Ducks are pretty cool pets to have in your compound. For those who have plenty of water or live near rivers know it better how these creatures are water loving. Yes ducks can be kept as pets as they are affable and social.
During Esther holiday’s ducks are commonly sold and bought as pets. Consider surprising your loved ones with several ducklings as presents and am sure they will love them.
Do ducks cuddle?
Yes ducks cuddle when they learn to. They are social animals and need love and affection too. When offered treats, they will appreciate and this way you will get a chance to cuddle them easily.
Will pet ducks fly away?
Most domesticated ducks don’t fly away. But you will notice your pet ducks flap their wings and lift off the ground at a height of two to three feet and fly several yards.
However, if ducks lack bathing water, they can fly away to the nearest water source and disappear completely since they cannot locate their way back.
Do pet ducks need a pond?
Yes they do. Ducks are water loving and will go to the ponds in the farm and take a long bath. They also hunt small fish, water snails and other water insects they find in the water.
Where do I keep my pet ducks?
Keep your pet ducks in duck pens or coops. That’s the right niche for your domestic birds in the backyard. Sheltering your ducks will protect them from harsh elements and predators.
Consider this while keeping ducks as pets
Ducks are social birds that are better kept several and not one. It is wrong and I consider it as in humane and cruel keeping a single duck as it will suffer from loneliness. In some areas duck sellers are not allowed to sell an individual duck.
For states and some local municipals that have these regulations I applaud this move as this saves these amazing creatures from probably spending their entire lives alone.
Ducks excrete watery poop that is very disgusting and smells bad. Imagine the poop on your favorite carpet and what it may take you to clean.
There are duck diapers but ducks were created and gowned with feathers and not clothing. Am sure these birds are not comfortable dressed.
They are meant to live with fellow ducks in their pen where they can freely socialize and talk their language. Not in your house.
It is good to be humane and take maximum care of ducks and if you can’t afford to give then a decent living, give them to animal care centers for adoption
Factors to consider when keeping ducks as pets
Do you have water?
Ducks are water loving. They drink and bath a lot. These birds love soaking their bodies in any little water they come across. It is enjoyable and fuzzy watching ducks as they swim and splash water.
I have nine ducks in my home and whenever I give them food they shovel their bills for a share and quickly run to their waterers.
This clearly tells me how much water is vital for the ducks. The watery duck poop can tell you that their digestive systems require plenty of it.
Permission from the local municipal
In some countries, pet certification and registration is given by municipals while in others it is States. To some it may sound harsh but to me this is good.
Registration of pets helps control diseases and pests and also ensures animals are handled with decency and well taken care of.
I hope your space is enough
Ducks need enough space for them to roam and move freely. Remember they are your pet and do not need to be incarcerated indoors. Let your pet ducks outside to forage and collect insects in the backyard.
When giving these pets freedom, remember that your garden has vegetables for you. Ducks are great foragers and they will not spare your lettuce, cabbages and any edible green matter that comes along their way.
Good news is that they will take care of those snails and slugs that have a share of your leafy greens.
Is your compound secure?
Security is important for your pet ducks. You don’t want to lose your pets to coyotes, hawks and your notorious dogs that have a taste for your ducks and baby ducks.
Those who have thick bushes or forest in the neighborhood can agree with me that predators like possums strike often. This is because they are able to hide in the bushes.
Ducklings when young, they are prone to predator attacks and also some domestic cats that eat them up especially if they are not properly fed.
Also as you walk be careful not to crush the young pets with your feet as they move all round exploring and searching for anything edible.
Food. Yes, I mean food
Ducks have a high appetite worth example. They eat lots of food especially when young and this makes them grow really fast. Their diet mainly composes of forage although they require supplements of concentrates.
Allow your ducks to graze outside as they will eat all types of edible greens available and collect snails, slugs and insects available. But if you have a fish pond, they will sneak in and steal some as they take a bath.
Some people feed their pet ducks with kitchen scrap. It is not good if the food has a lot of spices and salt as it may kill them especially when they are young.
