These days, people keep all different kinds of animals as pets.
Most people prefer traditional options such as dogs and cats, but more and more people are looking for unique (and less popular) pets such as ducks.
But how good of an idea is it to keep a duck as a pet, especially if you want your pet to stay inside with you?
Can ducks be indoor pets?
Keeping ducks as indoor pets is not always ideal because ducks are explorers by nature. However, there are different tips you can use that will help you keep ducks as indoor pets as smoothly as possible.
Benefits of Ducks as Pets
Why should you keep ducks as pets? You will definitely be surprised by what you stand to gain when you keep ducks as pets.
Here are some of the benefits of keeping pet ducks.
1. Ducks Can Bond with You
Many people feel that ducks do not make great pets because, unlike dogs and cats, ducks may not bond with their owners.
However, ducks do bond with their owners when you take great care of them.
Ducks can hug or nuzzle their owners with their necks.
When they spend more time with humans, ducks will accept people and will not feel lonely when people are around.
2. Ducks Can Perform Typical Pet Behaviors
Ducks can play with toys, understand commands, give kisses, play games, and beg for snuggles like other pets. Ducks can also play with your kids.
You are not missing out on anything a dog or cat can do if you have ducks.
3. Ducks are Hardy
Unlike most chickens and other domesticated birds, ducks are hardy and can withstand some environmental conditions such as a cold.
Ducks can also live for 5-12 years, depending on the breed.
This means that you can enjoy your duck’s company for a long time.
4. Ducks Lay More Eggs than Chickens
Even if you are not keeping ducks for their eggs, one bonus of raising ducks is the large number of eggs that they produce. You’ll just need to decide what you want to do with all the eggs.
5. Ducks Produce Healthy, Quality Manure
Duck droppings have more nutrients than chicken droppings.
If you have a garden, you will find your ducks extremely useful because you do not have to worry about fertilizer for your crops.
Ducks also produce much more manure than chickens.
6. Ducks Get Along with Dogs and Cats
You do not have to worry about your dog or cat chasing away the ducks.
While it’s normal for animals to fight or aggressively play with one another, ducks, dogs, and cats get along perfectly well.
In a week or two after introducing your duck, your dogs and cats will welcome their new sibling.
7. Ducks Can Imprint on You
If you are lucky (usually when you are the first person they see), your ducklings will imprint on you and walk with you wherever you go just the way chicks and ducklings walk with their mother.
You get to play the role of a mother duck and have the duckling follow you around from the start.
Considerations for Ducks as Indoor Pets
Ducks can be kept indoors if appropriate accommodations are made.
Before you add a duck to your household, here are some things you should consider.
1. Check Local Laws
Not every location will permit you to raise ducks as pets.
Some areas will allow poultry but with restrictions. Others will permit you to raise just chickens.
Before you get ducks as indoor pets, you have to make sure that there are no laws in your area restricting you so that they do not take away a duck that you have bonded with.
2. Ducks are Social
As social birds, ducks will become lonely if they are the only duck you own.
You need at least 2-3 ducks for your ducks to be happy, and they should not be left alone for long periods of time.
A lone duck is easily depressed and not as hardy as a duck that has companions. It is cruel to have just one duck.
For a list of the friendliest duck breeds, check out this article.
3. Ducks Love to Search for Critters
Ducks love to search for and eat small organisms such as insects, earthworms, and spiders.
If you keep them indoors all of the time, you are denying them delicious and natural meals as well as the fun of foraging.
You will need to make accommodations for your ducks to spend some time outside even if you keep them as mainly an indoor pet.
4. Ducks Create a Lot of Manure
Ducks produce a lot of manure. Before you bring your ducks home, you need to consider how you intend to manage their bathroom habits and waste.
Duck manure is mostly liquid, and you can make use of it as a liquid fertilizer if you have the means to collect it.
You can also use it in your compost pile or give it to farmers nearby. The key will be keeping it contained if you keep the ducks inside.
5. Ducks Lay a Lot of Eggs
Ducks can lay a very large number of eggs, and you will need a plan for what to do with them.
You may feel bad if someone suggests that you eat your duck eggs especially if you have bonded well with your duck.
Instead of buying breeds that lay so many eggs, consider buying other breeds of ducks.
You may also give eggs to others or incubate them and raise or sell the ducklings.
6. Ducks Mess Up Water
This is by far the most popular complaint given by people who raise ducks. Ducks love dipping their necks in water, so they need larger bowls.
Ducks will also splash water around and stain the environment. You’ll need a space to keep and water your ducks where you don’t mind a bit of a mess.
7. Ducks Can Be Noisy
Ducks are very noisy. Females are especially noisemakers, so if you live in a quiet neighborhood, you should not raise ducks.
You can also select quieter duck breeds or keep only male ducks that tend to be less chatty.
Tips for Keeping Ducks as Indoor Pets
If you are ready and able to bring ducks into your home, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper set up for them to be happy and healthy.
Here are some tips to make your new addition a success.
1. Give Ducks Access to the Outside
Your ducks will need to go out. They need to forage for insects, earthworms, and other snacks. Ducks need to stretch their wings and get fresh air.
Make sure that your ducks are safe from sharp objects, broken glass, thorny low-growing plants, pieces of scrap metal or old nails, pesticide, or areas where gasoline, oil, or toxic chemicals were spilled.
If you allow your ducks to pass freely to and from your indoor space, consider creating more than one opening for them to go through.
Larger ducks might bully smaller ducks if there is just one opening to leave the house or get back inside.
2. Add Grit to Your Ducks’ Food
Ducks need grit to digest their feed, so you need to supplement their diet with grit. Most commercial duck feeds have some grit in them.
If you do not know the best size of grit for your ducks, give your ducks access to go outside. They will search for grit by themselves.
3. Make Sure That Your House is Well-Ventilated
Ducks exhale a lot of moisture when breathing. A house that is not ventilated will accumulate too much moisture over time and can promote the growth of bacteria and fungi that cause diseases.
Always make sure that your house is well-ventilated for the sake of your ducks (and you).
4. Put Your Ducks in Diapers
While it might seem silly to think of a duck in diapers, remember that duck poop is mostly liquid. Without diapers, ducks will poop in and on your house.
Ducks are almost impossible to potty train, and they poop often and at will. They will need diapers to protect your home and keep spaces sanitary for everyone.
5. Clean Your House Often
Ducks can shed feathers regularly and are likely to track mud or dirt into the house.
You’ll need to expect to clean your house often to keep on top of the mess.
6. Consider Giving Your Ducks a Pool
Ducks love the water. Giving them a safe, clean place to splash around is recommended when raising ducks.
You can use a children’s swimming pool for your ducks. Just be sure to change out the water regularly since it can build up with dirty water, mud, and other debris.
7. Raise the Breed That Suits You
Each duck has a distinct personality that is largely dependent on the breed. Some breeds are more friendly while others are known to be noisy.
Do your research and choose for breed that suits your needs. Some breeds that are known for being great as pets include:
- Khaki Campbell
Even though it can be a challenge to raise ducks indoors, you can keep ducks as indoor pets if you make proper accommodations for their care and the cleanliness of your home.
Even if you have other pets in the house, remember that your duck will need company and are best raised with other duck friends.