Ducks can be a great addition to your backyard. They are pretty easygoing, cope well in colder temperatures, and produce delicious eggs. A slight downside is that they can be messy.
As there are so many different breeds of ducks available, it can be difficult to know which ones are best suited to your garden.
Mallards are perfect for those with bigger gardens. It is worth noting that mallards typically don’t like enclosed spaces. Feelings of confinement are likely to result in them flying away to new pastures. As such, you must make sure that you can provide them with a large, spacious, covered enclosure. They are full of energy, very talkative and can like for between 5 and 10 years.
Small in size with white bodies, orange beaks, and black eyes, Call Ducks are becoming increasingly popular and will make a great addition to a small garden. Although they typically tend to be white, they can come in many other colors including black and butterscotch.
As implied by their name, they were bred for calling purposes so they are going to be quite noisy. They also have more specific care requirements. They will need to be kept in a secure enclosure where they are safe from predators, with water for them to drink and swim in.
Saxony ducks are a nonflying but active breed that are good foragers. In regards to their temperament, they are fairly calm and do not make a great deal of noise. They will need to be kept in a nice large pen but they are generally easy to care for. Whilst the males tend to have traces of tan, rust, and silver on their bodies with grey heads, the females are pink and salmon-colored with hints of oatmeal on their wings.
Pekins ducks are a highly recommended breed of backyard duck. This large, white-feathered breed is known for its friendly temperament. They are calm and hardy and they are also great layers.
As a breed, they are known to be fast growers so you must make sure that you have the space available to accommodate their growth. A great thing about Pekins is that they cope well in all conditions. Aside from egg-laying, they are also used for meat production.
How many ducks should I get?
As sociable animals, ducks live in flocks. Because of this, you must keep a minimum of 2, otherwise, you will need to ensure that you can dedicate plenty of time to bonding and socializing with your duck so that it doesn’t get lonely.
The size of your flock is also going to be influenced by the space that you have available. Overcrowding can become problematic so you must make sure that this is avoided. If you have a large backyard, you will be able to house a bigger enclosure.
Also, remember that you may have ducklings someday so you will need space available for these. If you have a smaller garden ensure that you stick with a manageable amount giving them plenty of space to roam around freely.
The number of ducks that you get will also depend on the size of the breed. If you are going to get larger ducks, you will need to provide them with plenty of space, making sure that they aren’t too cramped.
If you are new to owning ducks you should start small before increasing the size of your flock. As such, it is recommended that you begin with between 3 to 4 adult ducks. You should also start with more ducks than you intend to keep. This will allow you to select the ducks that you want as part of your flock once any ducklings have grown.
How much do ducks cost to keep?
The cost of keeping ducks is typically lower than the majority of other domesticated animals. If you have owned ducks previously, you will likely have the majority of supplies that you require readily available, so the initial costs of owning a duck are going to be lower.
However, if you are getting ducks for the first time, you will need to invest in all of the supplies but these will likely be one-time expenses, rather than purchases you have to make frequently.
You will likely spend a maximum of $40 a month on food for your duck. This may differ slightly depending on how many you own. They also enjoy leftover vegetables so instead of discarding the remnants after making a meal for you and your family, set them aside ready to feed to your ducks.
Ducks need water to swim in as well as water to drink. As such, you may notice a slight increase in your water and electricity consumption which is going to be reflected in the cost of your bill. This isn’t likely to be a huge expense and in most cases, it will only make a difference by a couple of dollars.
One-time costs refer to their housing/enclosure, brooder, and food and water bowls. Out of each of these, you should expect the brooder to be the most expensive, often costing more than $100. The cost of the enclosure can vary. You may choose to make one yourself but you will still need to purchase all of the necessary materials.
Moreover, you must also make sure that it is fitted with good quality bedding and flooring. You should also provide your ducks with a nesting box which they will use when laying their eggs. A nesting box is only really required during the breeding season, so it is a cost that you will be able to avoid until this time arrives.
As you can see, ducks aren’t overly expensive to keep. They require few supplies and the majority will only need to be purchased on a one-time basis. There are other things that can be added to their enclosure but they are considered a luxury rather than a necessity.