How to Care for a Pet Duck

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Feed ducklings and adolescent ducks a diet that is 18-20% protein.Young ducks grow quickly, and as a result, they need food that has a lot of protein and is high in calories.,
Feed ducks over the age of 3 weeks a diet that is 14% protein.,
Feed laying ducks a 16-17% protein diet that has 3-4% calcium.This amount of calcium is needed for laying ducks to make quality eggs.,
Offer occasional treats like corn, carrots, and greens like cucumber or broccoli.,
Provide food at all times during the day.Ducks should be allowed to graze freely on their food.,
Buy small amounts of fresh food more frequently.,
Provide cool 50-70°F (10-21°C) and clean drinking water.,
Keep newborn ducks in a brooder for 4-6 weeks.Ducklings cannot yet regulate their body temperature, so a brooder (a heated poultry box) is necessary.,
Keep adult ducks at their optimum temperature.,
Provide a pen large enough for the ducks to walk around.,
House the ducks in a pen with adequate protection and flooring.,
Keep the housing clean and well-ventilated.,
Provide the ducks with 14-17 hours of light every day.,
Allow nesting mothers to hatch their eggs.,
Talk to your ducks.Just like humans, ducks can hear and respond to sound.,
Play gently with the ducks.,
Take your ducks to the vet if they look ill. During feeding time, observe your ducks for any health problems.

For the first 3 weeks of life, feed them a starter diet that is 18-20% protein and consists of small pellets (about 1/8″).

Duck food can be bought at your local pet store. Some reputable manufacturers of duck food are Purina, Mazuri, or Gunter.
Though chicken feed can be substituted for duck food, chicken feed should not be fed to ducklings.Once the ducklings reach 20 weeks of age, you can substitute duck food for chicken feed with the same amount of protein.;
, Male and female ducks will both need the same amount of protein. Check the back of your duck food bag for nutritional information.

, You can begin to feed the female ducks this higher protein diet in the spring time, when they are likely to begin laying eggs.

, These treats should compromise no more than 15-20% of a duck’s diet. Cut all treats into small pieces. You can also let your duck graze outside, provided the area they are grazing has no pesticides or other toxic materials.

Don’t season or cook these treats. Feed them raw.
Bread, chocolate, onion, garlic, popcorn, avocados, and citrus fruits should not be fed to ducks.

, Remove the food at night so it does not begin to rot or attract ants and rats. Each duck will consume about 6-7 ounces of food per day, but bigger ducks may eat a bit more.

, Buying duck food in bulk will work for feeding large flocks, but for smaller flocks, buy small amounts of food frequently so they will have fresh food all the time. Moldy food can make ducks very sick.Store leftover duck food where it can keep dry.

, This water can be provided in a trough, an outdoor pond, or a shallow bucket. Any large, open container the ducks can fit their bill in will suffice. If you decide to use a watering system, such as those designed for chickens or turkeys, just make sure the ducks can reach the water.

The water should always be clean, as ducks are especially prone to botulism.
Change the water daily.

, Newborn ducks need to be kept at 86°F (30°C) for the first week and at 81°F (27°C) after that.

After 4-6 weeks, ducks can regulate their temperature and no longer need to be kept in a brooder.
Brooders can easily be bought online or at a pet store.
If your ducklings seem to be panting, turn the brooder temperature down a couple of degrees.

, Ducks that are 35 days old or older and ducks who are laying eggs need to be kept at 55°F (13°C). Ducks that are clustering together are likely cold, and if they are panting, they are too warm. Watch for this, and adjust the temperature accordingly.Provide cool water for ducks to swim in if the weather is extremely hot.
Keep the ducks somewhere you can maintain the temperature.

, Newborn ducklings only require 289 square centimeters (.31 sq ft) each to roam, and this amount increases as they age. Ducks 3 days of age need 1024 sq cm (1.10 sq ft), ducks 1 week old need 2304 sq cm (2.48), and ducks laying eggs need 2500-2809 sq cm (3 sq ft)., If the pen has wire floors, floors for ducklings under 3 weeks should be constructed of 1.9 cm (3/4 inch) mesh and 12-gauge welded wire. This should be attached to a frame designed to keep the wire flat and minimize manure accumulation. For ducks over 3 weeks, use 2.5 cm (1 inch) mesh. Vinyl coated wire or smooth galvanized wire is preferred.

The pen should be secure enough so the ducks do not escape.
The shelter should protect from raccoons or bobcats, especially if the shelter is outside.
Non-wire floors are fine, as long as there aren’t lots of places the ducks can scrap their fragile feet.

, Ducks are messy birds with liquid excrement, which is why you must sanitize the housing with a non-toxic disinfectant at least 3 times a week.Their housing also needs ventilation, such as an open window. If your ducks are being kept indoors, be sure they are getting air.

, At many points during the year, the sun is not out this long. Turn on artificial lights once the sun sets to provide 14-17 hours of light for the ducks.

, During the spring time, female ducks will begin to lay eggs, so you should provide them with plenty of peace and quiet, food, and a nearby water source. If you do not want more ducklings, simply remove the eggs from the laying duck soon after she lays them. Ducks like to hide their eggs, so you may find them unexpectedly.

It is normal for a duck to abandon her eggs. She may hatch them next time.
Ducks can lay one egg at a time or 14, depending on the duck.
Once she has laid about 1 dozen eggs, they will hatch in about one month, though some may not survive.Place newborns in the brooder.

, Talking to your ducks will help you bond with them. You can name them, too.

, Ducks have been known to do tricks and be somewhat affectionate. You can buy some bird toys to play with them, or simply take the ducks in the bathtub for a swim. Every duck has a different personality. They may even play with string or try to dig holes.

, If they seem lethargic, are losing feathers, or don’t have an appetite, you should take them to a vet. The vet will provide care and necessary medication.

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