What is the best bedding for ducks

10 Aug

One of the most important issues for anyone thinking of keeping ducks is likely to be ‘What is the best bedding for ducks?’

All new duck keepers have to provide their poultry with three basic requirements: shelter, water and food. Keeping your ducks happy in their shelter is important not just to the ducks but also as dealing with their bedding is likely to be one of the biggest and most time consuming jobs for the duck keeper.

best bedding for ducksIf you plan to keep your ducks in a garden or on a small plot of land you are likely to want to keep them locked up at night in a coop, similar to a chicken coop. This is likely to offer the best defence against predators so you will need to provide them with some bedding in the coop.

The bedding material’s purpose is to keep the ducks cosy and in winter at least, it is there to protect the ducks from the cold.

In the six months or so we have had our ducks we have used two different brands of wood shavings as their bedding material and we think it has provided a safe and cost effective bedding material.

If you look into what is the best bedding for ducks, you will find many articles advising against using straw and hay. The reason for this is very simple that both these materials when damp can encourage the growth of moulds which can produce toxins that cause illness in your ducks.

We don’t need to discuss this further here because the arguments are made adequately on other websites.

Two other materials that are often suggested are recycled paper and wood products which we have not tried, so we would be grateful to anyone with experience of these getting in touch to let us know their experiences.

Back to wood shavings. Now we are not talking about sawdust and wood shavings that you make as a result of fitting a new kitchen or general woodworking. The wood shavings used for duck bedding are clean softwood shavings which have had the dust removed. This is important for the ducks’ breathing. So make sure you look out for that on any products you buy.best bedding for ducks

When we bought our ducks we were recommended to use Thoroughbred bedding from SCA. Designed as an equine bedding material, we were told it has a number of advantages over many products in that it is FSC certified, smells nice, is the right size for ducks and most importantly, the ducks don’t try and eat it.

We have always used Thoroughbred (with one exception). That exception was when a retailer didn’t have any so we bought a competitor’s product. It was less finely shaved, and though it caused no ill effects, it wasn’t as user friendly.

If you believe you use the best bedding for ducks, please do let us know.



2 Responses to “What is the best bedding for ducks”

  1. Karolina 07/18/2020 at 12:57 am #

    Thank you for your post. We have 2-3 week old ducklings. Would it be suitable for them too?
    The one you recommend is the one used for horses as well?
    Thank you.

    • Sean 07/20/2020 at 11:25 am #

      Hi, yes, this is used in stables for horses but seems great for duck bedding as it isn’t eaten by the ducks. We have never had ducklings so not sure so perhaps keep them on whatever you use for a few more weeks.

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