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Keeping a Duck Brooder Clean and Dry - a 2 Dollar Solution

 
jack spirko
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First let me say I think the best way to brood any bird is NOT TO. Let mom do the work. This is why I love my geese, once a year they make a nest, pull down and sit on eggs. Anything trying to harm the eggs or the goslings once hatched is beaten senseless by a gaggle of giant birds. During this time they will even attack me, doesn't work out well for them but you got to admire the spirit.

Yet what do you do when you need to expand your duck flock NOW and none of your girls are in the mood to brood. Well folks you got to do the brooding yourself. It isn't that big a deal but if you have ever dealt with brooding ducks you know they turn the brooder into a wet, sticky, gross and ever loving mess. Even when you make waters that let them get their heads into the water but not climb in it they still manage to splash it everywhere.

This turns the brooders bedding into a paste like wet sopping mess. Worst yet it can lead to disease and even death due to young birds getting simply too cold. Last year we lost several young ducks and in the end it seemed they simply died from being wet while still in the fuzzy stage and unable to find a clean, dry spot.

We change the bedding daily but if this happens over night you end up with wet, sick and often dead ducklings. Our solution last year was simply to remove the water in the evening and give it back in the morning. It worked but they still made a daily mess and I just don't feel good about babies going that long without water.

So I created this simple working prototype that we will refine and improve over time. It will be used for brooding our 50 White Layer Hybrids due in from Metzer Farms on Thursday the 22nd. http://www.metzerfarms.com/WhiteLayerDucks.cfm?ID=WHGOL&CustID=3243805&BirdType=Duck&Breed=White%20Layer

While I made this specifically for ducks and to deal with their water issues. It would also work well for feeders and waterers for other birds like chickens. Keep things both dry and clean. It will easily keep bedding out of the food and water as well.

The best part is WHEN not if but WHEN your babies manage to fully drain a waterer by tipping it over or just simply off level, all the water goes into a nice resivor vs. trashing your brooder and making it stink to high heaven.

 
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