Because of the potential for sickness, the presence of insects, and the overall discomfort that comes with sleeping on wet bedding, you should do everything you can to keep your ducks as dry as possible. Since ducks spend so much time near water, it’s only natural that they would bring some of that moisture with them when they settle down for the night. So let’s get into how to keep duck bedding dry and safe for your ducks to be in.
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How to Keep Duck Bedding DryBecause ducks enjoy splashing around in the water, it’s difficult for owners to maintain dry duck bedding. Having a wet duck pen can be dangerous and uncomfortable for the ducks. It’s best to take all the necessary precautions to ensure the duck pen stays dry. Keeping your duck bedding dry is an essential part of keeping up with the cleanliness and maintenance of your duck pen. Before we dive into how to keep your duck’s bedding dry, let’s look at some possible causes of wet bedding. Read More: How to Help a Duck With a Hurt Leg. Having a clean place to rest is an essential step to healthy and recovering ducks!
Reasons For Wet BeddingWet bedding is not only unhygienic but also very uncomfortable for ducks to sleep in. The stench, insects, and infections can spread in a wet or dirty duck pen. There are many different reasons why your duck’s bedding might be wet:
Tracking WaterBecause ducks spend their time swimming and diving underwater, it’s very common for ducks to track water into their bedding. However, you want to make sure that the water being tracked in isn’t excessive and that it’s solely from the ducks, and that there’s no leaking or running water nearby. The water shouldn’t be to the point where it’s constantly soaking your duck’s bedding.
A Hutch OpeningThere could be holes, cracks, or other areas that allow for water to seep into their bed. Whether this is from the ground, the sky, or other areas of water, it’s important to either move their home to a new spot or try to resolve the water issue. Read More: What Does it Mean When a Duck Shakes? Shivering could be a sign of disease caused by wet bedding. Learn more.
RainwaterDucks should always have a covered place to sleep, even if they’re free-range ducks. This helps to protect them from the elements and predators. If your duck’s nesting place isn’t adequately covered from all sides, this could be the culprit for wet bedding. Read More: How to Keep a Duck Pond Clean Naturally. Bedding isn’t the only thing you should keep clean. Learn more!
Ways to Keep Duck Bedding Dry
Fixed Water BowlDucks can’t go long without water, which is why most duck owners put a water bowl in the nesting area. That said, spilled water bowls can definitely lead to soggy bedding. Securing your duck’s water and food bowls to the inside of the shed or coop can prevent the ducks from tipping them over. Alternatively, you can use heavy water bowls that ducks are unable to tip over.
Use Absorbent MatsYou can also surround the coop with some high-quality absorbent mats so that the majority of the water that the ducks carry will be soaked up by the mats rather than the coop. Since ducks’ feet and feathers pick up water, this won’t completely solve the issue of somewhat wet bedding but it will help to extend the life of your duck’s bedding.
Change Bedding RegularlyChanging the bedding out regularly is a top way of keeping their nesting place dry. Replacing the straw or woodchips with dry bedding daily, or as needed, can make for a safe and comfortable environment for your ducks. Take out any bedding that has become wet or covered in droppings, and replace it with some that are clean and dry. If you wait several weeks or months to replace old bedding with new ones, you could be facing many problems such as smell, mold, and even sickness. Here’s a video showing how to change and dry brooder bedding:
Move Duck PenSometimes either the ducks are bringing water from a nearby source, or it might just be best to move the duck pen away from a water-attractive place. If you find that your ducks are having super wet bedding without the sign of a source, then it might be worth it to try moving the pen to see if it still continues. Read More: Why is My Duck Losing its Feathers? It’s normal for ducks to lose feathers at certain times of the year, but here are some warning signs.
Downsides of Wet BeddingIf duck pens have chronically wet bedding it can cause a lot of different problems such as:
- The spread of disease
- Attracting insects and pests
- A bad odor
- Mold or mildew
- Dirt or mud build-up