how To Keep Duckling pen CLEAN!!!!!

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how To Keep Duckling pen CLEAN!!!!!

Postby Lydia » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:57 pm

Yesterday,when I collected my 3 ducklings,I was warned that they are messy in their pen,getting water everywhere.
At home,because they are still downy,no feathers yet I've got them in the house with me.They are shut in a very large metal dog crate,which I've covered the floor with newspaper,on top of which I've put a large piece of vet bed(supposed to let water through but stay dry on the top)along with this is their water,food and grit containers.
Well,yesterday,I cleaned thewm out twice,and so far they've been cleaned out twice and look like they need doing again.Are all ducklings this messy and any tips on helping them to keep their pen cleaner?
Lydia
 

Re: how To Keep Duckling pen CLEAN!!!!!

Postby Anne W » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:07 pm

Ha! Oh yes - they certainly are mucky little bu***rs!! How old are they Lydia? I would imagine the smell of he meal when it's gone through them is enough to make you vomit at times??? :shock: I remember it so well. They may be old enough to go into a shed if it's warm enough - I had to do that as the whole house smelt of it! No matter how many times you change the paper - their poo just reeks!! Watching their antics tends to compensate I have to say - would definitely do it again. I used newsaper ( you will need truckloads!) with shavings on top and just changed it often. Their water was the main prob so I used a plastic beaker ( smallish) and tied it to the crate. It's best to keep the water container small and replace or top up the water often rather than give them enough to make a mudbath :lol: They have this compulsion to mix stuff in with their water don't they - that does not change !!!!!!! Good luck and could we see some photos please? xx
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Re: how To Keep Duckling pen CLEAN!!!!!

Postby Anne W » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:11 pm

Meant to say Lydia - when they go outside as they get older and onto grass - Tim reminded me of something I used to do then somehow forgot :roll: (it's my age you know) put the water container onto a very large piece of mesh as they will dabble mud into it otherwise . They do anyway the little sods - but it does cut down on it a lot. :lol:
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Re: how To Keep Duckling pen CLEAN!!!!!

Postby Tim » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:41 pm

Hi Lydia,

My word, you do like your animals ;)

What I would do is use a cat litter tray with a normal size wide lip water drinker in the middle - they will empty the container in a day but mainly fill the litter tray. They do need to get their eyes wet from time to time as they don't have tear ducts - but they usually do this with a reasonable sized drinker anyway.

Every few days, I get a painting roller tray and put a couple of inches of water in the bottom for them. They will bath in this. Take it out after they have finished (30 mins is usually long enough) and make sure they are kept warm to dry off.

Remember ducklings are not waterproof until they are mature - it is the mother that oils them - so they will get wet and cold easily. Do not give them deep water until they are fully feathered.

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Re: how To Keep Duckling pen CLEAN!!!!!

Postby snifter » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:08 pm

Lydia wrote:Are all ducklings this messy and any tips on helping them to keep their pen cleaner?


Hehe, in my experiece it doesn't improve as they get older :lol: :roll: Ducks make a hell of a mess. We kept Aylesbury ducks (and before that Muscovies which I adored) but they were messy things, more so once roaming round when bigger. Ducks will nibble on anything and everything in reach. They used to strip all the flowers and leaves of my potted plants outside the kitchen door. And trim the grass till it became mud. Also their crap got *everywhere* and there was so much of it it used to drive me a bit bonkers. And I found it far more smelly than chicken poo :roll:

Our ducks had a stable all to themselves to sleep in, a large pond to wander down to to swim on or sit by and a yard and large garden to roam round. They trashed the lot. Never again. Good job most of them were for meat once old enough. We had 15 or so and only about 5 or 6 once we took out the eaters, but even those few left would cause chaos and mess. O and don't get me started on the noise they would make if we were late letting them out for breakfast (6am). Jeez they honked till someone appeared. Usually me, groggy and in my PJ's :lol:

Of course, lovely creatures but if I were to ever keep them again I'd ensure they had a large penned area and could be rotated round to fresh ground every couple of months. And get a hatch opener on a timer. And keep them well away from my garden :roll:
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Re: how To Keep Duckling pen CLEAN!!!!!

