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September 6, 2007

Raising pet ducks

Posted by Dervaes

Q. My children very much want a duck for a pet. They are 6 and 8 and so far have only beta fish as pets which are very low maintenance. I'm wanting to get an idea about how high maintenance a duck is. This is our first attempt at hatching/raising a suburban duck, so, I'd appreciate any advice you think important. Also, a local ( L.A. area) resource for purchasing fertile duck eggs would be great!

Thank you,
Michelle

A. Ducks make great pets. And as for maintenance, they require different maintenance than your average pet cat but just about the same lack of difficulty. Of course you would want to have at least two ducks so your ducky will have a pal. I always think three ducks is better than two simply because they love company and if something ever happened to one, it won't be lonely and depressed. There is no real difference in maintenance from one duck to two or three.

Do you have a particular breed in mind? Some breeds need a lot of water to be happy and some, like my Khaki Campbells, hardly need any swimming water.

How much space will you be willing to give a duck? Will it be in a coop?

Ducks are one of the least problem-prone of the poultry to take care of. If provided with clean sleeping quarters, good food and general care, they do extremely well. Although, like anything, they can get diseases but they are not as susceptible.

They do have predators. Neighborhood dogs are the #1 killers of ducks. Cats hardly bother ducks and always appear to be afraid of them, but most dogs love killing ducks so you need to make sure your backyard is pretty impenetrable. Hungry possums or raccoons and hawks can be predators but I haven't had a problem. The primary thing you want to do is make sure they have a lockable home at night.

I lock them at night to prevent anything from getting at them then let them out in the morning.

Generally care involves: Letting them out in the morning and feeding them. At this time I'll collect the eggs and tidy up the place a little: raking their enclosure and refilling their "pond." After picking them some greens in the garden, I'll leave them alone for the rest of the day until the evening. If I am busy, I'll just go out later in the night and lock them up. If I have time, I'll go out when it's still light and let them out to run around the yard. When dusk comes, they'll return to their home on their own and I just have to lock them.

Feed is usually purchased by the 50lbs. I get organic, unmedicated feed. This is about $20.00 for 50 lbs and lasts for quite awhile.

If I know what kind of breeds you are interested in, I can direct you to a breeder. In April, I will be offering baby ducklings for sale like I am offering baby chicks now. If you are interested in obtaining hatching eggs for Khaki Campbells, I can provide that to you because I have a male duck and two females.


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11 Comments: "Raising pet ducks" »

  1. I'm interested in getting a duck, but I already have two cats and live in a small studio in Koreatown. I know it's a bad idea, so should I wait til I get a yard?

    • Hello!!! duh, you should wait.
      okay look, try put yourself in that ducks feet lol, would you really wanna live in a small place with TWO CATS!! that might kill you and chase you for FUN??? (now im speaking for the duck) maybe having me is cool, but me living with YOU and your small house with no place to walk around and TWO big fast cats i assume.i definatly dont wanna live you. i want peace.

      see, now isnt that a different perspective? you see you cant be selfish and just hold onto a living thing for only your desire or benifit. you must be also considerate for it too. im glad that you are WISE enough to ask this question unless, you already got it then your A FOOL.

      • To DUCKCARE, Have you ever owned a duck? Or let alone seen one as a pet? I would not knock it untill you try it! Cat can become close friends with the duck!

    • For owning a duck! Yes I would get a duck with your two cats, all they want are to be with you if you imprint on them. I have 4 muscovy ducks, 3 are special needs, and the last one is a baby that imprinted on me who I am trying to find a home for. They have diapers that you can put on them. Also I have 2 baby call ducks They hardly smell! I also have 2 cats, 3 dogs, and the cats have never hurt my ducks, If fact as long as you watch them untill the duckling is older you should not have any issues. I would go on the Mother and Father goose web sight google Nancy and Alan Towsend!!! Alan's late wife wrote the best book ever! It is called Duck! Their's a Goose in the House. She gives a great deal of caring for them. They make amazing pets and they are more loving than a dog or cat. Trust me I love my dogs and cats! The ducks have a special place in your heart when you learn about them!!!!

  2. Hello,

    I would like to know where you buy your 50 lbs. of organic duck feed for $20.00.

    Our family just started raising 11 Khaki Campbells. We live in a suburb of Illinois. We are trying to find a reasonably priced organic duck feed that doesn't contain soy. I would really appreciate any help you can give us.

    Thank you,

    Erin Sego

  3. A friend of mine has baby ducks she wants to give away, I told her I would take 2 of them. We have a water fall with a small pond, do you think they would like that.(It's home made but I think it will do.) I have never had ducks before. We have no dogs or cats. I have a large pen in back of a work shop, I think would be perfect for them. I'm not sure what kind they are. I will grow them some lettuce, do they have certain kinds they like. In the winter do I need to winterize the pen?
    Our winters aren't real cold usual, we live in middle GA. Thanks Jean Russell.

  4. Hi, I am in 7th grade and me and my sister want our own pets, and we chose ducklings, we found a place to get them and decided that we are getting white layer ducks. We have a medium size yard but not a farm, our parents said we cannnot keep inside the house because of 3 dogs and poop. We could guard it in our room to keep it from the dogs but we have nothing for their waste. We have a shed we could keep it in but no- where else other than our back yards. Please reply about what we would need to do. Also, we were planning on getting 2 ducks but everywhere says they need more compny

  5. Some of the comments in this thread make me terrified for these poor ducklings....

  6. I have 2 hens and would like to get a duck I have a few questions.
    Will hens and ducks get on?
    And can you get just 1 duck or do you have to have a few?

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