How to Raise a Duck as a Pet
Ducks are intelligent, trainable and work well as outdoor pets. Raising a pet duck requires basic feeding, housing and time to invest in the social aspects of being a pet owner. They require less energy than a dog and more than turtle or fish. Ducks also are capable egg producers if you want a pet who supplies a regular food source.
Ducks require very basic housing where they can escape the elements and bed down at night. A doghouse-style structure with pine shavings or hay used as bedding is adequate. Ducks do not roost and they sleep on the ground. Protection from predators is important for your duck. Use a house with a door and close the door at night. As an alternative, use a contained rabbit hutch that has a sleeping area and a run area for the duck. Strong mesh wire will contain the duck while discouraging threats.
Locating Your Pet Duck
When your housing is prepared, begin your search for a pet duck. Consider having several ducks if space is available as they are social animals. Check with your local feed and ranch supply stores as they often carry ducklings in the spring. They also will know the local duck breeders in your area. Numerous varieties of ducks are available as well. Any variety will make a good pet but take your time to determine which duck you prefer.
Food and Water
Your duck requires a constant water source. Always supply fresh water in your yard and run space. Ducks enjoy foraging for food and will eat plants and insects in your yard. Let the duck roam during the day and he will eat grass, dandelions and bugs. Also supply table scraps as treats. Vegetables and fruit are good for you pet duck. Fill a feeder with duck pellets found at your local feed store for a daily nutrition source. Duck food has roughly 16 percent protein content. Keep the food container full throughout the day and your duck will self regulate and only eat as necessary.
Socializing and Training
Pet ducks require regular attention and socialization. A neglected duck may become aggressive and act out. Spend time with your duck, walking around the yard and feeding by hand. Hold and pet your duck on occasion as well. You will gain the trust and loyalty of your duck while removing the potential for any difficult behavior habits. Add a second duck to your flock if your time for socializing is limited. A single duck is fine when you spend time together but ducks are flock animals and socializing daily is necessary.