Caring pet duck can be a rewarding experience. Ducks are social birds and they are wonderful as pets. Although some people say, ducks are more difficult to take care of than other pets. Because ducks require special environment, and their environment needs to be closely monitored. Their environment should meet their behavioral, physical and social needs. And in case of raising ducks as pets, they should be kept with other ducks for company. Because ducks are very social birds. They are also very intelligent and curious animals, and they need sufficient space for moving around freely. They need to have access to water facilities for caring out their natural water-related behaviors.
Currently there are many different types of ducks available which vary in color, size and shape. But basic needs of all these duck breeds are identical. For caring pet duck you will need to feed them well, keep their environment clean and protect them from predators. However, read some more information about caring pet duck below.
Feeding healthy food is the main consideration for caring pet duck. Good nutrition is crucial for keeping your ducks healthy. They should be fed a crumbled or pelleted diet formulated to meet their nutritional needs. You can either purchase ready-made commercial duck feeds or prepare it yourself. The young duck or ducklings grow quickly, so feed the ducklings and adolescent ducks a diet that is enriched with 18-20 percent protein. The ducks with over 3 weeks of age should be fed with 14 percent protein enriched food. The laying ducks should be provided with 16-17 percent protein enriched diet that has 3-4 percent calcium. Offer your ducks occasional treats like corn, carrots and greens like cucumber or broccoli. But these treats should compromise no more than 15-20 percent of a duck’s diet. Cut all the treats into small pieces and give to your ducks.
Provide food at all times during the day, and they should be allowed to graze freely on their food. And remove the remaining food at night so it doesn’t begin to rot or attract ants and rats. Generally average sized ducks will consume about 120-150 grams of food daily, but bigger ducks may eat a bit more. In case of feeding ready-made commercial feeds, try to buy small amounts of fresh food more frequently. Doing this will ensure fresh food all the time (because moldy food can make the ducks very sick).
Caring pet duck is difficult without water. Ducks love water, and they need water for keeping their eyes, bills, feet and feathers in good condition. The water should be deep enough for them to stick their whole head into and to wash their body. The container for the ducks should have a shallow edge so that they can get out again easily if they happen to climb in. They also love pools where they can climb in and splash. A tub or a kids pool will be perfect for your pet ducks. Ducks are very susceptible to botulism, and for this reason it is important that their water supply is kept clean and well aerated. In artificial ponds or pools, this means regularly removing dead leaves and other plant matter, as well as periodic draining and cleaning.
A comfortable house with duck friendly environment is a must for caring pet duck. They need to be kept in a secure pen or house where they are free from all types of predators. To be secure, the house needs to have solid sheeting or welded mesh on the roof, floor and walls. Providing as much space as possible per duck is good for caring pet duck. Ensure at least 1.5 square meter area per duck inside the house or pen if your ducks are confined in it during the day. Provide at least 0.5 square meter per duck for a night house.
The house for the pet duck should be out of the sun and should provide wind protection. Ducks generally don’t like to be in direct sun. And the housing must also have to be well-ventilated. A simple 3 sided shelter with a mesh base, front and door is suitable. It will be good if the open side face north, to get the winter sun and avoid cold, wet southerly winds. Clean the house on a regular basis.
Provide your pet ducks with 14-17 hours of light every day. The sun is not out long at many points during the year. Turn on artificial lights once the sun sets to provide 14-17 hours of light for the ducks.
Health and Diseases
Checking your pet duck’s health regularly is very important. Checking on your duck’s health every morning and every night is very important. Frequent observation will allow you to get know your ducks, and will allow you to determine if something is wrong. Pick up your ducks and ruffle through their feathers at least once a week. Do they feel abnormally thin? Do you see any parasites on their skin? Has there been a change in behavior or appetite? Do their droppings look abnormal? Are they limping, or reluctant to stand? Are they suffering from a loss of balance? Is their appetite for favorite foods suddenly diminished? Are they ruffled and apathetic? If you notice any of these changes, then your birds are sick. And in such condition you should call your vet as soon as possible for advice.
Ducks are generally hardy and robust birds if they are kept in a clean environment and fed good and healthy food. They need to be wormed after every 6 months with a poultry wormer (although ducks rarely suffer from intestinal worms or mites). Ducks can be a bit clumsy and prone to tripping over things, and are easily injured. They can develop foot ‘ulcers’ if they are kept on a hard or rough surface. Be aware about using foods for your pet duck, and never provide them moldy food. Because moldy food can cause respiratory diseases or sudden toxic reactions in ducks. Always try to give your ducks sufficient clean drinking water daily. And maintaining all the above recommendations perfectly you can keep your pet duck happy. 🙂