A kiddie pool makes a perfect pond for ducks because it can be cleaned out and refilled often. Ducks are messy, so being able to change the water every day is convenient. Ducks use the water to keep the vents in their bills clean and to wash their feathers during oiling. A duck preens itself with oil from a gland located at the base of its tail. This helps to clean and waterproof its feathers and being able to float during this process makes the job easier.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Hard plastic kiddie pool
- Garden hose
- Flat rock or concrete block
- Bricks (amount needed depends on height of kiddie pool)
- 19 litre (5 gallon) bucket
Set a hard plastic kiddie pool in an open area of the garden where the ground is level.
Fill the kiddie pool with water using a garden hose. Fill it all the way to the top.
Set some bricks up against the outside of the pool up to the top edge to act as steps. These will allow the ducks to climb up into the pool. Lay down as many as needed to allow the ducks easy access. Fully feathered ducks may not need the bricks, as they will be able to jump in and out of the pool without assistance.
Set a rock or concrete block inside the pool that is big enough for the ducks to climb on. This will serve as a step for the ducks to get out of the pool. The rock or block should have a flat top so that the ducks can get on top of it without sliding off. It should sit 10 cm (4 inches) above the water level. Set it against an inside edge of the pool.
Tips and warnings
- Dump the water out of the kiddie pool once a day and refill it with fresh water.
- Move the kiddie pool to a different area each day to avoid killing vegetation beneath the pool.
- Use a f19 litre (5 gallon) bucket to scoop up and dump out half the water before trying to lift the kiddie pool for cleaning.
- Rinse the kiddie pool out with the garden house between each use.
- Do not use an inflatable kiddie pool, as the ducks' webbed feet can tear holes in it.
- Do not set the kiddie pool in a hole or it will make it extremely difficult to dump the water.
- Do not allow children to get in the kiddie pool if ducks have been using it. Duck faeces may contain salmonella.
- Baby ducks covered in down should not be allowed in the water until their oil glands develop or unless the mother is present. A baby duck that gets wet without oil protection may take a chill and die. However, if the baby ducks have a mother, the oil from the mother will protect the babies and it will be safe for them to get in the water.
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