Friday, January 18, 2008
This post is for my young niece Jeniffer... Every time she comes to visit me she loves playing with the ducks around my property (especially is captivated by the cute little ducklings) and constantly she alludes to perhaps owning her own pet duck. I thought that I would post a link and some very useful advice regarding the best way to rear young ducklings so that you may have happy and healthy drakes and ducks! I know that all the ducks that I have come to know over the decades have each bought a piece of joy to my life and with this advice I know each of you can look after your flock as well as they look after you!
Ducks as Pets
Pet ducks will entertain you with their antics and eat pesky slugs and snails. A female will produce abundant eggs.
To look after ducklings all you need is a large cardboard box, some shavings or straw, a heat lamp, a feeder and a waterer. As they grow, they will need more space and less heat. Keep an eye on the birds; if they stay away from the heat, turn it off, if they get their pen messy quickly, they need more bedding and more space. By 5 or 6 weeks they can probably be outside all the time in good weather.
Ducks need a deep enough water bowl so they can dip their heads in water 2 or 3 times a day. They need to wash their eyes otherwise they can get dry eyes and cataracts.
A single pet duck can make a great pet but you should make sure you have enough time to devote to your duck. Make sure you get your duck very young or incubate the egg yourself and be the first thing he or she sees when it hatches. You will need to spend a lot of time bonding with your duck so that you and your family become the duck's flock. So you’ll need to devote yourself to playing and just being with your duck everyday, on top of the usual cleaning and feeding duties.
Ducks are social animals and will suffer if they don't have companionship. So if you can't make this commitment for the full 12 or so years a duck can live, you should get two or more ducks.