Unlike their cousins chickens, ducks are heavily reliant on water. Besides taking it even while eating, they are avid swimmers. They spend most of their leisure time wading and bathing. Therefore, it is important to have essentials such as a pool and a duck waterer when rearing these birds.
Duck waterers act as reservoirs for holding duck’s drinking water. Additionally, they come in multiple varieties as you will discover in this context.
Importance of a duck waterer
A duck waterer will play a very important role if you have ducks in your compound. They are some of the must have tools you require in the duck pens. Here are some of their importance:
A waterer for ducks will minimize spillage
With a good duck waterer, there are very few or no cases of water spillage. Your birds are able to utilize the amount of water available in a prudent way.
This will help prevent wastage especially during the dry season when water is scarce.
Waterers acts as reservoirs holding water for ducks
With big duck waterers, you are at peace that your ducks have water through out. There are some types like a 5 gallon duck waterer that hold enough amount to keep your birds going without the need for a refill.
If you have the best waterer for ducks, you will even go for a vacation or that work seminar knowing in mind that your birds are watered.
The water will remain clean in a duck waterer
Ducks easily mess with water as they soil it and put dirt in it. With a good waterer, water always remains clean, fresh and free from external contaminants like duck poop which may harbor harmful bacteria.
Water remains clean and free from poop and beddings as ducks love to swim and wade in open water systems splashing and making it dirty.
Some types like duck nipple and cup wateres will ensure that the water remains clean and free from contamination. Additionally, the birds will drink without spilling as they are gravity fed.
Waterers prevents ducklings from drowning
Ducklings are naïve birds and can easily drown. With waterers, these tiny creatures can drink with ease and quench their thirsts without the risk of drowning.
This will prevent deaths and cases where these little critters get cold and chill especially during the cold winter months.
A heated duck waterer will hydrate your girls in winter
Winter season is one of the most challenging months for most poultry keepers. Every drop of water turns into ice but your bird still need something to quench thirst.
This is the time you know how good it feels to have a heated duck waterer. A heated waterer will not only keep the water from freezing but also make it a few degrees warm thus, more appetizing to drink on a cold day.
5 Best Duck Waterers
There are many types of duck watered in the market. However, I have decided to review those that I feel are the best according to first hand experience.
This has also see me scour through the internet looking for different customer reviews to hear their experience with them. All this is meant to make sure you get the right value for your money.
So, let’s roll!
K & H Thermo Duck Waterer (Best Heated Option)
Capacity: 5 gallons
Material: Non metallic
Warranty: 2 years
This is the best duck waterer when it comes to cold season as it will keep water heated. Due to its oval shape, birds are unable to perch on it thus keeping the water clean.
It has cups that are well designed to allow ducks bills to drink with ease from it. They are fitted with drinker cups that contain removable filters that help keep the water clean throughout.
With a large surface area at the base, it makes it difficult for ducks to knock it down and mess the coop with water especially during winter.
K & H waterer comes with a 2 year warranty giving the user a guarantee of quality, reliability and safety. It also assures the users that any damage or malfunction between the first two years there will be a replacement.
- Can be used on all kinds of poultry.
- Keeps the water clean
- When there is no power, the water freezes turning into ice.
- The cups are not easy to remove and clean when water freezes.
Backyard Barnyard ( Best no Peck Waterer)
This waterer should be your go to option for ease of use. It is characterized by a design that simplifies that whole drinking process for your birds.
You can ensure there is water available for your ducks throughout by connecting a hose to this waterer.
It has a float regulator that ensures the water is always present and closes automatically once full with no spillage.
This waterer for ducks can be used with various water containers and are very easy to install. It is built with quality materials making it a good option.
- Can be easily used with various water containers.
- Has an automatic water supply and a float regulator.
- No training is required to install.
- The cups easily fill with dirt and debris from the birds beaks.
- It is not easy to remove the cups as they are fixed as one solid piece.
Rent a Coop Automatic Nipple Cup (Best Nipple Drinker)
With this kind of duck waterer your birds can’t mess with the water. It is` suitable for all kinds of poultry ranging from turkeys, Manchurian pheasants and chicken.
The cup has an ideal design for hot weather and is made in a way that ducks can dip their bills and have a comfortable drink.
Water shuts off automatically after the cup is full ensuring that no instances of spillage occur. For the short breeds of ducks and baby ducklings, this waterer is ideal because it can be lowered to their desired height. The cup allows just enough drinking water hence no drowning can occur.
