So you’re thinking about raising backyard ducks?!
Good choice! You’re awesome. Because ducks are flipping amazing.
I could go on and on about all the amazing things about ducks, but I could also just let you read my post on 8 Reasons Why You Should Have Ducks!
This post is a little outside of my niche but the ducks are a part of our family and lifestyle and – HEY – this is a lifestyle blog right?!
Ok so now what?
I did a lot of research on ducks before we brought them home. However, I was SO nervous about what I would actually need! I asked the woman at the store about what we might need. She was very knowledgeable – mostly about chickens – but she was very helpful since some of the information overlaps. I will talk a little about what you need for ducklings and then what you will generally need for once they are full grown.
But before I go there, I must say that they are A LOT of work. Luckily they are not as prone to diseases as chickens are, but ducks do come with some possible ailments. It is frustrating going to the park and seeing domestic ducks that SHOULD NOT be there. Do you want to know WHY they are there? It’s because people think ducklings are cute – or they buy them for Easter presents – and then they realize how much work they actually are. People dump them at parks with the wild ducks but they will DIE. Domesticated ducks cannot survive in the “wild”. So before you keep reading, make sure you are ready for a big responsibility and not just adorably cute ducklings…
Okay. Rant over 🙂
- This is pretty much a fancy word for big box! We used a big Rubbermaid tub like this!
- This food is SO great. We used it for the babies and layers alike and our ducks are as healthy as can be!
- We grind up this feed in a food processor for the babies – it helps them digest it better and they don’t waste as much
- Feeder and Waterer
- These are what we use for the babies. The ones in the grown section below could also be used for babies if there is enough room in the brooder. However, we opted to buy smaller ones to it it all in the brooder so the ducklings wouldn’t be as crammed.
- We liked using pellets, like below, at first for the littler ones with puppy pads underneath but then as they got bigger we started using straw. It was much cheaper but it needed to be changed more often since straw isn’t absorbent.
- Supplements and Snacks
- Niacin is a necessity for ducklings. It helps their bones to grow strong and since ducks are prone to leg injuries – this is GREAT for them.
- Also – never ever feed ducks bread! They like fresh greens and other snacks like plain cheerios or mealworms!
- Ducks don’t NEED water to swim in, but they sure do love it! And they DO need some type of water source that will allow them to dunk their whole head in to clear out their nostrils.
- Food and Water
- Here are the larger ones that we use
- Crushed Oyster Shells! This will help add some extra calcium to a ducks diet! This will improve structure of their eggs!
These are the necessities! Obviously, once they are big enough to be outside they will obviously need some type of shelter. A chicken coop or a dog house with a door is sufficient! Here are a few more things just because it’s good to know:
- Female ducks will start laying around 20 weeks old
- They LOVE plain cheerios and they are a great snack that includes niacin too!
- All bread is horrible for ducks
- Ducks should NEVER be without drinking water. They don’t have teeth and can easily choke without it.
- They will lay their eggs wherever they feel like it
- Ducks LOVE mud!
Comment below if you have any questions! I would love to help you on your duck journey! 🙂
BONUS : Here is a free handy shopping checklist for your duck necessities!
And here’s a few fun shots because we love our ducks!