How to keep ducks' water clean?

Petal to the Metal

Golden Chicken
Messages
138
I'm watching some ducks while my friends are out of town. They usually have access to a nice pond, but they are staying in their run while my friends are away. The ducks keep swimming in the heated water troughs and buckets and are getting them absolutely filthy. I'm changing the water twice a day. I bet their water bill will be high. How do I keep the ducks' water clean? My friends never mentioned that this could be an issue, and they're in a dead zone where I can't call to ask. I appreciate any help you guys can give! I don't want to let them down.
 

Holii

Farm Hand
Messages
57
Honestly I don't know how in the world you are going to keep it clean. I mean, how do you keep the ducks out of the water - I don't think you can. I don't raise ducks though.
 

Birdie

Golden Chicken
Messages
112
I've raised quite a few ducks over the years and what you're experiencing is totally normal. Ducks are messy creatures. The water is dirty because that's how they eat. It's probably just food sludge that you're seeing. If the owners have both heated buckets and a heated trough in their enclosed pen, then I bet the trough is meant for them to "swim" in while the owners are away. Empty that water less often. Every other day should suffice.
 

Shelbii

Farm Hand
Messages
72
I agree with Birdie. Ducks and chickens are just dirty and the dirty water won't harm them. I mean, it doesn't sound dirty (harmful, bacteria, etc.). I would change the water every few days. It's a shame you didn't get more direction on the care of these ducks.
 

naykid

Farm Hand
Messages
19
Ducks are messy. We raised them for awhile. Never again. Doing them a favor to eat them.
 

OhSusanna

Golden Chicken
Messages
119
Some people teach their ducks to drink out of those water bottles like you see hanging upside down in hamster cages. That cuts down on some of the mess. I'm sure you're dying to train those ducks before your friends return home. They'll be delighted by their new trick. Sorry, I couldn't resist.
 

RichZ

Bean Stalker
Messages
335
We've had ducks and they're really nice and fun birds, HOWEVER, they will swim in every stock tank that they can get to, and when they swim, they poop. Their water has to be changed once or twice per day, and you have to find a way to keep them out of your other livestock's water. They're a lot of trouble, but they're worth it. They're also great at controlling snails. We always allow them access to our pastures to cut down on snails and help prevent liver flukes. This year we're thinking of putting fences around our garden and introducing some ducks to control snails and slugs.
 

FarmEnthusiast

Farm Hand
Messages
26
I can't think up a way out of this other than replacing the water. Giving them a deep storage tub or something they can drink out of will help. Ducks prefer clean water so that they can submerge their heads.
 
 
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