Jun 28, 2012

Watering Solution for Ducks

I was jogging around southeast Portland last fall when I came upon an urban poultry coop with both chickens and ducks in it.  The chickens looked fine, but the ducks didn't look too happy.  They were dirty and their bills and nostrils were caked with dried mud.  I felt bad for them duckles.

It's not hard to provide ducks with an appropriate water supply, although in Portland, municipal water is surprisingly expensive so I can understand if you don't want to refill a kiddie pool every day during the dry season.  But you can provide drinking water in a manner that's healthy for ducks.  Ducks need to be able to wash their eyes and bills in water throughout the day, so their water source should be deep enough for them to submerge their heads in.  Here's what I came up with to allow for that while minimizing the sloppy mess ducks can make with water.

This is a five gallon poultry waterer from a feed store. The basin isn't deep enough for ducks to get their heads in, or even their entire bills.

The tank is independent of the base. Get rid of the base. It's recyclable

This is a 18 x 8 x 18 inch, five gallon rubber feeder tub from Amazon.

Put two bricks in the rubber tub.

Sit the tank on top of the bricks.

FIll 'er up!

Open the spout and let the tub fill up.

Here they come!

They can get their heads in, but not much else.

This is where the waterer usually sits - inside the duck run. They have kiddie pools outside on the lawn.


  1. This looks great! Can I ask you a question? How often do you have to clean the basin? Right now I am using a bucket and the ducks make it completely muddy and I have to change it everyday...do you still have to change this everyday or would it last a couple of days? This is also just for nighttime when they are in their house. Any information would be greatly appreciated!! Many thanks!

  2. What a great idea! I linked to your post in a new "best ideas" article. It's here:

  3. Most of the murkiness in the water is from their food residue: they eat and go straight to the water. This makes it feel cleaner to me than thinking that they have pooped in the water.

  4. Thanks for sharing the important points of view with us. It is really very nice blog which describes how to Poultry Solutions

  5. Instead of the black basin, could you use a heated LARGE dog dish for the base to get through winter?

  6. There is a chance you're eligible to receive a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

  7. Really love the idea, thinking to try to use a large reusable plastic drum for my experiment. Thanks for the creativity!

    There's also a chance I'm the King of France, probably a better chance than you winning an Amazon Gift Card lol.

  8. I tried this and the 5 gallon tank continued to empty the water out until it was even with water level in the bowl (which was overflowing). Any idea what I did wrong? Or how to fix this issue?

  9. Sounds like your bricks were too tall.