When I was a kid we kept ducks and geese on the few acres that we had. Now I live in an apartment complex and the only time I see either of these animals is when I go to a particular park next to the city’s river. Wild birds and pet ones are hardly the same, and I find myself wondering if I will someday again live on a property with ducks or geese, as I always enjoyed them as family pets. On a whim I decided to look into what it would take to raise them and reminisced on my childhood experience. Here are some of the things I learned about caring for a duckling.
The first duck we ever had was a birthday present for me and was a duckling when I got it. My family learned a good deal about ducklings and cats that day. I would recommend to anyone thinking of getting a duckling to consider how their other pets will react to a duck. Although I do not have the faintest memory of this I am told that while holding the duckling in my lap our family cat ran up, snatched up the little ducking and darted for the wooded area behind our house. The duckling was never seen again. The cat was a rough cat and one could argue he was closer to a barn cat than house cat. Whatever his status though his feline instincts got the best of him that day. If you are sure your pets can harm a new duckling or you are not sure that they will leave it alone, consider keeping the new duckling separate from your cats and dogs.
In addition to worrying about your other pets if you live in the country you will have to consider the ducklings natural predators. If the duckling is not living and sleeping indoors, it is important that it is protected from wild animals. Another childhood story comes to mind and as I recall it I am beginning to realize the harshness that can exist with raising farm animals as pets when you are a little kid. Another time our hen had babies and she and the babies chicks were moved to another chicken coop where they could be separate and safe. Unfortunately a weasel managed to squeeze through a very tiny opening in the floor of the coop and attacked the chicks. Yet another time we once had a goose and then one day she was gone, my parents said that it looked as though a coyote had got her, despite having her safe for several years in the same conditions. If you think that wild animals like weasels and coyotes among others could harm your duckling it is best to keep him or her safe inside.
Making an area for your duckling does not have to be difficult. As long as there are no indoor pets that have access to the duckling you can even just use a simple cardboard box. The box should be lined with newspaper so that if the duckling goes to the bathroom it is an easy clean up. There should be a bed of hay or even an old towel for the duckling to have a rest area. Obviously you will want to include a water and food dish, but these do not have to be fancy. Just use a couple of old small tubberware containers. Let the duckling out of the box from time to time so that the animal can stretch her or his legs. It is best not to have the duckling do this on carpet as they can poop quite expectantly. Children often have a blast during this time because the cute little creature is so darling and fun to play with. Bonding with the animal when he or she is young will be useful when the duck is older and is debating how it feels towards humans. A duck bite is quite unpleasant as the owner of any mean duck will tell you.
Ducklings are often popular gifts in the spring and summer. It is not uncommon for them to be given as an Easter gift, not unlike baby rabbits. They are very cute and typically do not require a ton of maintenance. As long as you have the property where your duck can have a safe and healthy life and you can give it is a loving home, it can be a good idea getting a duck as a family pet. I know we always enjoyed them and they always enjoyed us kids. I think that my own son would have a blast raising a duckling as he is so fond of the wild birds we see at the city part. Maybe someday he will have a duckling of his own if we are so lucky to live on property that can cater the duck’s needs.