Ducks are one of my absolute weaknesses, I love their sweet little faces. The ladies at our local feed store always chuckle when they see me because they know I have the will power of a bubble in a hurricane and if I even look something fluffy or fuzzy is coming home with me. I know, I’m horrible but honestly, ducks are so much fun to keep, and they are so easy to take care of. They are actually super smart and have so much personality!
- Pen Most domestic ducks are bread heavier than their wild counterparts so they are unable to sustain flight, the ones that can generally stay near food and water. Your ducks will need about 4′ of inside space and 10′ of yard space. They won’t need a completely enclosed shelter (as long as you have a predator-proof pen) as they are very hardy birds, just something to keep them out of the elements and tall enough that they can stretch their wings.
If you have a small number of birds a large dog house will work. It will need to be well-ventilated, ducks create lots of moisture when they breathe so air flow is important.
Cover any ventilation holes with hardware cloth to keep out unwanted critters. Ducks also don’t perch so you don’t need a roost like you would with chickens. They also can’t climb so keep your shelter low to the ground.
Ducks aren’t super particular about where they lay their eggs, a 16″ box will work perfectly.
Because ducks are so hardy, they don’t need a heat source in their barn. It can be insolated but doesn’t have to be. We found that using a light in the winter helps to keep up egg production. You can use either straw or wood shavings in the barn and run.
- Food Adult ducks can be fed regular layer feed or sometimes feed stores carry a special feed for them. Full grown ducks eat about 4-6 ounces of food a day (more in the winter). Use a wide bowl that isn’t easily tipped to feed them. Wet food should be discarded.
Ducks will also eat all kinds of scraps and greens, ours love sardines. They also love to forage and look for bugs, but they aren’t as hard on your yard. They will also need access to GRIT.
- Water Ducks don’t have to have a big pond (domestic ducks aren’t as good swimmers as the wild ones and can easily drown) but they will need access to clean water that they can submerge their whole heads in.
Water bowls should be cleaned regularly and sanitized. We use two 5 gallon water bowls for ours. If you want to add a pool to their pen a kids wadding pool is easy to clean and would work great.
- Cleaning Coop Change the bedding in the coop regularly, and remove any bits of wet bedding. You should also sanitize your coop area several times a year.
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