Ducks are fowls that will happily saunter along on land, drink water in the summer, and live without water in winter. It’s actually one of the biggest poultry mysteries in existence. But how long can they go without water?
Ducks should be able to go without water for about eight to ten hours. That means that they can sleep through the night just fine. Ideally, ducks should stay hydrated throughout the day. You should provide them with fresh water at least twice a day.
This article looks at the relationship between ducks and water. How much to provide for them and how often.
Table of Contents
How Much Water Does a Duck Drink?
Ducks can drink a lot of water every day. In fact, a duck can drink an average of 1 liter of water every day. However, even one liter won’t be enough for all the duck’s water needs. This is because they submerge their heads in water to clean their nostrils and eyes.
It’s important to ensure that ducks have enough water to drink. The water dishes also need to be deep enough to dip their heads.
As a result, many duck owners prefer setting up kiddie pools instead. Ducks enjoy this because they can be able to swim around in the winter.
Do Ducks Need Water at Night?
As we saw earlier in the article, ducks can go for more than eight hours without water. If you provide them with enough water during the day, they should be able to get through the night just fine.
Can Ducks Survive Without Water?
No. They can’t. Water is an essential part of a duck’s diet. The longest a duck should go without water is 10 hours. Even then, the lack of water could have adverse effects. As a result, you should aim to water your ducks at least twice a day.
Do Ducklings Need Water?
Ducklings don’t just need water. They love it! A duckling wants to go swimming when it spots water, even in a shallow dish. However, it is important to deter their natural but dangerous urge to swim until they are two weeks old.
The natural oils that enable ducks to dry quickly and prevent them from falling ill don’t develop until a duckling is two weeks old. Therefore, although it might be hard not to allow the little cuties out of the restricted zone and into the water with the older birds, it needs to be done.
Your safest bet is to wait for them to turn at least a month old before they can swim, especially if they hatch in colder months.
As long as the ducklings get enough fresh drinking water, they will not suffer any negative health effects from being denied a swim. If you have never kept ducklings, you might be shocked at how much water they drink. In fact, these fuzzy little creatures can drink up to a quarter gallon of water a day each.
Do You Need a Pond to Keep Ducks?
It is a common misconception that you need a pond to keep ducks in your home. While ducks require a lot of water, they don’t necessarily need a full-fledged pond.
Although ducks would prefer to have a large, deep pond to swim in daily, there are no implications if you can’t set one up. A small dug garden pond or even a plastic baby pool is enough to keep the birds healthy and happy.
Even if you have a big pond for the ducks to enjoy when they’re in free-range, a small water source around the duck house run is still important. This is because there are instances when you might not want to let the ducks out all day. This helps keep unwanted guests such as predators from the large water sources.
Never use an inflatable pool for ducks or ducklings because the toenails on the webbed feet will most likely poke holes in it. Ducks might also bite or peck at the inflatable water reservoir and flap their wings in excitement as the water leaks outside.
Plastic baby pools are the most popular option for experienced duck keepers. The birds enjoy wadding or even sliding down a baby pool slide.
Do Ducks Need to Swim Even in Winter?
Ducks need water even in the coldest months of winter. Most types of ducks, especially Pekin, are known to swim even when there’s lots of snow on the ground.
You will need to find a way of keeping the baby pool and flock waterers from freezing completely in winter. The best way to do this is to have your supplies ready and on the water before the temperature dips below 35 degrees.
You can fill plastic bottles (for waterers) and jugs (for ponds) with one part water, and two parts table salt. Leaving these containers to float on the water prevents them from freezing completely.
You don’t need to keep the whole pool from freezing, only about 15 feet from the surface to give the ducks a place to dip their heads and go for a swim.
Tips for Keeping the Water Clean
Since ducks, especially ducklings, enjoy playing in the water, keeping it clean for drinking might be challenging. The easiest way to have safe and clean water for them is by having separate water for drinking water.
You can also use dishes that are too shallow for the birds to submerge their heads in. This can be a spot that they only use to drink water.
You can also place the kiddie pool some distance away from the drinking water and allow the ducks to play in that area during certain times of the day. When they’re tired, especially in the evening, you can guide them back to the duck pen, where the clean drinking water will be.
Water is an integral part of a duck’s life. If you plan on keeping happy and healthy ducks, you’ll need to work out a reliable water supply. If any of your ducks has a broken leg, ensure you keep their drinking sources close and check on them in case they try swimming.