A lot of backyard farmers wanted to know how to raise a duck as a pet. Ducks aren’t just farmed animals. Lots of people have pet ducks as well as chickens, geese, and turkeys as pets. Ducks are gentle amusing pets who are easy to care for. Ducks are not only entertaining but they are useful around the house too.
You can use ducks to eat up slugs in your garden, find lost items even in dirty water, and weed your garden. In this guide, you will learn how to raise a duck as a pet.
Pros and Cons of Raising Ducks
Before we proceed with tips on how to raise a duck as a pet, let’s take a look at some of it’s pros and cons to help you decide.
- Ducks are some of the cheapest pets to raise. As long as you provide them with proper food, water, and shelter they can be very cheap. Ducklings cost about $10-$15 each depending on the breed. (Check out California Hatchery)
- Ducks are one of the cutest animals you can own. They often look like stuffed toys which makes them very appealing.
- Ducks are easy to care for, but their habitats need frequent cleaning. Ducklings take about 6 weeks before they can eat on their own and be released into the wild. Ducks usually live between 10-15 years if properly cared for.
- Ducks are loud animals at times. Their quacks can be heard from a long distance.
- You have to build them shelter and a fenced-in area called a run(this can get expensive)
- They can be messy. They and their enclosures can smell pretty bad if you don’t clean them often enough
Is it easy to raise a duck?
For starters, ducks are easy to raise even in a small backyard. However, ducks need more space than chickens so you can’t keep them in a small coop. Ducks also do lay eggs and they take up a lot of water to stay healthy. Ducks eat fish and bugs but they will settle for bread scraps if that is all you have.
Ducks are wonderfully hardy, inexpensive, and easy to care for. If you are considering having ducks as pets, here’s how to raise them. The first thing you should know is what breed of duck will work best for you.
How do you take care of a pet duck?
Like any other pet, ducks need a home. Ducks need a nice big pen to keep them safe from any predators and they also require a lot of space so you can’t keep them in a small coop. Ducks are messy animals who love water more than the average pet. This means that ducks require a pond or at least a large bucket of water.
For your duck to stay healthy, you need to make sure they eat the right food. Ducks love bugs and fish but if that is not available, your duck will settle for bread scraps. Before giving your pet duck any food, make sure it doesn’t contain onion or garlic.
Ducks are entertaining pets who will keep you laughing with their antics all day long. Ducks are useful pets because they can weed your garden and eat bugs too. Ducks will find lost items in the water even if you drop them in a dirty mud puddle.
Generally, our tips on how to raise a duck as a pet are easy. But just like any other pet, they require lots of space and proper care to stay healthy. Make sure that your duck has enough food and water and it will be a great pet.
How much does it cost to raise a duck?
Ducks are relatively inexpensive. The cost of a domesticated duck varies widely throughout the country. You may purchase a domestic duck for between $5 and $10 from your local pet store.
Duck house will cost you between $20-$300 depending on the size and type you want.
Feeding a duck is relatively inexpensive; they may be fed between $5 and $10 worth of food each month depending on the quality of the food. Duck feed is readily available at most local feed stores or farm stores. You can also purchase it online through Amazon.
Proper care for your pet duck is relatively inexpensive; you can expect to pay between $50 to $80 annually for veterinary bills. This does not include minor ailments like ear mites or worms which are treated with over-the-counter medications at little or no cost. Veterinary care becomes more expensive if your duck is injured, sick, pregnant, has an egg binding issue (females), or has other reproductive problems.
What do baby ducks eat?
Adult backyard ducks can eat a wide variety of food, but your baby ducks should have a very specific diet from the time they hatch until they’re a few months old. You can feed them a mixture of things, including the following:
To help the ducklings digest their food, they require large quantities of grit in the form of commercial chick grit or coarse dirt. Ducklings love veggies like dandelion greens, chopped grass, weeds (chemically untreated), worms, Swiss chard, kale, peas, and moistened oatmeal.
Chick starters are used as the ducklings grow. It should be available wherever you buy your other duck supplies, and it’s relatively inexpensive – approximately $8 to $15 per bag depending on the size. When ducklings are first hatched, they need starter mash but once they’ve grown a little larger, they can move up to starter crumbles.
How long do you keep ducklings in the brooder?
Ducklings are cute, fuzzy little balls of fluff at first, but they grow quickly. Ducklings that are left in their brooder for too long may become stressed or develop health problems.
Make sure to transfer your baby ducks to an outdoor pen at about two months of age once they’re feathered out. This is also the best time for them to start learning how to catch and eat bugs on their own.
It will take about six weeks until they’re ready to be fully weaned from you as their caretaker, but this must be done gradually so as not to allow them to become attached before it’s time for them to go.
Are ducks messy pets?
Even a small flock of ducks can generate a pretty large amount of manure. You will find that ducks are also very good for keeping bugs in your yard under control, so their presence is a two-in-one benefit.
Ducks are extremely messy when it comes to water. They spend hours each day splashing around and making mud. Many people choose to have the same location set up just for this purpose, since it can be extremely difficult to keep the rest of the yard clean, and you will need to hose down your duck’s location daily.
Having a pet duck is not for everyone, but if you are interested in learning how to raise a duck as a pet, I hope this article has answered some questions. Ducks are easy pets but they do require more attention than chickens or pigeons. They are entertaining and inexpensive pets that are also good for the garden!
Sarah Lane has been a farm wife since 2010 and mother of two children for nearly as long. She and her husband, Jonathan, live on a small farm in Texas where they raise dairy goats and beef cattle as well as chickens for eggs and meat. In addition to growing their own hay, straw and garden produce, the Lane family works with other nearby farms to source organic grain from which they make artisan bread sold at local farmer’s market.