6 important things to know before getting a pet duck

SHOULD I GET A PET DUCK?

At the time, many are out there considering having a pet duck. This might stern from their cute looks, quacks or characteristics in general, but should you get a pet duck? This article will take you through everything you need to know in making your decision.

Ducks can make really good pets once you understand significant things about them. I made this a bullet article for those who might be considering having a pet duck.

CHOICE

Ducks are not really considered “pet-like” as compared to some of the more conventional pets out there, but kudos to you who actually wants these sized feathered cuties as pets.
Is a pet duck good to have around the home especially kids? What precisely do they offer as pets? What care should be given to them?, and all.

First, most breeds of domesticated ducks will make good pets. Although there are lots of recommended breeds, ducks are generally good for kids if handled when young. Ducks are actually intelligent. They learn tricks, socialize with each other, cuddle when taught, play with toys and even give kisses. A duck can bond with you and become your best buddy when handled with care.

Ducks love to socialize; playing with and learning the type of games he or she loves to play will result to you having a happy duck. They also need the companionship of fellow ducks because much like chickens, only a duck can really understand another duck. It’s just sheer cruelty having only 1 duck around; at the very least a pair of ducks, most preferably a male and a female, would go a long way.

I would advocate rather, for you to get more than a pair of ducks – the more the better you know. But if you don’t want to face the reality of having a gaggle of ducks so often – provided you got a mate for your duck(s)- you should consider the number of desired purchases in respect to your handling capability.

You should note that it is notoriously difficult to sex a duck when it’s still small. You may end up not getting what you wanted; to avoid this try getting a duck that’s a little older which in turn is easier to sex. Rescuing and taking in a few ducks too is an option.

PERSONALITY

It is no secret that sexing ducklings is tricky, the majority are usually sold without being sexed. There are various ways in which ducks can be sexed: The color of their head (breed dependent). their voices from when they’re about six weeks old, and so on.

When handled gently and often at a tender age, ducks become quite sociable with people; naturally they do not like being handled in general, but some few individuals don’t seem to mind though.

Ducks do not require a pond or other open water in which to swim. YES! You read that right, they do not. They don’t have odor like chickens do. They are not subject to parasites, lice or fleas. I personally love ducks. Honestly, there are much characteristics that these birds possess that are just so cool.

CARE

Ducks being raised as pets are usually handled more, and it is essential that they experience gentleness and love when being handled. Children should be taught to handle ducks carefully as well as yourself. The experience a duck has from handling whilst it’s still tender could be the basis of its decision on whether or not it should avoid people.

You shouldn’t just drop a duck like you would a chicken because ducks have delicate feet and legs coupled with heavy bodies and can’t really make use of their wings to land as opposed to the chicken. Avoid excessive chasing of ducks to prevent leg injuries.

DUCKLINGS must be kept warm and dry for the first two to four weeks. They need a place warm whereby they can move in and out of (the heat). You should make a box cage with a cornered light bulb for warmth (30oC, or 80oC).

Be WARY though, ducklings can drown at tender age so when making provisions for a water playground, the provided water bowl should be supervised to prevent drowning or chill.

After the first four weeks, you can safely put them (their box) outdoors for extended periods each day – provided it’s not too cold, for them to get used to the open.

Avoid plucking the wings of a duck. This one’s really just straight forward you know, do not do that AT ALL. It is simply a cruel thing to do.

HOUSING AND PROTECTION

Worldwide, ducks have many predators. Ducklings are particularly vulnerable, due to their inability to fly. Their predators range from predatory birds to large fishes like pike, crocodiles, alligator snapping turtle and other aquatic hunters, including fish-eating birds such as herons. Duck’s nests are usually raided by predators who have access via land and also by birds such as eagle, owl, hawk etc.

Be sure to place your pet duck’s home closer to the house and further from open water and rivers. Prepare a safe sturdy place for your ducks to live. A good-sized dog house can be quite sufficient or you could check for some good modern duck houses to buy.

Other pets such as dogs, cats, snakes etc, can also be potential predators. So make sure the ducks are well protected. A chicken wire enclosure (four-foot high) will do as a fencing requirement. If your yard is well fenced already, there’s really no much problem.

The housing can be insulated (optional) but with a door that can be closed, and also with wooden shavings or clean straws. Ducks can live a long time and deserve a happy, healthy home for the duration.

FEED

Ducks eat a variety of food sources such as grasses, aquatic plants,fish, insects, small amphibians, worms, and small molluscs. But hey! We’re talking about your pet here. So what should you feed them?

Feeding your pet duck a complete diet is essential for their growth, longevity and happiness. Ducks should be fed unmedicated feed always. For the first three weeks of age, duck starters are ideal. Duck starters are a high nutrient feed with a protein level of around 20%. From then on you can feed them pullet grower, a lower protein, unmedicated chicken feed. Also, daily access to shell GRIT as a source of calcium to ensure strong shelled eggs is needed. The commercial diet of ducks should be supplemented with greens and fruits. Ducks do need plenty of clean water to help wash down their food. The food and water bowl should be close to each other.

Chocolate, onion, garlic, citrus fruit, avocado or excessive bread shouldn’t be feed to your pet duck. It should be noted that feeding ducks and feeding chickens is not the same thing.

COMMITMENT

Finally, a duck is a commitment of time and energy as you care for and accommodate your pet duck’s needs; they also need to be shielded and protected – like I’ve said earlier- from predators and the environment in general.
Ducks are good pets. Having one is great. They’re enjoyable to watch, intelligent. They require cheap cost for feeds. They’re also natural wonderful weed controllers literally cause they feed on greens. You should be sure to control the weed controllers though.

It should be noted that, a domesticated duck should not be allowed into the wild. It could contract diseases to which it has no immunity from out there, not to talk of the required skills needed to survive.
Also, ducks poop a lot -not always something you’d want to be cleaning up constantly, so be sure to have that covered.

Be sure to contact your veterinarian when you have questions and to schedule regular checkups to keep your pet happy and healthy.

You should know: Ducks can spread Avian and Salmonella flu to humans. Salmonella and Avian flu can be avoided by ensuring proper precautions. Cleanliness and avoiding exposure at minimum are paramount in prevention.

CONGRATULATIONS! You’re on your way to becoming a duck owner be sure to check on our related articles on ducks. Thanks for reading.

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