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Are Ducks Good Pets? [ Everything you should know]

Are Ducks Good Pets? [ Everything you should know]

Pets become part and parcel of our families and bring us abundant joy, companionship, and emotional support whenever we need it. Had a stressful day at work? You can always count on that snuggle with your pet. A lonely time in your life? Your pet got your back. Even if you’re having a good time out there, having a pet around will increase the number of social activities in your life and we can always use more of that.

All the same, finding a pet that you like and one that fits with your personality and lifestyle is important for both the pet and you.

Are ducks good pets?

While ducks can make good pets, they are not as good pet bird such as parrots. However, ducks aren’t for everyone. Ducks are pretty high-maintenance, ducks cannot be kept as house pets, they can also become quite noisy when they need attention. Do not expect to cuddle with your duck like you would a parrot, and, since they’re outdoorsy, you’ll need to have good outdoor space for them to live.

History of Ducks

Duck is a compound word referring to several species of the waterfowl family Anatidae, which includes geese and swans.

Ducks are much smaller compared to swans and geese. Sometimes unless experienced most people confuse ducks, swans, and geese, loons, coots, grebes, gallinules. Ducks can leave in both salt and freshwater and mostly enjoys spending time foraging in the water.

A duck swimming in water is a sight that never gets old especially when they dive and disappear for a while before reappearing.

A baby duck is called a duckling, a male duck is called a drake, and a female duck is often referred to as a hen.

In the wild ducks usually have one partner at a time, and the relationship only lasts a year.

The female duck takes care of her ducklings and they are usually protective and aggressive when they sense danger against their ducklings.

The call duck was used by hunters to help lure mallard ducks into the hunter’s trap. Mallards are considered the ancestors of modern ducks.

Generally, ducks lay from 8-20 eggs, eight being the least on average and 20 being the maximum.

When starting out buy at least two to three ducklings or ducks for companionship.

Cost of owning and feeding a duck as a pet

The cost of owning a duck involves housing, the cost of feeding, and maintenance.

You can either choose to buy a duckling or a mature duck, if you find a market for duck products such as eggs and feathers ducks can normally take care of their own cost.

You can also supply ducklings to other hobbyists.

The table below shows the cost of owning a duck from the housing, duckling price, and so on.

Price (Duckling)
Price (Duckling)
$9.00 or more 
Pekins Black Swedish White Crested 
Buff DucksBlue RunnerWelsh Harlequin 
Khaki CampbellBlue SwedishSilver Appleyard
Rouen DucklingCayugaSaxony
White LayerChocolate Runner 
White Pekin

Generally, it will cost about 100 dollars to feed ducks annually, ducks can eat several other foods such as carrots, tomatoes, and rice among others that are cheap and readily available.

For a duck house, you can check this chicken coop, which can as well serve as a duck house. All you need is to place it somewhere near a source of water as ducks love swimming.

Reasons why ducks make good pets

Ducks are Cute, lively bundles of joy

Ducks are adorable. Young ducklings are basically cuteness overload. You can hold them within the palms of your hands and enjoy their fuzzy ball-like look.

Besides, ducks love water and they’ll get a lot of fun out of flapping about in a pond and generally living their best life. There’s never a dull moment.

Ducks have unique personalities

Ducks are usually intelligent creatures and they are each unique in their own way. You’ll see this from the way they interact with each other – especially between males and females.

Ducks get along just fine with other animals

Ducks usually get along with other pets, whether they be dogs, cats, or chickens.

Yes, there may be a growl from a dog when they’re causing a disturbance as they play, but these instances usually don’t get violent if they’ve lived together for a good amount of time.

If you have chicken, you can keep the ducks in the same coop and they’ll get along nicely. You’ll probably need to herd the ducks back to the coop each night but that’s about all the intervening you’ll have to do in that area.

Also, ducks don’t usually fight with one another and they’re a pretty tight crew.

Reasons why ducks don’t make good pets

Ducks are not cuddly

Ducks are not cuddly like other pet birds such as conures. Ducks enjoy the company of people and generally see what you’re doing. But for most of them, this is as far as their curiosity will take them. Extend out a hand and they’ll jump right away.

But this shouldn’t be a big deal because ducks express compassion in other ways – like following you around and jumping up and down when you’re serving treats.

Sometimes, some ducks don’t mind being held. If you get young ducklings and they get used to being around humans, they’ll get used to it.

In these lucky instances, you’ll want to ensure that you handle them delicately.

If you have kids, it’s probably best to teach them how to handle ducks properly.

For instance, dropping a duck may injure his or her legs and feet since they’re not made for walking on land – much less landing on the hard ground/surface.

TIP: Domestic ducks are usually friendlier than wild duck species, so domestic ducks are a better choice for pets. You also won’t have to worry about the domestic ducks making a break for it – as the flying wild duck species do when they don’t adjust well to the home environment.