The kind of concentrates you feed to your pet ducks must be free from molds. Ducks are very sensitive to the kind of concentrates given to them as food poisoning can easily sweep your entire flock away.
Also avoid feeding your ducks with junk foods. These kinds of food are very unhealthy to ducks just as they are in humans. They make your obese and overweight and easily develops leg and back problems.
Some people have a habit of feeding bread to ducks. Bread is not good for ducks as it offers very little nutrients to your birds.( See my article What do ducks eat?).
Where do your pet duck live? Remember they require good shelters like we too. Protection from harsh sunlight, rains and winds is required. (You can check my article on duck pen and duck pen ideas) it will help you understand more about duck housing.
Properly sheltered pet ducks are happy ducks. They get a good place to lay their eggs and hatch their young in a safe and secure place.
The size of your flock
As I earlier said, ducks are better kept in numbers as they are social creatures. They suffer from loneliness and this can affect them and reduce their lifespan. No one wants solitude, so be considerate.
Keep several pet ducks and make sure you have a proper plan on how to manage them. Remember, the many they are, the much they will require in terms of space, feeding and labor.
What of a vet?
Pet ducks require medical attention and care when sick. Ensure they are vaccinated and dewormed when necessary. All this will be made easier with the help of a vet.
Pros of keeping ducks as pets
Duck poop is good manure
Duck poop is a good fertilizer on your crops and a source of valuable nutrients in the soil. When duck beddings mix with poop, it can be used as good compost. Also in the compost lives worms that are source of food to the pet ducks.
They help control pests
When your duck pets are allowed to explore the garden, they eat up slugs, snails, worms and other insects that cause damage to your crops.
They act as a good biological pest control mechanism. As they eat all these tasty insects, they are fattened with the rich nutrients they get from them.
Ducks deal with left overs
You don’t have to mind where to take your left over food with ducks around. What I have observed with my ducks is that they like left over food more than the duck pellets i bought for them.
I wonder why? Maybe cooked food tastes better to them. I don’t know all I know is that they eat it up well. However, duck food should have no salt, butter or fat. They don’t digest them
Cheap source of eggs
Your pet ducks if well taken care of will reward you with their shelled trophies. Ducks will lay 3 to 4 eggs per week.
They will continue laying until they are 6 to 8 years old. If you have hens and no drake, no reason to worry as they can lay infertile eggs that are good to eat but will not hatch.
Duck eggs are bigger compared to chicken eggs, they are juicy and a good source of protein. Those familiar with them say they are good for baking as they contain some amount of fats and are thicker than other eggs. If there are many eggs` you can sell some and make profit.
What about entertainment?
Imagine the spectacular view of several diving ducks splashing water in your pond. It is entertaining. Isn’t it? Of Couse it is. How does it feel having these favorite pets follow you in the compound?
Am sure it is a good feeling learning that they can recognize the owner. You can learn to call them from the time they are young and they can easily with time understand.
Rub their bellies as you hold them or toss treats like grapes as a reward.
And the baby ducklings?
Pet ducks will multiply quickly and give you a bunch of little ones. Maybe you don’t have a bigger space for a large flock so, consider this. What if you get someone interested and sell the little ones? That’s profit.
You can also choose to give you friends and neighbors some and they will too get pets. That is only for those who love ducks.
Cons of keeping ducks as pets
Ducks are dirt loving
Naturally ducks ‘love dirt and soil their food and water easily. Their watery poop is disgusting and you do not want them to mess in your house.
Let them live outside in their own pen. They need their own privacy
Ducks can get noisy
These birds can sometimes be very talkative and turn into noise makers. This is especially when threatened by other animals like dogs and predators.
They can also became aggressive, over protective and attack especially if they have ducklings.
Ducks are careless layers
Ducks do not like to lay in nesting boxes like chicken do. You will find eggs littered on beddings on the floor of their pens. They can lay eggs outside or anywhere as long as the urge to lay strikes.
Mostly, ducks lay between down and early morning hours right after sunrise. It is good you hold them in their pens at this time so that they can lay from there.
When walking inside your duck pen at night. be careful not to step on the eggs and crush them.