Everyone I’ve met says ducks are a pain- they’re messy, loud, smelly. So I must be crazy because I loved my ducks! We raised them inside for the first couple of weeks- ok probably longer than that, but who can say no to that sweet little face? Mom and I would fill up the tub (when we were supposed to be going to bed) and let them swim in it- or the sink. Hey? Who needs to brush their teeth? (Just kidding.) It was so cute to watch them play in the water! The first time they went under the water on a duck dive we thought they were drowning. We screamed, mom panicked and it turns out they were fine. LOL! Memories and heart attacks! They love to dive under and come up on the other side of their swimming hole.
So anyway meet Quackery and Zachery, for the first few weeks we kept them in a plastic tub with a layer of shavings, with a heat light, and small water and food container that we picked up at our local farm store. Later we moved them out into a covered rabbit hutch. When the got bigger we would let them swim in the ponds. Warning- they are very destructive to water lilies. Sorry, Grandma! Talk to your farm supply about what they recommend feeding them. We fed ours duck chick starter to cracked corn once they were moved out into the rabbit hutch.
These guys were supposed to grow up and fly away- but that’s not quite how it turned out. These guys apparently really liked our house because it took us taking them down to the animal preserve and releasing them on the lake to get them to spread their wings and take flight.
We didn’t get ducks again until a couple years ago when a friend gave me one. It couldn’t walk and its head lolled over to one side. When I went in to get feed she grabbed me and handed me this little yellow duck She told me if anyone could keep her alive it was me- and took off. Apparently something went wrong with the hatch or it had a stroke on the way from the hatchery and it had brain damage. She was really sweet, though. We named her Aaliyah Gabriela. The video below is us helping her swim. She couldn’t hold her body up so we held her and let her kick her legs. She loved ice cream too! But, I have no idea how she got a hold of it… [insert guilty whistling here].
Please remember that ducks along with any animals are a life long commitment- for better or worse. They can be hurt, they are not toys and they can not simply be thrown out. Please be responsible.
Check out our other posts on raising animals below. Or for more posts check out our farm page.