A pet duck might not seem as loving, useful or intelligent as a pet like a dog or a cat, so should you have one in your house? Can they receive the loving care of a domestic animal and if they can, will they love you back?
Ducks’ traits and personalities
Ducks are very social and intelligent animals, as an article by the Smithsonian points out: “Just hours after birth, those yellow fuzzballs understand concepts like “same” and “different,” remember them, and apply them to never-before-seen objects with no social cues or training whatsoever”. Their ability of abstract thought is similar to that of crows and even primates and their intelligence makes them able to learn tricks and respond to verbal queues. Depending on the breed they can be quite friendly to humans, even learning how to cuddle with you and “kiss” you!
With proper care, pet ducks can become quite sociable and comfortable with people and unlike other types of birds like chickens, as they don’t have a smell and don’t carry any type of parasites. However, it takes a duck to know a duck. Ducks aren’t meant to be by themselves. They need other ducks to socialize and it’s often better to keep at least three or four to avoid them becoming lonely and depressed. They’ll be even more comfortable if they have a companion of the opposite sex. And that’s not the only thing you need to take into consideration when getting a pet duck.
How do you care for them?
Pet ducks don’t require a lot of care; however, they do need to live out in the open and have a place to hide from the elements if they want to ― something like a dog house, which can comfortably fit up to four ducks. Contrary to popular belief they don’t need a place to swim, although they would enjoy a kiddie pool filled with water for refreshment, which has to remain clean. If not, they at least need clean water to submerge their heads. They also need at least ten square feet per bird and they need to be safe from predators and other pets that can harm them.
Their food and water must always be without medication and have access to duck grit, which will help them to process their food since they are unable to chew. They also enjoy weeds and even leftovers such as breads and vegetables as long as they aren’t too spiced and they’re finely cut so they can eat it.
Ducks: a great pet, a great commitment
As we’ve seen ducks can be great pets and will bring joy to your backyard or your farm. But, like with any other pet, they require commitment. It’s always a good idea to check with your veterinarian to see if you can give a few ducks a happy home. Want to know which duck would be the best type of pet duck for you? Check out our article on duck breeds and find out!