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Do Ducks Make Good Pets? 8 Important Things to Know
With their adorable waddles, cute quacks, and quick egg production, many people adore ducks. Despite seeming like the perfect poultry pet, ducks aren’t ideal for everyone. In fact, owning ducks comes with a lot of responsibilities.
Before going out and scooping up a dozen fuzzy ducklings, read this article to see if ducks would make good pets for you.
1. Ducklings Need Constant Warmth
Ducklings cannot simply be plopped into an outdoor area and left alone. For the first three to four weeks, they need to be kept warm and dry. The ideal temperature for a young duckling ranges from 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. You can keep them in a cage or box with a heating lamp positioned in the corner. Do not leave a water bowl in their cage as they can climb in and easily become chilled.
Although ducks fare well in all types of weather conditions, they do need a safe shelter to call home. Their house should be well insulated and have ample amounts of bedding on the ground, such as straw or wood shavings. Ducks also require an outdoor area where they can explore, stretch their wings, and waddle around. A good rule of thumb is to supply each duck with at least 10 square feet of space. Keep their outdoor area covered with chicken wire.
Ducks should be fed pullet grower, which is a low-protein chicken feed. They also should have access to grit and greens. Ensure all veggies your ducks consume are fresh and pesticide-free. Your birds will need a constant supply of clean water that is deep enough for them to submerge their heads in. A plastic baby pool makes a good swimming area. Make sure the pool water never gets too dirty and that the ducks can easily get out.
Ducks are very smart birds. They love to play with toys, socialize, learn tricks, and spend time with their human family. Since ducks are social creatures, they need the companionship of other birds. Never only buy just one duck.
5. Protection from Predators
Ducks are prey creatures and have many predators. Dogs, foxes, coyotes, and even cats will try to snatch your beloved pet. It’s critical to keep your feathered friend safe and secure. If your ducks are free-roaming, you should always keep a close eye on them. Never leave your duck alone and unsupervised with other larger predator-like pets.
6. Duck Poop Problems
Feces is a huge issue to consider when keeping ducks as pets. If you plan to keep your birds inside, diapering your ducks is a good way to keep your house clean. Duck diapers should be changed every four hours and do not interfere with preening or swimming. The feces can be used for composting or worm farming. If your ducks are kept outside, thoroughly clean their house weekly by sweeping out the feces and replacing the bedding. Clean and change their water buckets daily.
7. Fresh Eggs
Duck owners love the abundance of fresh eggs their pets produce. Ducks lay between eight and 15 eggs each month, providing an endless supply of yummy breakfast food.
8. Noise Pollution
If you love your peace and quiet, owning ducks won’t be for you. Ducks are very, very loud and love to quack and chat with each other. Before buying pet ducks, consider if you (and your neighbors!) are prepared for the constant noise.
Featured Image: The Len, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.