Domestic Duck 101 -Everything you need to know about them

I’ve compiled a detailed list of all you need to know about domestic ducks. There are more resources to view in the page too to help you with everything you need to know.

Definition and Classification

When you think “Domestic” what comes to your mind? Something involving the home, relating to the family, or found and used in a particular area. Now, add “Duck” to the word and you get: A duck that’s related to the family, involved in the home and a particular area. That’s just it, sounds cliché right?

Scientific name: Anas platyrhynchos domesticus.

Domestic ducks are ducks that are raised and/or are cared for by people. They are typically raised for eggs, show, meats, income or my personal favorite, as pets.

Domestics ducks may be raised in large or small flocks.

Typically, domestic ducks rely on people for feed and housing, and because of this, they usually don’t last long alone in the wild.

Ducks are able to grow and mature whilst feeding off basic available feedstuffs in ratio of simple diets.
Ducks have been domesticated for ages now.

This practice has been passed down through to recent times. Domestic ducks are descendants of the Mallard, except the Muscovy.

Domestication made ducks less aggressive and easier to handle. Domestication of ducks has led to the increasing influence over reproduction and has served to secure foreseeable resources from ducks.


Choosing the right breed of domestic duck

It’s best that you choose a domestic duck that suits your needs and/or wants. It can be a native breed that is well adapted to your environment, weather conditions, or other conditions of where you live in. It may be a breed that’s superior to the local breeds or simply a breed that’s available for purchase.

Are domestic ducks good pets?

Honestly, this is a whole new topic entirely, but let’s summarize this can we? Domestic ducks mostly make great pets and companions.

Surprising as it may seem, they actually don’t need a pond; they just need enough water to clean out their beaks and dip their heads in. Ducks only need enough water for cleaning their nostrils, so a bowl will do.

Ducks are friendly creatures; they are resilient to extreme weather conditions, can be easily cared for, and are each unique.

Domestic ducks are fun to have around and are great to have in the garden. They can act as weed control for the garden as they feed on grass, but you should probably keep an eye out for them though.

They are great to have around children also, they don’t bite -only peck, which doesn’t necessarily hurt. Ducks do need protection from common predators such as snakes, hawks, or the neighbor’s pet dog.

A dog house or pen will certainly do to shield them from any harm, but a standard duck house is advisable though.

Domestic ducks have been a part of society for many years. Some cultures of the world today believe the duck to be a symbol or fertility and good marriages etc. They also make good pets.

Caring for a domestic duck

Caring for a domestic duck is fairly straight forward. When young (ducklings), they should be kept from water till when they are some weeks old as they do not have their preen oil yet.

When wet, ducklings can easily drown.
The similarity between raising a domestic duck and any other poultry is really glaring. The only difference is that for ducklings, they shouldn’t be given medicated feed like that of chickens. It causes unnecessary diseases for them and/or could lead to an overdose.

Ducks need to be brooded at their younger age, and are very much resilient.

Do domestic ducks fly?

Some domestic ducks bred for food are either too heavy to fly or have their wings clipped to prevent just that. Wild ducks such as mallards do fly and can migrate long distances.

They are pretty good fliers for short distances getting airborne a few feet of the ground for 2 blocks or so, when people chase them off the lawns and back to the lake.

Domestic duck lifespan.

Ducks are not long-lived as their counterparts, geese. The average life span of a domestic duck is about 12 years or less.

The larger the duck breed, the shorter their life span. They seldom live beyond 8-10 years, but then you can improve that with good care and feed at best.

Average total sleep time.

Average total sleep time (% of 24hrs) – Average total sleep time (hours/day) 45% 10.8h *That’s joint average sleep time with the Jaguar.

How much does a domestic duck cost?

In short, domestic ducks come rather cheap. They range from $5 to the rare breeds which cost $8 each.

Do ducks sleep standing up?

Birds in general have an adaptation called “Rete mirabile” which minimizes heat loss. Ducks are well insulated creatures due to the fact that they spend a lot of their time in water.

That being said, a duck’s circulatory system is “designed” to remove a significant amount of body heat from the blood before it finds its way to the feet where the most heat loss would occur, isn’t that just fascinating?!

The one leg standing behavior of the duck should presumably be an extension of the duck’s physiology which is highly evolved to the conservation of heat.

How do I know if a duck is male or female?

If there are no obvious differences in the coloring of the plumage, feathers can still help to indicate if you’re looking at a male or female duck.

Just take a look at the tail feathers; the tail feathers of the male curl up a bit right at the base of the tails, in some breeds.

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