Baby ducks make my heart swoon
Have you ever considered having a baby duck as a pet? Baby ducks are known as ducklings. I don’t know whether it’s my bias opinion or not, however I think more people should adopt a baby duck. Did you know that ducks have their own personalities? Also, if you hand rear your baby duck, they love cuddles and affection. It wasn’t long ago that I came across a story on my Facebook Newsfeed. It was about a boy that grew up with a duck, the duck used to walk him to school everyday. Then every afternoon the duck would walk back to the school at 3.30 and walk the boy home. How amazing is that? Just in case you were wondering, we called our baby ducks “Dabble” and “Annabelle”. (The parents were Donald and Daisy). Dabble & Annabelle were Khaki Campbell ducks.
If you haven’t been coaxed into adopting a baby duck yet, I still have one more favorable argument. Did you know Duck eggs are the best to cook with? I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that Duck eggs have twice the nutritional value too. I remember them being larger than your jumbo sized chicken eggs. Ducklings will begin laying eggs around sexual maturity, which is around 20 to 24 weeks. Believe it or not, they will continue laying until almost 8 to 9 years of age. For those of you who don’t know, you will only get a few good laying years out of a chicken. The only real difference I noticed when eating a duck egg compared to a chicken egg, was it has a slightly stronger egg taste.
If you are still reading, it means you are at least interested in raising your own baby duck. Where do you start? First things first, you will need a duck pen/home. Pet ducks and chickens can be kept together, so ideally you are looking for a chicken coup. You can either build a large one yourself, if you are going to have a few animals. Or if you are just going to have 2 or 3 pet ducks, you can purchase one with ease and it comes with everything. I recommend from experience something like this picture below:
Ideally, the larger the better, as the ducks (or chickens) have room to roam and grow. It all depends on funds. You can find the link to the pictured chicken coop here. If you are willing to shell out of those extra dollars, you can’t go past something like this enclosure. You wouldn’t need a separate a run if you got a bigger house. This enclosure has everything you need aswell. You could even raise baby ducks and baby chickens in that enclosure it’s so large.
Now, of course if you opt to buy a smaller size home, your ducks or chickens will need a separate play area. If they can’t fly (you can clip their wings) thing you can get away with a play space like this. Otherwise these pop up tents look pretty useful for the job. I just recently used one of these for my rabbits. They have multi uses. (pictured below). Link for Pop Up Playpen Here. Best thing is, to clean it, you just hose it out.
Ducks and water
My favorite thing to do as a child, was to use my kids sand shell sand pit as a pond for the ducks. If you don’t remember what these looked like, click here. It’s hard plastic and not a blow up pool, so the ducks can’t pop it. I don’t have to tell you how much ducks love water! I love it when they do the water dance, it’s when they are cleaning themselves and they dive under and out, to cover the whole body in water. They do it over and over again, and quack at the same time, it’s so adorable. They look like they have having the time of their lives.
As above, we have already talked about Khaki Campbell Ducks being a good pet duck breed. The most common pet duck breed is the Pekin Duck. These guys are large white ducks, and probably the most photographed. They are cute little yellow baby ducks and the best part is they can’t fly. There are actually quite a number of duck breeds to choose from for your pet. Some other breeds would be are Rouen Duck Hen, Buff Ducks, Cayugas if you want beautiful colors and Muscovy Ducks are rumored to be the quietest.
What do ducks eat?
As previously noted, it is common to kept your pet ducks with chickens, so essentially they eat Chicken food. This can be purchased from your local pet store. Otherwise you can have specialised Food delivered right to your door. Here is some everyday pellets for chicken and ducks., If you want to give your pets a treat, here is some Natural Dried Mealworms. Lastly you should also chuck in some leafy greens every now and then, change your pets diet up.
How long do ducks live?
Depending on living situations and the breed of your pet duck, the average life span is 10 years. However, that being said, some breeds (the smaller ones) can live up to 20 years! Please think about this, before adopting a duck. Other things you need to be aware of are: Ducks need to be kept safe at night from Predators. Once you have adopted a duck, you cannot release it into the wild and lastly… they pop… a lot! After all that is said, I still say that having a pet duck can bring you a lot of joy.