A group of swimming ducks is called a raft and our ducks looked like a raft in their former pool. The chickens could have strutted across the ducks’ backs from one end of the pond to the other. The ducks had long outgrown their 55-gallon, kidney-shaped pond we scored on Craigslist for $40. There was hardly room to preen or dive so we jumped at the offer for a larger Champagne pool on a beer budget…quite literally. Our friends filled it with ice and beer at their wedding. That was three years ago and they were happy to have us take it off their hands for FREE!
Trevor excavated for the new pond but didn’t make it completely level so that the water drains toward the 80 gallon/hour pond pump we keep in the pond. He even gave the ducks a boardwalk where they enter their new pool.
But I digress. I want to tell you about my three essential tools for mucking out a duck pond in short order.
When the pump has nearly emptied the pond, I go to work. I slip on my Sloggers (rubber outdoor clogs) and jump right into the pond with a galvanized bucket filled with clean water, a car wash sponge and a smaller bucket for scooping. (I just repurposed an extra chicken waterer we had for the smaller bucket.)
That’s it! 3 tools & 3 steps…
- Bucket filled with clean water
- Smaller bucket for scooping
- A large and very thirsty car wash sponge
Use the smaller bucket to scoop out the puddle of water the pump doesn’t displace. I dump this water just outside the pond between the rocks that line it and it drains into the soil.
Submerge the car wash sponge in the galvanized bucket of water and go to work wiping down the sides of the pond and the sand and feces that settled to the bottom of the pond when it was full. I scoop this muck into the smaller bucket. I keep rinsing my sponge in the larger bucket of water until I’ve wiped out the sludge. As you work, absorb any additional water with that large and thirsty car wash sponge. I use the sponge to wipe down the boardwalk too.
Add a splash of apple cider vinegar for immune health and to inhibit the growth of icky stuff in your pond. I read that the ducks and chickens like how it tastes too. My ducks can hardly wait to jump in. They eagerly line up on the boardwalk and take the plunge before the pond is filled to the brim with the garden hose.
The pond cleaning takes me about 10 minutes, not including time to drain and refill it. I try to do this every few days.
Do you have a pond for your ducks inside your run? I’d love to see pictures!