It is ideal for gravity fed systems as their cups have a pressure capacity of 3 PSI meaning they will not allow water to spill as they can withstand this kind of pressure.
This waterer can be used with different water containers or a plastic pipe. Further more, it keeps the water clean throughout.
- Keeps the water clean always.
- It can be used on all types of poultry.
- The automatic nature of this waterer keeps the coop dry with no spillage.
- The water sitting in the cups will freeze during winter.
- Water will overflow when the pressure is too high.
- Cups easily gets dirt from the ducks bills.
Royal Rooster Automatic Valve Waterer
Capacity: 1 gallon
Brand: Royal Rooster
This is one of the waterers that will definitely offer your ducks a world class drink they require. It has a twin automatic valve that allows water to flow with no spillage and keep it clean throughout. Additionally, it comes with a 1 gallon storage container.
The 1 gallon container ensures that your ducks have water for a longer period of time. You don’t have to mind going out for a vacation. It has a lid that keeps the water free from dirt and poop.
You can easily fit this container on the wall or on the corner post. However, put it in a way that if it is meant for chicken they won’t climb on top. As you know chicken love heights and will not mind to roost on its top.
- It is easy to clean and refill the water.
- Ensures the water is clean all through.
- Water stays in the cups at all times.
- It minimizes exposure of water to external contaminants since it is closed.
- Requires little space in the coop.
- No training is required for the ducks to use it.
- Cannot hold much water like other waterers that holds up to 5 gallons.
- Water freezes up in the valves during winter.
- There is no way to check the water level as the the plastic material is not transparent.
Little Giant Fence Feeder
Material : Plastic
Mounting Type: Hanging Mount
Size: 11 by 6.75 by 6 inches
This bowl model waterer is common to most farmers as it is permanently fixed on the fence to make sure your ducks have access to water. It can serve a multi-purpose function as it is divided into sections.
Little Giant Fence Feeder waterer can be used on all types of poultry birds and it is not easy for them damage it. Has been designed in a way that it cannot easily spill the contents.
This waterer has clips attached on it making mounting it in the wire or on the wall easy for you. It can also be used with other farm animals like sheep and goats.
- Have strong clips for firm mounting.
- The large partitions in the bowl allows feeding and watering at the same time.
- This waterer is made of strong and durable material that is not affected by weather.
- Many buyers have complained that clips easily come off.
- This kind of waterer is not good for ducklings as they can easily drown.
- When mounted on the wall, this waterer gets too high for the ducks to drink.
DIY. How to make an easy Duck Waterer
Sometimes you are in a dire need to give your ducks clean water but you wonder where to put it. At the back of your mind you think of how ducks spill and soil their drinking water. After all they must have enough of it to quench thirst.
Not much is required since most of the readily available materials can quickly be turned into a waterer. Assume the waterer you had on coming back home found it broken. What would you do and your ducks are helplessly watching you in dire need of water.
How to make a 5 gallon bucket waterer
It is simple as long as you have all the required parts ready with you. All that you need is?
- A 5 gallon bucket with a lid
- A jig saw or any other thing that can make a hole.
- Sand paper
- A sander.
For safety reasons you may have gloves, an apron, safety boots and safety goggles. If you don’t have the safety gear you can go on as long as you are careful.
Measure several inches from the bottom of your bucket considering the height of your ducks and mark the appropriate place to make holes. Remember to leave enough room for the water.
Make three circular holes with a jigsaw. Consider the size of the holes so that ducks cannot get through inside the waterer and spoil it. Also make sure the holes are not very tiny as ducks may get their heads stuck which may cause injury.
Sand the edges to make them smooth and remove any sharp bits that may cause harm. Finally, your waterer is ready for use. All you have to do is check the water levels and clean it when necessary.
Factors to consider when choosing a duck waterer
The importance of a good waterer is ensure your ducks have access to clean drinking water at all times with no spillage or contamination occurring. Here are some of the qualities of a good duck waterer.
This is the amount of water a waterer can hold. Considering the size of your flock, you know the capacity of the waterer you require.
A large flock requires a waterer that can hold substantive amount of water. Especially if you do not have enough time to spend with the birds or when there are few flock attendants and the birds are many, you need big waterers that a will hold much water.
Ease to clean
A good waterer is easy to clean. Dissembling and assembling its parts should be simple. This will make it possible for you to clean inner parts which might get clogged. Remove any foreign materials like algae, beddings and food scraps.
It is good you use a mild bleach, warm water and dishwashing soap to help clean your waterer thoroughly and kill any bacteria.
