Do Ducks and Ducklings Need Food and Water At Night?

You’re probably well aware that chickens will safely stay locked up inside the coop all night now without the need to drink water. But what about ducks? We often associate ducks with water, so one might wonder whether they need drinking water during that time.

ducks drinking water from a puddle
ducks drinking water from a puddle

Yes, ducklings do need access to food and water at night. Ducks can have access to them and it’s a good idea, but it isn’t necessary so long as they’re getting enough throughout the day.

While ducks aren’t likely going to be interested in going for a midnight swim – too many predators out and about, they still need access to drinking water at night.

More mature ducks can go up to eight hours without water, particularly if they drink water right before they go to sleep.

Still, it’s perfectly fine if you want to offer them water and eve food throughout the night.

In the case of ducklings, make sure their heat lamp is turned on so they can actually see when they eat or drink – and you’re good to go!

Giving Your Ducks Access To Water at Night

To provide water inside of a duck coop or a duck house, use a hanging waterer instead of the outside of the coop setup fountain type. A hanging waterer will have only a shallow drinking tray full of the liquid they need until the slurping begins.

Even though having a waterer in the coop will increase dampness on any bedding it splashes upon, it’s still necessary. Most versions of the exterior-to-interior waterer that is recommended for the coop come with a handle so they can be hung instead of being placed on the ground of a cinder block outside of the coop.

I recommend placing rounded gravel in a tub beneath the water to help absorb the moisture and dampness it will create.

Do not place a typical poultry waterer on top of cinder blocks or something similar, the ducks will try to climb upon it or even fly as best they can to get on top of the water and dunk their beaks further into the tray – or attempt to get their feet into the drinking tray area.

There’s nothing quite as nasty as trying to get a lid off of a waterer that ducks have climbed upon and left ample droppings on the one day you forget to wear work gloves during morning barnyard chores.

For ducklings, youre better off having several smaller wateres than one larger one. These will be more appropriate for their size.

What About Nighttime Food Access?

Ducks will do fine without food just as they will without water, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer them non-stop access to both.

This actually becomes more important if you’re raising your ducks specifically for meat purposes.

Just keep in mind that if you’re giving them access to food, you must give them access to water as well.

Also you’ll need to inspect and clean the coop more often… but that extra work may pay off because you’ll have happier and more productive birds.

When Can I Stop Giving Nighttime Food and Water to My Ducklings?

A good rule of thumb is to stop spoiling them when you stop using the heat lamp. But again, if you want to continue to feed them, that’s also fine. Just make sure you replace the wateres and feeders with larger ones since they’re bigger now.

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