Will My Pet Ducks Fly Away?

pet ducks

Most domesticated duck breeds cannot fly.  As breeders have created pet ducks with certain characteristics, they’ve bred out the ability to fly in many types of farm fowl.

pet ducks
Domesticated Mallards can still fly…most of the time

For example, breeders want to produce a better meat duck, and thus they selectively breed the birds to be larger, which in turn makes them too large to fly.  This is the case for ducks like domesticated Pekins, pet Rouens, and even medium sized ducks like Cayugas.  Other breeds of ducks, such as Runner ducks, are able to fly for short distances, but cannot achieve sustained flight.  Thus for all these types of domesticated ducks, it isn’t necessary to clip their wings in order to keep them from flying away.

However, some of the smaller breeds of ducks can still fly, and wing clipping may be necessary if they are not explicitly trained to stay around their home.  This is particularly true for domesticated Mallards and Call ducks.

The ability to fly is an important consideration when selecting a pet duck.  Most people prefer flightless ducks, as clipping wings can be a difficult process.  If you do select a duck breed that is capable of flight, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will fly away, it will just have the ability to.  Often times when someone has a pet Mallard for example, the bird will bond with it’s owner and never leave, despite being able to.  Clipping wings is usually a precaution people will take when dealing with larger flocks of birds, rather than just a few waterfowl as pet ducks.


9 thoughts on “Will My Pet Ducks Fly Away?

  1. Starr says:

    Is it possible my mallard flew away early morning before I checked on her? She had learned to fly. Just hoping neighbor dog didn’t get her. So worried. She was alone so I kept mirrors around the yard and in her house. 2 others were suddenly gone before they could fly. Always when I was gone or asleep. :(

    • Anonymous says:

      This happened to me. I found out my neighbor climbed my fence and cooked them. He also shit my cat. Her name was, “Heaven.” Seriously, some people shouldn’t have been born. Other neighbors had complaints. Answer: I made sure he was home when I had cameras installed! Problem solved!

  2. Ella Jean says:

    can you clip duck’s wings? I hate the thought of that, but I’m afraid of having them fly off! My family and I have four chickens, and are looking into getting a duck… – Ella

    • Hannah says:

      Yeah you can if you flip their primary flight feather though after about a year when they start mounting they will grow back. As long as you don’t cut the wrong feathers the duck won’t be hurt but won’t be able to fly

  3. Carrie says:

    Hi I have a question, not a comment. We have 4 pet ducks, less than a year old. We bought them this past spring as ducklings. We also have 11 chickens. There are 3 male ducks and 1 female. The female has apparently been busy laying eggs, we found a nest of 9 the other day and then one more was added a few days later. I did some online research and learned that they will lay eggs until they have a “clutch” and only then will sit on the nest to begin incubating the eggs. The duck has not started this yet and I was wondering if this may not happen because they are not out “in the wild” Do pet ducks raise babies like chickens would?
    Thanks
    Also we live in PA and I was wondering if they will fly away even if they have a cozy little house, (it’s actually huge) that is somewhat heated and food and water provided, also we have a pond.
    Thanks Carrie

    • Diana says:

      You should watch “50 ducks in a hot tub” on youtube. He is a duck farmer in Canada. On his page u may find his email or u can leave a comment your question. He has been breeding ducks since 2013. There you can find many video’s on breeding. From what I seen thus far the female in spring, April, will mate w/ a male lay clutch of eggs then u should provide her with a quite nesting area when she ( they call a chicken broody) is ready to sit on her nest and stay on it. Barely getting up to eat or drink and she will hiss and puff her feathers up when u appoach her nest. Her belly will also get real warm too. I’m not sure if it’s called broody ducks but it’s the same concept. Her instinct to be a mother must kick in for success, and she has to have a quiet nesting area. Hope u enjoy the channel .

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