farmer standing in enclosure with ducks

How To Keep a Duck Pen Dry (5 Quick Tips)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Keeping a duck pen dry is quite challenging and exhausting because ducks love to mess with water and they do it everytime.

You might be tempted to leave the mess as it is because you are tired, but there are several reasons why your pen should never be wet or soiled.

✓ A wet duck pen smells. You don’t want that, trust me.

✓ A wet pen attracts flies.

✓ A wet duck pen can cause diseases to your ducks.

✓ A wet duck pen can also cause your ducks to have bumblefoot.

To avoid all these, there are several ways you can keep your duck pen dry, which I’ll be sharing with you.

Different ways to keep your duck pen dry.

How To Keep a Duck Pen Dry
Photo by Gary Barnes on

1. Put their water buckets in an old tire.

To keep your duck pen dry, you have to make sure your ducks can’t splash their water around while drinking.

You can ensure this by securing their water bowls inside an old tire or putting a large chicken wire over it.

2. Don’t give them water overnight.

I know you like to keep your ducks comfortable and happy that’s why you provide water for them overnight in case they get thirsty, but they really don’t need it.

Give them enough water during the day and evening and it’s enough to last them the night.

You can avoid giving them food at night so they won’t have to drink, also ensure you let them out of their coop in the morning early.

If you give them water, you will wake up to a soiled bedding that needs to be changed and you wouldn’t want that.

You can’t change their beddings every morning, because it is expensive and can be exhausting.

So one effective way to keep your duck pen dry is to avoid giving your ducks water at night.

3. Change their beddings constantly.

To keep your duck pen dry, ensure you change their beddings constantly.

Remove soiled beddings or soaked straws and replace them with fresh and dry ones.

If you take long before changing your ducks’ beddings, you will have a wet and smelly pen to deal with.

3. Add extra straw.

You can also add additional straws to keep your duck pen dry.

If for one reason or another you don’t want to remove the soiled straws, you can always add extra bales of straw to it.

This will make your duck pen look dry and tidy.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on how to keep ducks warm in winter

4. Use good flooring.

Vinyl flooring prevents your floor from getting wet and it is also very easy to clean.

You can opt for this.

What is the best flooring for a duck pen?

Making a decent and comfortable duck coop is an important part of duck rearing.

After getting the coop ready, the next question to be answered is “what flooring should you use?”

There are many available options like hay, pine shavings, straw, vinyl etc. but your ducks require the best and in my opinion, straw bedding is the best for your ducks.

I’ve been raising ducks for the past six years and I’ve always used straw because of its many advantages which I’ll be sharing with you.

In case you don’t know, straws are gotten from wheat stalks and they are pretty easy to get.

The price depends on where you live.

✓ Straw smells fresh and nice. Using straw in your ducks coop keeps it smelling nice and inviting.

✓ Straw beddings are not dusty. Unlike hay and pine shavings that are dusty, straw has little or no dust. This is good because dust can affect your ducks’ respiratory organs which can be dangerous for them.

✓ Straw beddings are drier than hay and compost easily. If you use your duck poop as manure then the best flooring to use is straw. Your duck poop composts very fast and prevents the coop from smelling.

How do I stop my duck pen from smelling?

A smelly duck pen can be frustrating and irritating so I understand why you would want to avoid that.

You can avoid this by

✓ Making sure your duck pen has a good ventilation. Good ventilation means enough air circulates around the pen to keep it dry.

✓ Removing soiled bedding. Ducks play with water a lot and soil their bedding in no time. They also poop a lot too. Leaving the soiled bedding for long can make your duck pen smell. So always ensure you change them regularly.

✓ Use deep litter method. Deep litter method means you top off your beddings always. Whether you use straws or Hays or pine shavings, whenever you notice they are soiled, just turn it over and add extra layers to it. This keeps your duck pen neat and tidy.

Can you put mulch in a duck pen?

Yes, you can put mulch in a duck pen.

Mulch is simply the organic materials like leaves, hay, straw etc. that you spread over your garden or plant area to make your plants grow better and curb weed growth.

Covering your duck pen with this will not harm them at all. Hardwood mulch can also be used to cover the floor of your duck pen or run but you want to make sure it’s shredded.

It makes your ducks more comfortable and doesn’t hurt or cut their feet.


Keeping your duck pen dry and tidy is very essential.

It helps to keep your ducks healthy and prevents diseases.

You can keep your duck pen dry by changing your ducks’ beddings or adding extra layers, keeping water away from them during the night, providing good ventilation and all other ways explained above.

If you take care of your duck pen and clean it regularly, it won’t smell.

You should also consider using straw as their bedding.

It is dry, dust free and composts easily.

You can put mulch in a duck pen but when using hardwoods, ensure it is undyed and shredded.

Use only mulch that won’t hurt your ducks’ feet in order to prevent them from getting bumblefoot.

Photo of author

About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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