It’s no secret that ducks are cute as heck and are very useful in the garden. But are ducks good pets? They have been kept on farms for ages now, but some people do still wonder whether they actually make good pets or whether they should be considered more as helpers on the homestead. Maybe you have been thinking about keeping one as a pet but weren’t sure if they would be suitable for that. If that sounds like you and you are itching to know whether ducks make good pets, then keep reading. In this article, we tell you all you need to know about keeping ducks as pets.
Key points to remember when keeping ducks as pets
Never keep one duck only
Ducks are highly social birds and they get along with each other well. They were created to live in groups, not in singles.
With that in mind, know that if you keep a single duck as a pet, it will get depressed easily over time. In addition to being cruel socially, it’s also tough on ducks physically as they rely on their friends for exercise, mating, and eating.
Besides, you want a pet duck you can have fun with. If you keep one and it gets unhappy, what fun will you have then? You won’t have any – and that obviously isn’t what you want.
To avoid this, keep at least two ducks. Having four or five would be ideal though
Don’t keep a duck indoors
It might make you happy to have your pet ducks indoors, but here is the thing: it’s not favorable for them. They won’t be fulfilled by an indoor lifestyle.
Ducks are natural explorers – they need to be outside.
Moreover, ducks love to roam around and search for small organisms like insects to eat. If you keep them indoors, they won’t have access to that.
To make sure they are happy, keep them outdoors where they can wander around freely and have fun in the grass and water.
Pros of keeping ducks as pets
Undoubtedly, ducks are great birds to have on the homestead and they have plenty of benefits they can give you.
Here are a few advantages of proving that ducks are good pets:
Ducks are long-lived pets
Unlike other pets, ducks live for a long time (check out our article here on how long ducks typically live). Their lifespan can be as much as 10-15 years, and some species can even live up to 20 years.
Ducks are tough birds. Unlike most domestic birds, they can withstand harsh weather conditions and are not put off by the cold and rain! They are so robust that even icy weather isn’t threatening to them, but you should of course make sure they have suitable housing.
Less damaging on the yard
Ducks are harmless to the environment, making them a very eco-friendly member of the farm family. Even if you only have a small backyard garden, you don’t have to worry about it getting ruined by them.
Unlike other birds, (for instance, chickens) ducks won’t destroy your landscape. Chickens mash up the ground and eat plants in your garden. But with ducks, that wouldn’t be the case.
Furthermore, ducks do you even more good by giving you manure that will fertilize your garden. According to research, their droppings are more fertile than that of chickens and other domestic birds.
Ducks can bond with you similar to other pets
Most people assume ducks can’t bond with their owners, mostly because they are less popular.
That couldn’t be any further from the truth.
If you take good care of your ducks, they will bond with you well. Instead of keeping them around and expecting they will like you, play around with them. Feed, cuddle, and spend time with your ducks.
Over time, they will appreciate your love and care. They won’t see you as a stranger or a threat.
They are fun to be around
Ducks are as exciting to be around as they are friendly and peaceful.
Whether you are into animals or not, they are amusing to watch. Ducks can give you great entertainment that can keep you glued to them for a long time, maybe even hours! Their shenanigans are a lovely sight on the homestead for adults and children alike!
It’s exciting to watch ducks playing around in the pond, or even see them quacking at each other. It gives that sense of country-living that we all long for when we are away.
Cons of keeping ducks as pets
A duck’s cuteness isn’t debatable and their pros are great indeed. But even so, they aren’t perfect pets… ducks do have their drawbacks. Here are some of them…
Ducks can be quite messy
When it comes to pooping, ducks can do it wherever and whenever they want. And the worst part— you can’t even control them when it comes to that.
If you keep them in an enclosed space, it wouldn’t take long for the area to become a mess. Even just a few hours can go by in an enclosed space and you’ll be left with a big mess to clear up… (And despite all that, they will seem okay with it – they wouldn’t care!)
As for the water, they will do the same to it. If you have clean water in your garden that you don’t want to get dirty, close it up, or else it will face the same fate. Ducks paddle around and don’t avoid their own feces, which means when they go swimming later, they take it with them.
The mess is the main disadvantage you will face when keeping ducks. You will have to clean up the mess regularly (giving fresh bedding at least several times a week) and also keep an eye on the water that you don’t want to get dirty.
Ducks can make a lot of noise
Ducks are social animals and they like to communicate a lot. But out of that great pro comes a not-so-great con.
When they are in groups, they can be loud. Hate noise? This can be a huge disadvantage for you.
With only one quack from one duck comes a follow-up response from the others that can go on for minutes or even hours. And the worst thing about this is you can’t stop them. Ducks do love chatting.
If you live on a vast homestead, the noise is likely no issue. But if you have neighbors close by? They might dislike it, and if you keep ducks around, they will have to live in their frustrations else take them out on you…
But, if you have a large enough space, this drawback’s influence might be kept to a minimum.
Do ducks get along with other animals?
It’s normal for animals of different kinds to fight, but when it comes to ducks, that isn’t generally the case. Ducks do generally get along with other animals.
If you introduce ducks to your current pets such as dogs or cats, it should only take a few weeks for them to be fully attune to each other (although, as ever, be careful with aggressive dogs).
In any case, putting ducks with other animals will require you to make sure that you introduce them appropriately so your ducks won’t see the other animals other as strangers, and vice versa. You need to prevent attacks from day one.
Ducks get along perfectly with animals like chickens, horses, donkeys, cows, and domestic birds of all kinds. As for these animals, they can blend well from the start.
Do ducks make good pets?
So, the big question: do ducks make good pets? We certainly think so…
It’s true keeping them comes with a set of responsibilities, but despite all that, they do make good pets especially for families with young children.
We have covered all the pros and cons of petting ducks, along with all the points you must consider when you want to keep them.
If you analyze the points carefully, I’m sure you will conclude the same thing. The benefits of petting ducks outweigh the drawbacks. Sure, they need plenty of outside space, they can be noisy, and they leave you having to clean up the mess they make, but these disadvantages are unavoidable. They are part of natural farm life and you can’t do much about that.
But if all these drawbacks are nothing to you, then keeping ducks as pets will probably be one of the best things you do on your homestead! Just think about it… all the cuteness, the entertainment, the fun… what else could you want from a homestead companion?