If you are thinking of raising a duck as a pet, you need to understand the work you need to put in to keep it happy and healthy.
You can make an adorable little duck the latest addition to your family with a little planning and knowledge.
Ducks are known to live long lives (as long as 20 years) if they are well taken care of.
Here are some useful tips and tricks to keep in mind while taking care of a duck:
Important Points to Consider Before Keeping a Pet Duck
Here are some important factors to keep in mind.
These will help you determine if you are ready to take on the responsibility of a duck as a pet:
- Ducks are fragile and gentle creatures. Do not think of keeping a duck as a pet if you cannot offer it a calm and peaceful environment.
- Ducks cannot be “indoor” pets like cats or hamsters. If you choose to keep a duck as a pet, make sure you can provide it with “outdoor” space like a garden or a backyard.
- Ducks do not like to live alone because they are incredibly social by nature. Your duck may become depressed if you leave it alone, which will make it difficult for them to survive.
- These birds are known to feel grief, isolation, and loneliness just like humans, which is why caging them or leaving them alone for a long period is not healthy.
- If you want to get a duck, it would be a mistake to only keep one duck. They are incredibly social animals, which means that keeping two or more ducks would be a good way to go. They keep each other company without fighting or marking territory.
- Do not consider getting a duck for yourself only to get an “out of the box” pet. Fully consider the needs of a pet duck before committing.
Also read: Can You Keep Mallard Ducklings as Pets
Pet Duck & Its Personality Traits
Most people may view ducks as farm birds that may not interact with another house pet such as a cat or dog. However, that’s where you’re wrong!
Ducks are emotionally intelligent creatures. This means they can understand what you are trying to say.
They are great companions to play with because they can interact with toys, participate in games, hugs, and even kisses.
If you train your duck properly from a young age and give it the gentle care it needs, you will be able to teach it several tricks and behaviors.
Ducks can be very social around people and even other harmless animals.
Undoubtedly, it will take some time for your duck to learn and get used to the surroundings, but it is definitely possible.
By spending some time with your duck or ducks, you will understand the type of games and activities they would want to engage in.
Remember, the more you play and interact with your ducks, the quicker they will develop an attachment with you!
How to Take Care of Pet Duck?
Now, let’s discuss a few caring tips for your new feathery friend!
Always Keep Your Duck Warm
It is crucial to keep your pet duck warm and dry, especially when you’ve brought in a baby duck.
If you have a little duckling on hand, it is best to take a crate, cage, or box and place it in a warm place.
If you live in colder temperatures, then you can always supply your ducklings with heat bulbs.
Under any circumstance, the living environment for your baby duckling should be 80–85-degree Fahrenheit.
However, the cage or box should have enough space for the duckling to move around. This will also help it to soak up the heat whenever it needs to.
Hence, placing the heat bulb at one corner of the box, cage, or crate is a great way to go.
As a pet owner, it is important for you to keep an eye on your duckling. You should never leave them alone near a water body.
A duckling may stay in the water for too long and catch a cold. In a worst-case scenario, they might even drown.
Hence, you may need to baby-duck-proof the surroundings even if you are going to leave them be.
Be Careful of the Weather
When ducks are young, their chests are exposed to the cold winds because they are not fully covered with feathers.
As time passes, they develop a feather coating on their chest, protecting them from harsh weather.
Once their breasts are covered with feathers, which should happen in around four to five weeks, it is safe to leave them outside.
However, if the weather is too cold, make sure they do not stay out for too long.
If this is their first time being exposed to the outside world, you can simply place their box or crate outside so that they can slowly and gradually make their way out.
If the weather is nice, you can leave them out for longer.
Where Can You Keep Your Duck?
Your ducks do not need a lot of shelters. They like to be in the open regardless of sun, wind, or rain. Let them choose where they want to be but do exercise caution.
If you have three to four ducks, a medium-sized doghouse will be sufficient for them. However, if you only have one to two ducks, a two by three feet small house would be good too.
While constructing or placing the duck house, you need to place it so that the entrance is not in the direction of the blowing winds.
This will help keep the house warm and not cause any disturbance among your pet ducks.
If you want to keep your ducks even more comfortable, you can insulate their house.
If the area you live in gets very cold, you can add a door to the house, which can be closed when the ducks are inside.
This keeps them warm and also protects them from other predators such as stray cats and dogs.
Even if you have other pets in the house, make sure they are well behaved with each other, or your ducks will need protection.
Fill the duck house with wood shavings, hay, or straw. You should always provide them with clean drinking water as well so they can stay hydrated.
If you want, you can also construct a small fence, around 4 meters high to keep your ducks in an enclosed space.
This will help the ducks run loose and keep them safe from predators such as stray dogs.
What Will You Feed Your Pet Duck?
You should always feed your duck unmedicated food.
Here’s how it goes:
You should feed your ducking a good duck starter for the first two weeks.
This is a special product for young birds which helps them bloom into healthy ducklings.
From week 3 to week 7, you should provide your duckling with a duck grower to aid growth and development.
This helps stimulate their body and ensure stable growth.
This is a low-protein bird feed used for birds, especially chickens and ducks, in a farm setting.
Grit is a crushed stone concoction designed for birds such as ducks to help them chew their food.
Since they do not have any teeth, they take in a little grit to help them crush up their food.
Vegetable & Grains
Ducks enjoy eating weeds, vegetables, and grains.
You can always give them your dinner leftovers (but make sure they aren’t spicy or oily).
They can happily consume pasta, bread, crackers, and of course, tiny cut vegetables.
Ducks enjoy water not just for drinking but also to get their heads wet.
You can provide them with a small plastic tub filled with water to swim around and get their heads wet to their heart’s content.
However, make sure that the water isn’t too deep and that the ducks can climb in and out on their own. Keep the water clean at all times as it can start to harbor bacteria.
Dealing with Duck Waste
Duck excretions can be an issue, especially if your first experience with a duck (or similar bird).
If you want to keep the duck inside for a longer period, then you should look into duck diapering. The diaper can keep your duck mess-free for up to four hours.
Otherwise, normal duck feces in the garden will only add to the nutrients in the soil!
If you consider taking in a duck as a pet, just make sure that you do your research before jumping in.
Ensure that a pet duck is the right choice for you and that you would be able to give it the life that it deserves.
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