Egg-laying ducks require a regular feeding schedule, access to water, ample space and a comfortable habitat. Managing the health of your flock is a hands-on process, and you must make time daily to handle feeding, cleaning and maintenance.
Habitat for Ducks
Keep an enclosed area where your ducks have access to their food, water and shelter. Provide a children's swimming pool filled with water if you can. Ducks enjoy bathing and swimming in cool water. Also provide access to shade during the summer months. Add an artificial light source during the winter months to encourage production. Ducks are most productive when they have 12 to 14 hours of light exposure daily.
Shelter and Protection
Providing suitable shelter for ducks is simple, as they require no perches or elevated platforms. A simple dog-house-style shelter is adequate if it provides protection from the wind and elements. Keep dry bedding in the shelter and provide a latched door to prevent predators from entering in the night. Change the bedding regularly to maintain a sanitary environment.
Feed your ducks twice daily, mornings and evenings. Feeding pellets is a common choice but wet corn mash is also acceptable. Use an amount of feed that requires roughly 15 minutes to consume. Ducks like to forage for plants and insects throughout the day, too. Water is also critical to the health of your ducks. Make water available at all times to prevent dehydration. Lack of water reduces egg production and is harmful to the health of your flock.
Mixing With Chickens and Geese
Ducks can coexist with chickens and geese. They get along best when the species are reared together. They may have occasional conflicts. Ducks and geese are often protective of chickens and will herd and protect the flock. The ducks will utilize ground space for shelter while your chickens will roost on elevated platforms. Provide separate housing as an option nevertheless.
Check your zoning ordinances before you get ducks. Some city areas consider ducks livestock and may have regulations prohibiting them.