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Duck Care Tips

Have you been considering keeping ducks? Ducks can make wonderful pets, and they certainly lay delicious eggs. However, ducks do have their own specific needs, so it’s important to do some research. Here, a local North Dallas, TX vet discusses duck care.

Shelter

Donald doesn’t need an elaborate shelter, but he does need protection from weather and predators. Make sure his home is well-ventilated, and large enough for him to spread his wings and groom himself.

Feeding Baby Ducks

Ducks grow very quickly, and need lots of protein for the first few weeks. A duck starter diet should contain about 18-20% protein. You should be able to find duck food at local pet stores. Your vet may also recommend adding brewer’s yeast to their food. When Donald is about 20 weeks old, he can start eating chicken feed instead. Ducks should always have water when they are eating. For treats, your feathered buddies can have small insects or worms, or chopped produce, such as corn, cucumber, broccoli, and carrots. Your ducks should be able to nibble and graze freely throughout the day, but you’ll want to remove the food at night. Otherwise, it may attract insects and rodents. Ask your vet for specific nutritional advice, including portion sizes and safe and unsafe foods.

Water

Donald will always need clean water. If you have baby ducks, you may want to get a chick fountain. Baby ducks love to play in water. However, because they don’t develop the waterproofing oil that keeps their feathers dry until they are about a month old, they can get chilly or even drown from swimming too soon. The water for baby ducks should only be about a quarter inch deep, and should be very easy for them to get out of. Once your ducks are fully grown, they may enjoy swimming in a kiddie pool. Be sure to clean and refill your duck pool daily.

Salmonella

One thing that is very important to realize is that ducks—even healthy ones—can carry Salmonella. Donald’s cage, coop, and living area may be contaminated. Always wash your hands after handling your ducks or their belongings. If you have young children, you’ll also need to keep a close eye on them when they are around the ducks.

Please contact us, your North Dallas, TX vet clinic, with any questions about duck care. We’re here to help!

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