Embracing the life of a duck parent isn’t as challenging as you might think. With a variety of breeds readily available in pet stores and markets, adopting and caring for pet ducks can be as straightforward as looking after a cat or dog.
Raising Your Quack Pack: Space and Habitat
Before welcoming your duck into its new home, it’s important to assess your space. Each duck ideally requires about 10 square feet to roam freely. A fenced pen is a great solution, providing it offers ample space for your ducks to enjoy their daily activities.
Water Sources for Ducks
Remember, ducks are waterfowl and thrive in a swim-friendly environment. A nearby pond, lake, or artificial water source will help keep them satisfied. Though a small kiddie pool does the trick, be sure to fashion an easy exit for them—an essential consideration for your pet ducks to dry off and take breaks from paddling about.
Protecting Your Ducks from the Elements
Shelter is key too; a lean-to or similar structure will shield your ducks from poor weather conditions. Even though ducks are hardy—even in colder climates—it’s comforting for them to have a place to retreat when wind blows, rain pours or the sun blazes too hot. Ducklings, particularly, benefit from indoor care until they reach about 5 to 6 weeks old.
Nourishing Your Ducks: A Feeding Guide
Your local pet store or feed shop will have specially prepared duck food, which covers all nutritional needs your feathered friends may have. For ducklings, gamebird starter food is ideal until they reach 5 weeks of age. You then transition them to gamebird grower food, which caters to the requirements of adult ducks.
Add Variety to Their Diet
It’s perfectly acceptable to supplement their diet with fresh greens, lettuce, or certain grasses as a tasty treat. In contrast, it’s best to avoid items like bread, chips, and popcorn—these are essentially ‘junk food’ to ducks and don’t offer any nutritional value. Prioritizing your ducks’ health is crucial, meaning they should mainly consume feed specifically designed for their needs.