2. Ducks live outdoors

Ducks are made for the outdoors environment and so if you’d like to have them as pets, you have to get ample space outdoors where they can trot about and enjoy the sun.

If you have a garden out there, all the better. Ducks are messy. They poop frequently and you may tire of collecting poop every half hour.

But if they’re outdoors in your garden, that poop can at least nourish your garden.

3. You can’t keep only one duck as they’re prone to loneliness

Ducks are highly social animals. Keeping just one duck is like condemning him or her to a life of loneliness and solitude.

Ducks are livelier when there’s a fellow companion by their side – ideally one from their specific species.

Best duck species to keep as pets

Here are some duck species that are good pets.

Ancona Ducks

These are often said to be the friendliest duck species. They have white feathers that contain black patches. Thanks to these black patches, you’ll find it easy to tell which duck is which.

Call ducks

With firm, small round bodies, these are bantams of the duck family. They’re also the cutest of them all.

They come in various colors and breeds. They often eat grass and lesser feed than other ducks.

They adjust well to people since they’ve been living around people for a long time. They will also cause little harm to your garden.

Pekin ducks

These are noble and friendly creatures that love to look into what you’re doing. Their color range from creamy white to canary yellow.

Black-East Indian

Talk about a good-looking specimen! Black-East Indians are considered ornamental because of their “lustrous green sheen and smart matching black legs and webs.

They love to forage for insects and so they’ll deal with annoying bugs if you have them.

Crested ducks (Black or white)

These ducks have medium weight and they spot a puff of feathers on their head. They’re beautiful and are usually kept for ornamental purposes. The crested miniature is a sight to behold. All crested ducks generally make good pets.

Fun fact: Crested ducks have been around since before the 17th century and they even found their way into Dutch paintings from the 17th century.

Things to keep in mind when having ducks as pets

When you decide to welcome ducks into your life, there are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Protect them from harm by predators

Ducks are pretty chill creatures, especially the domestic kind. However, predators such as cats, dogs, and coyotes which are strangers may see them as prey.

Therefore, it’s important to keep the ducks in a safe and secure place free of any predators that could be getting ideas.

This includes having an enclosed yard, a predator-proof coop, and watching out for the ducks when you’re out and about in public places.

2. Keep ducks as pets because you really want to.

Sometimes, people will keep pets in order to maintain unique lifestyles – an extension of their personality, if you like.

Ultimately, it’s up to you but I would advise against keeping ducks as pets for exhibition purposes. And I know that some ducks are kept for their ornamental value and because they’re cute to have around.

But the motive is important because if you genuinely want ducks as pets, you’ll be careful in how you treat them, feed them, and care for them.

Otherwise, what happens when you get bored with taking care of them? Young ducklings grow up pretty quickly and if their fuzzy cute small selves were your only hook, then you may be disappointed a few weeks later.

3. A place to swim

Ducks love to swim. They were made for the water and that’s where they feel most at peace.

Therefore, it’s important to offer this comfort to your ducks in a way that is convenient for you. A pond is fine if you can swing it. The problem could be how to clean it.

If you want something manageable, you can try getting a tub that is large enough for your ducks to swim in but one that is small enough for you to clean it regularly.

In addition to those considerations, it’s important to check with your neighbors as ducks tend to be noisy. Also, check with your local Council or Environmental Health Department for duck-keeping regulations that may affect you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are ducks affectionate?

Ducks can be very affectionate towards any human who takes care of them. Some ducks quack and try to flap their wings when they see someone who takes care of them approaching. Different ducks have different ways of showing affection some may even feed on your hand.

Do pet ducks cuddle? I cannot call it cuddling, but pet ducks used to their owners will let you pet them. Some ducks species will allow you to cuddle them. Though not as well as cats and dogs.

Do ducks bond with humans? Ducks do bond with their human owners. If they are used to your presence, especially during feeding times, they will be excited once they see you. Ducks can bond with humans to point of feeding on human hands.

Can you potty train a duck? Unfortunately, ducks cannot be potty trained. Mainly because the ducks do not have sphincter muscles. this means that they do not have control of when to defecate.

Can Ducks wear diapers? Outdoor ducks have no need for diapers while indoor ducks will definitely need diapers to avoid messing up the house.

Are ducks good indoor pets? Despite the fact that ducks make good pets, they are not good indoor pets such as dogs and cats. ducks can get lonely which may affect their health. Keeping them indoors for a long time may even kill them. As they may stop eating out of loneliness.

Do ducks like being petted? Some duck species will allow their owners to pet them and will actually enjoy the petting especially when they are hand-fed or generally during feeding.

Final Thoughts

Ducks make good pets. In addition to being cute and exciting, they usually get along well with one another and other animals. However, ducks may be a lot of work for some people. This is because they can be a bit standoffish – resisting human touch, they only live outdoors and hence require separate accommodations, and, lastly, you’ll need to keep more than one at least.

Nonetheless, they’re totally worth it if you can provide these minimum accommodations and you really love having ducks around.