Ducks are everywhere. You look outside and they are in the pond across the street, floating down the river, or flying through the sky. It is a normal occurrence to see a duck in a setting such as this. However, one place you would not expect to see them is in your house. But just because we don’t see them domesticated as often as Dogs, Cats, and Goldfish doesn’t mean they don’t make a great addition to the family!
Maintenance: Mess and Noise
Lets first address the most important factors that adults worry about when choosing a pet–will it be noisy?, will it poop everywhere, and overall, will it create a lot of work for me? Well the answer is NO, maybe, and NO. You may hear the occasional quacking during the day but in my experience, my duckling was completely silent at night and the quacking during the day was not loud enough to cause a disturbance. The next issue is the mess. As much as I wish I could tell you the duck is potty trained, it sadly is not. Just like most other animals, if you give it free rein over the house it will very likely lay some droppings. Although they are very minimal considering the size of the duckling, it is still a hassle. What I did was put the duck in a large box lined with newspaper. I would take him out and play with him at times but if I was busy, he would be in the box. He would do his business in there and I would simply change out the newspaper ever day or two. Overall, not a lot of work!
Here was my favorite part about having a duckling–taking it for walks. You know how ducklings always walk in a line behind the momma duck at the pond? Well guess what, when you have your own duckling, you are the momma duck. I actually had a couple of ducks so when I would walk around the block with them they would follow my steps in a line. It was quite a sight to see and got a lot of attention from the locals. Guys looking for ice breakers with the ladies, this may be a good pet choice for you.
The ducklings are also down for relaxing occasions too. They will nuzzle up in your arms on the couch and watch tv with you. There are very few occasions where the duck isn’t great to have around! I owned my duckling when I was in college so I even brought him to class with me a couple times and hid him in my bag when the teacher walked by.
There are just a few things you will need before you are ready to take a duck home with you. First off, as mentioned earlier, you need a box and newspaper to keep it clean. You need a food bowl and a water bowl that are low enough to the ground so the duck can access it. A heat lamp can also be helpful as the ducks get cold easily at night with no momma duck to keep them warm.
Where to get your duck
As far as acquiring your duck, I don’t expect you to go into the wild and steal a momma ducks newborns. You can buy ducks for very cheap at the local hardware store. I got mine at Thiesens. If you don’t have a Thiesens in your area there is definitely an equivalent store that will offer them. They are seasonal however early summer is the best time to get them so don’t wait too long! Any store that sells ducks will also have some sort of feed you can purchase as well. Feel free to feed them any other foods such as apples and carrots that they may like but it is always good to have a fall back to make sure they are eating and growing.
If you like the idea of a fun and unique pet to surprise your kids or maybe your girlfriend then a duckling is the right choice for you. They are cheaper and easier to take care of than almost any other pet. I don’t know why people don’t have ducks for pets more often!