If you are inclined to like critters, you might be thinking of pet ducks. Adorable for sure, but adorability doesn’t necessarily equal a good pet. I mean…baby bears are adorable but you don’t want to bring one home to raise in your backyard. And I could go and on with examples.

Ducks are not bears, but there are things you should know before you buy cute little ducklings for pets. In this article, I will give you all the information you need to make an informed, and reasonable, decision.

Up close of adorable duck with blurred background

Do Ducks Make Good Pets?

This is the big question, isn’t it? The answer is not a simple yes or no (like most things). It depends on your situation, your personality, your goals, and your resources.

Let’s go through the pros and cons of having pet ducks so you can make an informed decision that you won’t regret. Getting a new pet is a big deal and you need to make sure it’s the right fit.

Pet Duck Pros

💕 Ducks are very entertaining.
💕 They have long life spans.
💕 Quackers (Ducks) are egg layers.
💕 Pet ducks eat pesky insects.
💕 They are less destructive to your yard and landscaping than chickens.
💕 Ducks produce a LOT of compostable manure for your garden.

Pet Duck Cons

😣Ducks can be very noisy.
😣They are extremely messy and require a lot of cleanup maintenance.
😣Pet ducks need a LOT of clean water.
😣Most ducks are predator magnets.
😣They can fly away (and maybe not come back).

Cute group of yellow ducklings

Pet Duck FAQ

Are Ducks Friendly?

Although they can be, they aren’t usually lap pets (of course, there are exceptions to this). Also, when I say they are friendly that doesn’t mean they will come up to you and let them pet you. It does mean that it’s possible, depending on the breed and how much you handle them as ducklings, that they won’t run from you like you are Godzilla.

Furthermore, it means that they can be trained to come near you especially if you lure them with yummy treats like these.

Are Ducks Messy?

YES! It may be their biggest downside. Ducks are super duper messy. Whatever mess you can imagine, it’s worse. They are pooping machines and don’t mind doing their business everywhere.

You might be thinking “my chickens are pretty messy like that too.” True enough, but I promise you that ducks are messier.

Do Ducks Need a Body of Water?

I’m going to say yes to this. In fact, a pond is the best, but some type of pool works as well. Ducks are happiest in the water. Simply put, they love to splash and play all day. To have a duck and deny it water is duck abuse.

If you have to use a pool or tub of some kind – be prepared to clean it often! Ducks are messy bessy’s and you will find the need to clean their water almost daily. It’s a cold hard fact that you need to be ready for.

What Do Ducks Eat?

You can feed adult ducks a high quality chicken feed like this (check out the ingredients in this feed – amazing!). Ducks also eat all kind of fruits and vegetables, plus they love insects like mosquitos and slugs.

Ducklings have different needs so you will want to feed them a feed made for them OR add this brewers yeast to chick starter (for the extra niacin they need). Read this article we wrote “What Do Baby Ducks Eat” Ultimate List Of Treats, Feed, Fruits, & Vegetables to learn all about it.

How Long Do Ducks Live?

If taken care of properly (fed quality food, provided good shelter, etc) ducks can live many happy years. I’d say the range is about 10 to 15 years. It’s about like a family dog at that point! Read more about this: How Long Do Ducks Live? Top Pet Breeds

Do Ducks Eat Bugs?

Yes they do! This is definitely a bonus feature of pet ducks. If they are free ranging ducks they will eat mosquitos, slugs, snails, worms, and more. Less bugs around your place is a good thing, especially around your garden.

What Kind of Shelter Do Ducks Needs?

Shelter is an important aspect of pet duck ownership. Not only do they need a good coop to get out of the elements when needed…it’s also a place for them to be shut or cooped up at night to protect them from nighttime predators that are lurking around looking for fresh duck dinner.

Be sure to keep the coop dry and clean with straw or wood shavings. They do not need roosting bars or perches like chickens.

Do Duck Eggs Taste Good?

Of course this is an opinion question more than a fact. But most folks can’t tell a difference between duck eggs and chicken eggs if they don’t know. Some report duck eggs to have a bit of a stronger taste. Fancy chefs prefer using duck eggs for baking, so that’s a good sign.

While egg flavor is up for debate, egg laying is definitely a benefit of having a duck as a pet. Duck eggs are nutritious and you can read about them here: Duck Eggs: Nutrition & Buyer’s Guide.

Can You Own a Lone Duck?

Ducks are social creatures, like most farm type animals. They don’t really like to be alone. Having a buddy for them is essential if you ask me. Basically, if you decide you want a duck – go ahead and get more than one. While they may enjoy another duck friend, the main point is that your pet duck needs a companion of some kind – even if it’s a chicken. 🐔

Can Ducks Live With Your Chicken Flock?

Yes, they can. However, they need water all the time and they can make a huge wet mess. This is not good for your chickens. This is something to take into consideration. It can be done, with lots of cleaning, as many people have chickens and ducks together.

Are Male Ducks Mean?

Males and females alike can be friendly or mean (a lot like people). It depends on several factors – everything from breed to how they were handled as ducklings, all the way to individual personalities.

Duck Breed Details

There are many breeds of ducks to choose from. Some of them might be a good fit for you and some might not be. Consequently it’s important to do your research so you choose the best breed for you. Learn all about several different breeds in the following articles we have written to help you out!

🦆 Call Ducks – Adorable, Miniature, Irresistible
🦆 Indian Runner Ducks 101
🦆 Rouen Ducks – One of the World’s Largest Duck Breeds
🦆 Pekin Ducks – The Most Popular Duck of All
🦆 Khaki Campbell Ducks – An Amazing Duck Breed You Will Love
🦆 Do Muscovy Ducks Make Great Pets?

Learn More About Ducks

Good or Bad Idea?

This is a decision only you can make. You know your goals, your limits, your schedule, and your situation. This article should provide you with enough food for thought that you can now make a decision you won’t regret. Just be sure to have all your ducks in a row if you decide to dive into duckville! 🦆🦆🦆

Leah Betts

A happy wife, mother, teacher, writer, hobby farmer, lover of chickens, and contributor to Pampered Chicken Mama!

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