Ducks...

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chasechicken

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Ducks...
« on: November 11, 2010, 14:39 »
We're really keen to get some ducks but don't have our own pond.  We only really want 3 ducks and plan to have a run, little duck house and then some sort of water for them - this is the sticking point.

I've got a friend who has a couple of ducks which free range around the stables - they have a large water trough which is changed regularly.  The local garden centre has a brick pond, not huge but enough for about 8 ducks to happily bob around on, and it's hooked up to a fancy filtration system.

I'd prefer to use a large trough but worry it'll need a lot of refilling, which will become a pain, but at the same time - if we don't get on with having ducks then it's easier to dismantle the area without having a large brick pond sitting there!!

Any suggestions?  What kind of space will they need  in the run, and how much water?  I'd love to give them a massive pond but sadly just don't have the room...

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orchardlady

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Re: Ducks...
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2010, 19:09 »
I started keeping ducks this May and found that however big their run is it quickly becomes soggy and poo laden. They are now mature adults and free range with the  hens. My 5 ducks have a child's play sand pit/paddling pool. It's not aesthetically very attractive but serves the purpose well. I empty it out ever day in the field and move it a few feet and then refill it with a hose pipe. This seems to work well as they just adore fresh clean water, the land doesn't get over used and waterlogged. I think one of the problems with keeping ducks is that they love to dabble in the mud around their pond and the area can quickly become overused with all the grass and greenery stripped and the area then looks horrible as well as probably not being very good for the ducks to boot.  As I've not had the ducks for a full winter I haven't really had a problem with frozen hose pipes but I do have a smaller galvanised round tub that will serve as their exclusive water for a few days and will only take a couple of watering cans of water to fill.This is just my solution but I'm sure others will have an idea or two for you.

OL

PS You will love duck keeping they are such fun.

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darkbrowneggs

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Re: Ducks...
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2010, 19:14 »
Something like an old childs paddling pool or sand pit would do.  They dont need much space for swimming and splashing, then it is fairly easy to empty and refill when it gets disgusting.  Dont forget to put a brick inside so they can easily get out, and a ramp or couple of bricks so they can get in.

All the best
Sue
Dark Brown Eggs
I love my traditional clean legged English Cuckoo Marans

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chasechicken

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Re: Ducks...
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2010, 09:18 »
Thanks for your comments - nice to know I'm not completely barking up the wrong tree!!

Our only slight issue is finding somewhere which will be able to take the waste water as it's just our garden, and so I'm thinking about pump/filters to keep it clean, but wonder what sort of setup I'll need for that to work (ie is it possible to filter a paddling pool?)

The local garden centre sells ducks - they're so entertaining!!

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Sassy

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Re: Ducks...
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2010, 09:25 »
I have recycled the plastic tray of a wheelbarrow when the chassis was worn out. With the handles left on it is easy to empty daily. All 3 ducks get in at once and love it.

I don't know anything about filtration units but suspect they would not be up to the job. Even changed daily the dirty water has a thick sludge of mud at the bottom.

Paddling pools with a ramp are another option. Homebase sell a very large black plastic tray about 14" deep that decorators use for something? Plus the ideas above.

It is definitely a good idea to be able to move it around to protect your area for the ducks.

I also put out a small bucket of water and the ducks love this as well. It doesn't stay clean for more than 5 minutes on a good day!!!!!!! :)
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted!!

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chasechicken

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Re: Ducks...
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2010, 11:03 »
I thought chicken owners were fond but you duck owners adore them :-D

The wheelbarrow top is a great idea Sassy!!

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Chookiechook

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Re: Ducks...
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2010, 21:58 »
Not sure if you are allowed but could you site the 'pond' near to a drain cover and shoot it straight down there :)

Probably against all the laws in the country!!   ;)
I love Pekins, Polands and Seramas :) and eggs!!!

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upert

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Re: Ducks...
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2010, 22:48 »
i fancy keeping a few ducks but the fact i wouldn't be able to give them as large an area as they would like and a decent-sized pond stops me getting them.

as it is i feel bad about my six hens being restricted to a 12 by 24 foot run. whenever i'm at my plot i let them out and, though they are largely kept on my plot, no-one seems to mind whenever they stray. i think they'd mind if vandal ducks waddled onto their plots though.

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chickadee

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Re: Ducks...
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2010, 16:26 »
i always thought if i kept ducks 9 ( which i would love to ) i would use an old bath then you could drain it by pulling the plug and it would be fun seeing them bob about in the bath !!
chickens out

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jaxchucks

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Re: Ducks...
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2010, 17:03 »
we have three ducks!! and we have an old bath for them to swim around in. we keep our ducks at our allotment and they are in a pen with our Turkeys! we tried to change their water daily but it was a waste of time, as quick as we changed the water the ducks were pushing mud and food into the clean water. we give the Turkeys apples and as quick as we put them in the pen the ducks have them in the water and the poor Turkeys are left watching the apples bob around in the mucky water.

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Sassy

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Re: Ducks...
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2010, 10:12 »
If you use a bath you would need to make a ramp  so that they could get in and very importantly they would need a ledge.steps inside the bath to enable them to get out or they will drown!

I also have an old dinghy that is still watertight that was going to be cut up and taken to the tip. This will be excellent as it is light, being moulded fibreglass, and has a ledge that would have been seating inside to enable the ducks to get out. Also the holes to take an outboard motor on the back of the boat mean I have attached a ramp easily using plastic ties.

There is always a use for something that goes to the tip!! :)

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orchardlady

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Re: Ducks...
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2010, 13:16 »
I was talking to a girlfriend who lives locally just two minute ago and she has just invested in a ped bath for her ducks. She got it from QPS (Quality Pet Supplies) Just google them. They also sell on ebay and if you search with the word duck in it it comes up with some lovely ducky pictures in their baths. I think they were just under 25. My girlfriends husband is also going to attach a pipe to the plug hole so it can be drained well away from the ducks run. Hope this helps.

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orchardlady

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Re: Ducks...
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2010, 13:19 »

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chasechicken

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Re: Ducks...
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2010, 14:30 »
That's great - thanks for the link!  At the moment we're using a large horse water bucket - looks about the same size as that, but round.  Seems to be doing the trick and as it has handles it's easy to carry.  However, we're short of places to get rid of the water so are going to get a filter - seen one at Frosts for <200 which sits externally and uses large tubes to filter the water around.  The water will then need replacing about once a month, which is more practical...

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alisonwo

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Re: Ducks...
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2010, 18:10 »
I wonder if one of those big duck bath thingies would do as a dust bath for my girls, I use a low rhino tub which is about 10 inches high, but as 4 of them try to get in together the compost I put in for them is soon thrown over the side, they could do with something a big bigger and deeper.  Might look into this.



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