Do you love fresh duck eggs from the farmer's market? What about having them for dinner, except next time, the eggs are from your own pet ducks?
There are so many good reasons to raise pet ducks. Not only are these waterfowl great mood boosters, they eat slugs and snails that can be pests. Adult ducks are generally quiet, as male ducks don't crow like roosters and female ducks, generally, don't quack as loudly when happy and well-kept.
Here are five reasons why ducks make great pets.
1. Can you have pet ducks? Yes!
Most ducks enjoy the company of other mallards, so the more the merrier! Chickens are the opposite and can take weeks or even months to welcome newcomers into their flock and pecking order.
Watching these social animals flop around in a kiddie pool is hilarious; Freshwater in their pool is a PARTY.
2. Pet ducks are consistent egg layers
Typically, adult ducks lay an average of 200-250 eggs per year and lay eggs well into their later years, as well through the winter. Keeping ducks means having plentiful food, clean water and safe space for hatching to occur, so plan accordingly before you're overrun with baby ducks!
Chicken eggs and duck eggs absolutely taste different! The duck eggs are richer so make sure you enjoy that taste.
3. Ducks are solid for pest control
Free-range ducks eat pests that chickens tend to ignore. Whether it's giant worms, slimy slugs or spiders, ducks have it handled. Chickens have a reputation for passing up slugs and other pests, so your poultry pest control isn't really complete without some ducks.
4. Pet ducks are cold hardy and heat tolerant
Ducks are hardy and well-built animals, but like chickens, they do need a place to escape the elements and predators. Many experts will tell you that ducks (and geese) are less prone to most common poultry diseases and are generally hardier than chickens in cold and wet weather.
5. A kiddie pool works for raising ducks!
No ducky home is complete without a watering hole; Duckily (You didn't think I'd forget a duck pun, did you?), a shallow wading pool like a kiddie pool is great for raising ducks.
Ducklings are adorable! Do your research on the type of domestic duck and breeds of duck you'd like to add. It's important to note that if you want to domesticate wild ducks, you'll need to manage the mess (and poop) they create. In contrast, chicken housing is fairly easy to maintain.
Also, duck care is still similar to chicken keeping, and they'll need predator-proof housing (raccoons!), clean drinking water and clean swimming water; Wood shavings are recommended as bedding by many who successfully keep ducks.
Research Indian Runner ducks, Pekin ducks, and Muscovy ducks, as these are the three more popular breeds.
Know someone who would like to add ducks to their backyard flock? Share on our Wide Open Pets Facebook!
This article was originally published March 9, 2020.
READ MORE: Do Ducks Have Teeth?
Love reading about pets?
Don't miss a story! Sign up for daily stories delivered to your inbox.