ducks as pets

ducks as pets

Ducks as pets

Although uncommon, ducks can make good pets as they are easy to maintain than any other pets. Ducks are domesticated for various reasons which include eggs, meat, and down. However, they can be simply kept as pets as well.

Ducks are essentially aquatic birds found both in seawater and fresh water. They are smaller in size than their counterparts swans and geese. Ducks have elongated bodies with relatively long necks. Male ducks or drakes have a brightly colored bodies with a green head having an iridescent effect. The webbed foot is generally orange in color. They also have a white ring around their necks with eyes placed on either side of the head. The average length of a duck is 20-23 inches.

Ducks feed on grasses, insects, aquatic plants, small amphibians, worms, and small mollusks. Usually monogamous, most ducks breed once a year given favorable conditions.

It is a great misconception that all ducks are quack. Mostly female dabbling ducks quack. Diving ducks make a sound like ‘scaup’. Usually, the call of a duck ranges from yodels and grunts to whistling coos.

Duck habitation

Ducks have a fairly broad-based distribution. They are found all over the world except Antarctica. Several species inhabit the sub-Antarctic islands like South Georgia and the Auckland Islands. Plenty of ducks have settled on oceanic islands such as New Zealand, Hawaii, and Kerguelen, However many of these species today have either become extinct or are threatened.

Some ducks are migratory; especially those propagating in the Northern Hemisphere of the Arctic. The ones inhabiting the tropics are generally not migratory. Some ducks also happen to be nomadic particularly in Australia where rainfall is erratic. Such nomadic ducks are generally found hanging out in the pools and lakes formed by the heavy rains.

Ducks are usually vulnerable, especially ducklings, because of their inability to fly. This makes them easy prey not only for predatory birds but also fishes like pikes and other aquatic hunters, including fish-eating birds such as herons. Land-based predators may attack a duck’s nest and females might fall prey to animals such as foxes or birds such as eagles and vultures.

Adult ducks can fly fast but are sometimes caught on the water by large fishes such as the North American muskies and the European Pike. However, while in flight, ducks can still fall prey to killers such as Falcons and last but not least, humans.

Duck maintenance

Ducks have many economic uses; they are domesticated by human beings for their meat, eggs, and feathers. Aviculturists breed ducks which are sometimes exhibited in zoos. All domestic ducks are the descendants of the wild Mallard except the Muscovy duck. Many domestic duck breeds become much larger than their wild counterparts.

Ducks can be kept as pets. They can be kept in a garden or backyard with special accessories; they can also be kept in the house. Ducks often feed on insects and slugs. A pond or water dish is recommended, although in a pond they might scour out and eat any wildlife present in the water. See to it that the water is free of pests as these are harmful to ducks. Ducks can even consume frogs. It is recommended that you provide the area with a coop to keep predators at bay. Ducks are also kept for their ornamental value. Certain breeds of ducks have been developed with striking plumage to be displayed at shows.

Not much effort is required to feed a pet duck. They can feed on the worms in your garden. Ducks are pretty fond of green plants as well. Kitchen leftovers and salad greens can also be fed to a pet duck.

So if you intend to keep a pet which is easy to maintain, yet makes a cute and playful company duck can be a good option.


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