Thinking of Keeping Ducks as Pets
It is always advised to get ducklings instead of a grownup duck, because, ducks are unfamiliar to humans and they take their own time to get familiar with the environment.
Ducks being a social animal crave for company. Even they feel lonely and dejected just like humans do. If left alone, it will become hard for them to survive. So if you are keeping a duck, then keep another one for company.
Ducks are outdoor animals and cannot be kept inside. It will be cruel on our part to keep them caged for a long period. In order to give them a blissful life, one must make sure that decent space is available for them to graze.
Like all other pets, ducks also need proper pet care. Initially, keep the duckling in a warm place like a box or cage for the first 3 4 weeks.
To keep the box or cage warm you can put a bulb in the corner of the container.
Avoid placing the bulb right in the center, as they might need to get away from the heat at times. After 4 weeks, you can place the box outside so that they get used to the weather conditions.
Ducks can swim almost as soon as they are born, but infants should be supervised. Adult ducks are excellent swimmers, and need no protection as long as they have a secure shelter to retreat if threatened.
Ducks love green plants. They can eat the weeds growing in your yard. Kitchen leftovers can also be given to the ducks, but make sure they are not too spicy.
Always give ducks clean water to drink.
You can also feed them with green salads, chopped eggs with cover, cottage cheese and worms.
In the case of ducklings, they should be fed with a duck starter, a food exclusively for ducklings, for the first 2 weeks, and then with a duck grower for 3 7 weeks. Don’t feed baby ducks with whole grains or bread. Make sure that you give them the right food as they face lot of health problems and it becomes difficult for them to survive.
Keeping ducks as pets when there are dogs in your house, is not a very good idea, as dogs can chase and harm your ducks. In case of dogs being around, you can protect your ducks by keeping them in large containers. However, if the ducks and dogs, or even cats, have been together for a long time (since infancy), they may get along with each other.
If you have a pond with no enclosure, ducks are easy targets for predators. Many domestic ducks can’t fly, so providing a secure coop is essential.
Raising ducks is quite simple. But you have to take care about the cleanliness, as you will find their excreta and feathers scattered all over the yard. You also have to keep the pond water clean to prevent it from pests, which are harmful for ducks.
For keeping ducks as pets, it is necessary for one to know the types of ducks available with a little information on their salient features. They are large in structure with a round head and heavy body. During the breeding season, the males can be recognized by their green heads and yellow bills, and the females by their brown feathers. During the non breeding season, the males can be recognized through their bright orange feet. These are easily tamed ducks, and come under the category of dabbling ducks.
Pekin ducks are also known as white Pekin ducks. They are domesticated ducks, and are widely used for the production of eggs and meat. These are very friendly, with a cool temperament. The average lifespan is 9 to 12 years. They follow the owners just like dogs, and make excellent pets. They have a white plumage with a yellow bill. So, if you want to keep white ducks as pets, Pekin ducks are the ones for you.canada goose
Runner ducks are compared to the wine bottle due to their shape and long legs. They are often trained by exhibitors and lays good number of eggs. Runner ducks are quite friendly, but can easily panic if disturbed. They are brownish black in color with purple plumage. Muscovy ducks don’t like to be over handled by humans, and are less prone to illnesses as compared to other ducks. The average lifespan of Muscovy ducks is seven years. Muscovy ducks are tropical birds and can adapt to extremely cold conditions very easily. Muscovy ducks do not swim much, like the other ducks.
The Rouen ducks resemble mallard ducks, but, are slightly bigger in size. This breed of duck originated in France. They are heavy and bulky. They cannot be used primarily for production of eggs, because, they are not as fertile as other ducks. Rouen ducks are calm and friendly. The males have a green head and the females have brownish feathers.
So, decide which breed of the ducks you would like to keep. Go ahead and get this charming bird home.
Rice for ducks? Is it bad? As we know rice expands when added to boiling water. If you add it to just a pot of water it will stay hard, the hot water softens the rice and allows it to absorb water. A bird’s digestive system is like this it swallows food then it goes to a bag like extention of the throat called the crop. The crop has moister in it that is similar to saliva and has the same purpose it’s a predigestive. There isn’t enough water to cause the rice to soften and it doesn’t stay in the crop long enough to make a difference. You can test it by keeping an uncooked piece of rice in your mouth for an hour and see what happens. From there it goes to the gizzard and is ground up, as if the bird had chewed it’s food. The rest of the bird’s digestive system is just like a mammal’s a stomach, small and large intestanes, colon and out. I don’t think uncooked rice will hurt them, but if you fed them only rice it may cause them to be malnurashed. As for cats and dogs, they will kill ducklings it’s garenteed. If you expect them to spend alot of time together don’t bother getting ducks, or keep the cats inside and get rid of the dog that’s what I’d do.
Adam [November 26, 2013]
Cheryl, your ducklings should be kept inside until they are fully feathered. Once feathered a peking or a mallard can survive very cold winters. As is I would be surprised if they lasted an hour without a heat source. Remember duck eggs are laid in late april early may, and hatch early june. The bird is completely fledged and flying (for wild ducks) by august. Then they migrate in october.