A Few Facts About Pet Ducks
Raising pet ducks is not a very difficult hobby, and it can be quite fun to have a duck or two around the house and yard. There are a number of duck breeds available to keep as pets, many of which can be purchased relatively cheaply at a pet shop, feed store or flea market. In all honesty, keeping ducks as pets does not require much more commitment than owning a cat or dog.
Before making the decision to get a duck for a pet, you must consider whether or not you have the space your new pet duck will want. It is recommended that each duck have about 10 square feet of space in which to roam the yard. A fenced-in pen works nicely, as long as the area is large enough to allow pet ducks room to grow and play.
Pet ducks also like to swim, so it is a good idea to have a natural pond or other water source close by for their enjoyment. While a small kiddie pool works as a swimming hole for ducks, don’t forget to create an easy way for your ducks to get in and out of the pool. Even though ducks love to swim, they don’t want to swim all the time, so they must have an easy way to escape the water whenever they want.
Your duck pen should also include a lean-to or other type of shelter for the ducks to go into when they want to get out of the elements. Although they can survive perfectly well outside – even in freezing temperatures under most conditions – it is still a good idea to give your ducks a place to go when it’s raining, windy or the sun gets too hot. Ducklings should be kept inside until they reach the age of 5 or 6 weeks old.
Many pet stores and feed stores have specially made duck food that will provide all of the nutrients your ducks will need. For baby ducks, gamebird starter food is just what they require. This is the proper feed for ducklings until they reach 5 weeks old. Once they reach that milestone, they can be switched to gamebird grower food, which is designed to feed adult ducks throughout their lives.
Every now and then, it is fine to add some fresh greens, lettuce or grasses to your duck’s diet for a treat. It is never a good idea to give your duck bread or any type of snack food like popcorn or chips. This is essentially junk food to a duck and gives them zero nutrition. Even though it may be fun for you, the duck’s health and nutrition should be the priority and they should be given only nutritional feed designed especially for ducks.