Postby Lydia » Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:43 pm

thanks Tim,Snifter and Anne for the advice.I've been giving them a big bowl of water in the morning,for all the morning and taking that out in the afternoon and replacing with a smaller bowl.Will definitely pop that one inside a cat litter tray type container.
They are so adorable I think I'll cope with the smell and the mess.My bfd has noticed the smell,I pretend not to :lol: .The two pure aylesburies are really sweet,the black one has the same markings as a Blue Swedish, although she obviously isn't,but a reall sweety,she hisses the loudest :lol: .
They are eating like anything,I think they are 4 weeks old,as the breeder told me to start mixing their duck crumb with grower pellets.I also give them some chopped cabbage,and obviously grit.
Before I go to bed,I change their bedding for dry clean bedding and make sure they are dry.I also remove their water bowl.Is it ok to remove their water for the night?
I also thought it was better to keep them in until they get feathers,just let them out during the day when it is warmer-is this ok?
Lydia
 

Re: how To Keep Duckling pen CLEAN!!!!!

Postby steeple ducks » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:38 pm

If you keep them in until they get feathers they will be enormous, ducks grow a lot before feathering up. Immature feathers before the mature ones. At 4 weeks they should be big already and really really cute if you can cope with them in the house still? But then 3 isn't so many is it? Aren't they also rather noisy in the night?

They can pile up to keep warm. If you can keep them dry from above, not rained on, and give them a snug cat carrier or something to pile into - put it as far away from the water as possible. They can skim out their down pretty dry with the combs on their beaks.

Cat carriers are handy beds for young birds, easy to clean out and to move them around, dark airing cupboard for warm ups and sleeping, a run, shed or greenhouse.
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Re: how To Keep Duckling pen CLEAN!!!!!

Postby Lydia » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:50 pm

hi Steeple ducks,

They are really well behaved,if slightly messy.They are actually very quiet at night,I think they are sleeping all night.During the day they are sleeping quite a lot still,when awake constantly eating and drinking/splashing.To me, they look bigger already than when I picked them up on sunday.

they do pile up together in a heap,it's really sweet,their necks entwined and resting their heads on each other.Today,I put their sand pit, filled with water not sand :lol: in my lounge.They loved it and actually spent a few hours playing.I put my central heating on for them and they all got towel dried when they came out.

I will have to see how it goes about keeping them inside my house,I was planning to until they were 6 weeks old,at that age,if the weather is still inclement,I planned to have them outside during the day and back in just for the night.
I will have to play it by ear and see how we all get on.
Thank-you for the advice,I do appreciate it.
Lydia
 

Re: how To Keep Duckling pen CLEAN!!!!!

Postby annie » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:37 pm

Good luck,

we lasted five weeks in the house with our two ayesburies in a big rabbit cage and even with cleaning daily they stunk. (we changed thier bedding to medibed and it didnt smell half as bad.We let them out inside on a big cloth with a tray of water to bathe in, after their swim they just used to lie down. They were so cute. We started to let them out when hubby got home for a couple of hours, seperate from the chooks and tho other ducks. When he looked out they were trying to get to the hens and other ducks. So we took a deep breath and they went out with them. The ducks all sleep together and so do the hens. So everyone is happy.

They grow very quick Lydia, and you are right you can see a change daily. I do miss them now they are in the garden as it is dark when i get home and i cant chat to them.

Annie
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Re: how To Keep Duckling pen CLEAN!!!!!

Postby Lydia » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:05 pm

annie wrote:
They grow very quick Lydia, and you are right you can see a change daily. I do miss them now they are in the garden as it is dark when i get home and i cant chat to them.

Annie


That is a shame :( ,I couldn't bear that either.

At the moment I'm cleaning them out 2-3 times a day,so far so good ;) .
Lydia
 


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