How you top up your duck waterer is very important. It should be easy to refill and as quickly as possible. I would prefer a gravity filled type or an automatic waterer since they are not labor intensive as long as there is sufficient amount of water.
5 gallon bucket waterers would work better for those using them because they have removable lids and carry large volumes serving the birds for a long time before doing another refill.
Age of your ducks
Ducklings will require small waterers that have their drinking points close to the ground where they can easily access.
Always make sure that the height of drinking points is not above the shoulders of your birds.
Some breeds of ducks are short and others are tall. Consider this to make sure all birds get equal access to water.
Size of your flock
The number of birds you intend to keep will determine how many waterers you will require. All ducks require equal drinking opportunities at the same time.
Remember congestion at the drinking point can easily cause bullying and the weak will not get their share as they will be intimidated by the strong.
Ability to resist freezing
Consider where your living whether temperatures drop to freezing point especially in winter. Your ducks will still need drinking water even during the coldest months. So, what is the best waterer when it is this cold?
Get your birds a waterer that has an in built heating mechanism as this will keep your water in liquid form and also make it some degrees warmer.
Also note that some waterers became brittle and easily crack when it is very cold. Hence, it is good to consider the material used to make the waterer too. Additionally, learn various different ways to keep duck water from freezing in winter if you do not have a heated duck waterer.
Make sure it does not spill
I am sure the last thing you do not want to see is a flooded coop. However, how you fix those drinker cups and place the waterer can probably be the cause of a wet pen.
Ensure the cups are properly fixed to avoid any leaks. Place the waterer on firm objects or mount them on the walls to avoid being knocked down by playful ducks. Spillage can easily occur when fighting breaks out.
Flooding can wet beddings denying your ducks a comfortable surface to sleep on. It can also lead to dampness and build up of moulds which can lead to respiratory issues.
What is the importance of water to ducks?
Water accounts of 70% of an animal’s body. It makes a big component of blood a medium in which nutrients and minerals are transported around the body.
Denying your ducks water can result to dehydration and death. Let me take you through the importance of water to our domestic ducks.
Domestic ducks drink plenty of water occasionally. Depending on the nature of the food they eat, they can even drink more than you think. If fed on dry food they will keep going back to the waterer after a bite or two.
Washing their bills
Ducks will shovel their bills in moist soil as they search for tasty grubs and worms. They will dip their bills deep in their feeding troughs too. As they do this, they block the openings of their nostrils and quickly rush in the waterer to help unclog the sinuses.
Unlike chicken that dust bath, ducks take a shower. They will get in any water as long as they get a chance to. They will splash and wade as they swim along. This makes them spoil their drinking water and mix it with poop.
Additionally, ducks rely on water to preen their body feathers. Preening helps coat their plumage with oil to make it water proof when diving.
Catching and swallowing food
Every bite of duck food is followed by some amount of water. Ducks prefer marshy food as it is easy to shovel and swallow. I have observed my ducks drag leafy matter in their dangling pools and eat it from there.
Most diving ducks like the hooded Merganser’s rely on water bodies for food. These birds will dive deep to catch fish, frogs, morsels and other aquatic animals they like to eat.
Ducks will drown the parasites on their body in water unlike chicken that will choke them in dust. This helps them deal with any foreigners giving them a hard time.
Have you ever seen duck poop? It looks watery and is disgusting. Imagine without giving these webbed friends enough water. Definitely they will die of constipation.
A duck waterer is of much help as you have seen from the above context. You will definitely need to have this duck raising tool before you bring your first batch of these birds.
Am certain there are other various materials that can be used to make simple waterers at home. Maybe you don’t have a 5 gallon bucket but you have something else. Make use of it. Be innovative and creative, the sky is the limit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best watering system for ducks?
The best watering system for ducks is one that will serve them better with no cases of water spillage. It should keep the water clean and can hold as much water as possible for the birds.
Can ducks use chicken water?
Some waterers cannot serve ducks due to the nature of their bills unlike chickens that can be served by all. However, modifications can be made on the drinking cups to allow ducks drink together with chicken.
What to use to water ducks?
When raising ducks, anything can be used to water them as long as they get access to water. But studies shows that ducks prefer to drink from open water systems like ponds and troughs rather than modern systems like nipple drinkers.
They like freedom when it comes to water and need plenty of it.
How do you give ducks water without making a mess?
Personally I use a shield as it helps minimize the amount splashed out and the results are amazing. When allowed to have free access to water, ducks make mud and contaminate the water making a mess you will not like.