I have pet duck. Her name is Zucchini. I get asked many questions about what it’s like to have a pet duck. Many people want to know about her because they might decide to get one. I don’t mean keeping ducks outside in the traditional way, which I have done my whole life, but having a duck live in the house. Here are several of the questions I get asked regularly about having a duck as a pet.
What Do Ducks Eat?
As a baby, you have to feed your duckling starter feed. It’s scrunched up poultry feed but with extra nutrients for growing ducks. As an adult, you can give your duck chicken feed. You won’t find it in a pet store. You can find it at feed mills or local farmers markets that also sell ducks and chickens.
Are They Expensive to Take Care Of?
Ducks are relatively cheap to take care of. They need a cage, water dish, and food dish. They need food. Those are the necessities. I save money by saving newspapers and paper bags and using them to line the cage.
What About Water? Ducks Love Water
Water is important to ducks because it helps them become waterproof. Seriously. Ducks have oil glands and the water helps to spread the oil on their wings. Does that mean you have to have a pool for your duck? Nope. Stick your duck in the bathtub to let it swim and dunk.
Zucchini actually hates baths. She will swim for a few moments, dunk once, and then leap out of the bathtub. Not all duck breeds love water. Muscovy, mallards, and teals, for examples, prefer to forage for food over swimming.
Are Ducks Messy?
Yes. A very loud yes. You can’t train a duck to use the litter box or ask to go outside. Ducks will do their business wherever they are, even on your lap. How do I deal with this stinky, messy problem? I diaper Zucchini. It might sound funny, but duck diapers work. You can make them yourself, even if you have little sewing skills. I wrote up a tutorial on how to make duck diapers.
Zucchini loves mirrors. She thinks her reflection is another duck. She will sit in front of the mirror for hours. I stick a large piece of carpet in front of the mirror on the floor. She will do her business on the carpet. I clean it up, and then replace the carpet with a new piece once it’s thoroughly gross.
Do Ducks Get Along With Other Pets?
It depends on the pet. My cats are used to weird animals running around, such as rats, lizards, and chickens. They ignore Zucchini. If she pecks at them too much, they will swat at her, but they never use claws. Our one dog, Scruffy, does the same thing. Cricket, however, is a different story. She’s a Jack Russell, a hunting dog, and she wants nothing more than to “play” with Zucchini. We keep them separated using baby gates.
Do Ducks Have Health Issues?
Not many. You won’t have to take your duck to the vet for shots and check-ups. Many duck problems are things you can deal with on your own, but it is a good idea to read up on them so you know what to look for. It is also a good idea to know where an exotic pet vet works, just in case.
Is It Okay to Feed the Duck Table Scraps?
The best answer is to never let your duck eat table scraps. But I’m an honest person. It is not easy to keep your duck away from your food. They are worse than dogs. Zucchini will grab the food from my plate or even out of my mouth. She’s gotten a brief taste of Cheetos, Turkey Jerky, popcorn, fried egg, pizza, and tater tots. Has any of it harmed her? No, but it harmed me when I had to deal with the diarrhea.
Do Ducks Needs Lots of Attention?
Ducks are social animals. When you get one pet duck, that duck will become attached to whoever gives it the most attention as a baby. If you move out of your duck’s sight, you will hear it cry for you. It will follow you. It will want to cuddle all the time and stick its head under your arm like its mama’s wing. Even as an adult your duck will see you as its companion.
If you don’t feel you can give your pet duck enough attention, don’t get one. Please. Do not leave your duck in a cage all day long.
Does the Duck Fly Around the House?
Many domestic ducks can’t fly. I can’t answer for sure if a duck will fly around the house because Zucchini has not tried. Yet. She has full run of the house during the day. At most, she leaps up to the couch to rest.
Are Ducks Noisy?
Ducks are noisier than cats, but quieter than barking dogs. They will peep or quack quietly. That is unless you move out of sight. Then you will hear loud yelling.
Why a Pet Duck?
As strange as it sounds, it is incredibly easy to become attached to a duck. Ducks are loving creatures.