from Ideal on March 7th. I haven't had any luck finding straw. What else can I use? Pine chips, shredded newspaper or...? [​IMG]
     
  2. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You don't want to use straw in a brooder, it'll stink to high heaven. Pine shavings would be better, more absorbent.

    If you can cut a hole in the bottom of the brooder, say 12x12, and cover it with hardware cloth, to place the waterer on, that will solve the water issue. Place a bucket below to catch the waste water. It will keep the smell down a lot and will keep everything dry.

    You could use straw if the bottom is all wire, it can air out from the bottom and water can drip through. I wouldn't use straw on a solid floor with ducks unless it had the shavings mixed in too. Course I'm not a fan of mucking the whole thing out everyday.

    Just depends on your brooder set-up really. Finding a way to contain the waste water will be the biggest help. I've used everything from placing the waterer into a paint roller tray, setting it into a larger pan, but so far, having it sit on wire has done the most good, because they can't replay in the waste water and throw it all over.

    It's the water + wet food + poop + heat from the lamp that causes the stink. Not so bad if you find a way to manage the water.
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Initially I use paper towels. It provides good footing and can just be rolled up and replaced.
    When I'm brooding lots of birds I put down pine shavings, then roll out burlap over it, place the brooder on it and put some flashing around it to keep them off of the shavings. Then cover the burlap with paper towels for about 3 days and sprinkle the feed and crumbled boiled egg yolk on the paper towels. The chicks eat whatever is at their feet. Keep the feeders at least half full.
    After a week and they know what food is I roll up the burlap and there's nice clean pine shavings for them.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  4. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Guess I should have told y'all a little more. We're going to start with a cardboard box, in the house on plastic sheeting. At least that's our current plan.
     
  5. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That should get you through the first week, but not much longer if they're able to get the cardboard wet. You definitely want to use pine shavings for that for the absorbency they have.

    I couldn't find a video that shows what they do with the water in the drinker when they really get into it. They're not that bad the first week, like these. But note the wire bottom below the waterer.



    When they get older, they start zooming through that water "sifting" in it, throwing it pretty far. Chickens kick bedding into the water and make it gross. Ducklings throw the water all over and mix their food in it, then food filled water gets flung around.

    They'll run to the food, get a bill full, run to the water, sift, sift, sift, run back to the food... and so on and so forth until they're drained the water container and it's contents are all over the bedding and walls. So the cardboard isn't going to last long unless you place the waterer in the middle, well away from it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    edited.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Another thing, I know many people use a cardboard box but I'm always afraid it will get too hot and they'll have nowhere to escape to.
    If I just have a few and use a small container, I don't use a heat lamp at all but rather a 75 watt bulb in a drop light.
    I like them to have plenty of cool space with a local heat source just like with a broody. They sleep under her or nearby but most of the day they're running around with no heat at all.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. QuackerJackFarms

    QuackerJackFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use an 18 gallon tub for a brooder. Puppy pad or shelving paper on the bottom. (or both) Pine shavings on top.

    Hope that helps! Pics of the babies when they come. :)
     
  9. QuackerJackFarms

    QuackerJackFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ChickenCanoe- Nice set up!
     
  10. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used puppy pads with pine shavings the first time I brooded ducklings. I had plastic sheeting underneath and cardboard around.
    Now I am trying pine pellet horse bedding. It is easy to clean out but I wouldn't recommend it with a cardboard bottom. I used that for the first week but even thought the pellets absorb alot of water the cardboard got wet too. I did have plastic sheeting under it so it wasn't a big deal. I moved the little stinkers outside at 10 days ( I think). They have a mostly open brooder with a light for heat.
    The only problem I have found with the pellets is that one of the ducklings keeps getting little bits of it in it's eye and I have to wipe it out.
     

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