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How to Make a No Mess Duckling Brooder

Updated: Mar 16

We are new to the duck game. I mean, new. We have only had the ducks for just over a week and the first brooder I had set up was not working. Why? You may ask. I’ll tell you!


  1. It was too small. Way too small. For baby chicks, it worked great but I found very quickly that ducklings need more space. It was big enough for their size, but I didn’t have room to have a “no mess” water and food area, so the water soaked the bedding quickly. It was just gross. This leads me to number two.

  2. They get water EVERYWHERE. In their food and their bedding. They step in the water which then gets dragged out around the water.


We were thinking through what would be worth our money, in the long run, to get a brooder. We decided on a stock tank that would drain. This is because we will use it as a small pond for them in the summer. Then we don’t have to use a kiddie pool that has to be dumped and moved and on top of that, it doesn’t look great.


A no mess duckling brooder, duck brooder in a large tub, clean duck brooder

We got the 110-gallon Tuff Stuff Tank at North 40.

Now for the ”no mess” water and feed situation. I call this “no mess” in quotes because it still gets messy, but all the mess is in the pans under the cooling sheets. Here are some cooling sheets that won't rust and some pans that will hold up. The bedding isn’t messy around it and to stop potential tipping I put the pine shavings right up tight underneath the cooling sheets. The watering system has changed in our new duckling brooder. We now use this. It's amazing and a game-changer. The ducklings can use it longer as the deeper water tray is specifically designed for ducks! Any feeder will do, but I will link to our favorite.

For the heater, we use the Cozy Heater. In our opinion, it’s the best because there is no risk of fire. It’s also more natural heat for the babies as it mimics the ducklings hiding in their mama‘s wings.

A duckling brooder with ducklings, water, duck food, and pine shavings in a big tub

Thinking about getting ducks?! My Pet Chicken is my number one spot to purchase my birds. They offer small order sizes which means I get exactly what I want and I don't have to guess at the store and hope I picked all females. My Pet Chicken


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Does that size brooder work until they are ready to go outside?

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We just base it on weather and once they start feathering out. We always put supplemental heat out for them until fully feathered when we put them outside. We tend to put them outside sooner rather than later because the smell of ducks in the house is disgusting. Haha

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