Everything I need to know and need for a duck

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by MyDuckyMomo, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. MyDuckyMomo

    MyDuckyMomo New Egg

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    Hey everyone. I'm kind of new to all of this. So bare with me and don't judge.

    I'm financially stable and I'm getting my first duckling in April of 2015. So I'm pretty excited. It's going to be an inside duck.

    Ill only let it outside to swim in the pool for a bit everyday and possibly walk it.

    I just want to know if anyone can provide me with a basic checklist of things I am going to need in order to raise a duck from baby to elder. Things like a pool, what it eats, things like that.

    Tell me everything that happens during a ducks life.

    A few more questions, can you potty train a duck? I read a few articles that said yes and some that said no. I know about the duck diapers that are apparently also harness'? Like is that .. Effective? Can I hook my duck up to a leash and walk it while it has the diaper on? And what happens when it's winter time and the pool freezes? Does the duck need to swim in the winter? Should I put it I the bathtub or something?

    Lol. Oh gosh. I'm so clueless. I've read a ton of articles about baby ducks and duck raising but I feel as though I know .. Very little. Thank you guys for your help!
     
  2. callmeRISH

    callmeRISH Out Of The Brooder

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    Well i had many of these same questions two months ago so ill try to answer as many as possible.

    What they eat: Try to get duckling starter it is often hard to find, so what most people do is buy chick starter NON MEDICATED and add brewers yeast supplement to it, i dont know exactly how much because in my are there is duckling starter.

    Do they need water to swim in?: no they like it to swim in but its not a necessity.

    Can you potty train a duck?: No, birds of all kinds dont know when they have to poop due to the lack of sphincters so potty training is impossible.

    DUck Harnesses and diapers: i know they make duck diapers i dont know where to get them, as for harnnesses i have heard of people walking their ducks on harnnesses but imnot sure if thats true and if it is where you would get a harness from.

    Words of advice!: dont buy just one duck for the ducks sake, ducks are social creatures and without acompanion will get bored and pick their feathers and become depressed. An inside duck could be happy but it would be much more happy with at least one other duck outside. Having it inside it would have to be closely bonded with everyone in your house to be happy there and walk around feeling safe, and its hard to bond heavily with a duckling unless you actually hatch it. So please if youre going to get ducks please get at least two for the birds sake, and also for the birds sake put them outdoors.
     
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  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I can see the point callmeRISH makes about outdoor versus indoor, and at the same time, there are a number of BYC Duck Forum members who successfully keep indoor ducks. These people have lives that enable them to spend just about every waking hour with their ducks, or they have multiple ducks that keep each other company, and that was a point I agree with.

    I also agree about the food, though there are sources of information that state that the current medication in medicated chick starter, amprolium, is not harmful to ducklings. I used unmedicated - it was available.

    Have you read the stickies, especially the one on Raising Ducklings? https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/750869/raising-and-caring-for-ducklings#post_10611711 I like this - it is a compilation of many good ideas that have been shared many times on the forum.

    Also take a look through the stickies and see what kinds of health problems are most often encountered - insufficient B vitamins especially niacin, infections from not having a head washer (ducklings need to be able to rinse their heads frequently, but without danger of drowning), injuries from mishandling and other household members (young children, pets), temperature concerns, so forth.

    I have nine runners, four buffs, and they are wonderful!
     
  4. callmeRISH

    callmeRISH Out Of The Brooder

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    yes i wasnt saying they cant be happy inside just a greater chance of them not being happy out of boredom and such.

    And about the chick medicine thats interesting i didnt know some meds wont hurt them
     
  5. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two ducks that were originally indoor ducks when living with their previous owners. Both were given up because it gets VERY messy and stinky to keep indoor ducks. And they were exhibiting behaviors that made indoor life unpleasant for both human and duck. They cannot be housebroken, diapers are messy and stinky also, and some just don't like them. Leash and harness walking can be taught, but it is not a natural way to exercise a duck.
    I, personally, feel very strongly that it is cruel to keep a single duck as an indoor pet. I know several people on here do, and I hope I do not insult you or them with my opinion, but I don't feel it is in the animal's best interest to keep it indoors.
    First off, they are flock animals. And they are built to live outside. And, unless you have muscovies (I do), most all ducks enjoy swimming immensely. It is what they do. And I feel putting them in a tub once in a while is not the same as having a kiddie pool or even a large flat pan that they can go into at will. I have some ducks that bathe once a day for a few minutes and some that will spend hours floating in the pool. I have ducks that will swim in their heated pool in the dead of winter with three inches of snow on their backs. They can get out of the pool and go inside the dry shed, but they prefer being outside. Considering they wear down jackets, I am not surprised!!
    The two that I have that were indoor ducks as ducklings had a very hard time becoming part of the flock. They just didn't "get" duck behavior. It was very sad. It finally happened, but it was pretty upsetting to watch the confusion and fear that they exhibited while trying to adjust to outdoor life. One was not fed properly as a duckling and has angel wing. What if something happens in your living situation and they cannot live indoors any more? If you have to rehome them to an outdoor home, that could be an issue for them in a bunch of ways.
    I guess I am saying that I feel that you need to really think about what the future holds for you and your ducks. If you have a safe outside environment for the during the day and they sleep inside nightly, that's not too bad, but then you have to consider that if you live in a northern state and the temps get very cold in the fall, winter and spring, there can be issues with them being in the cold, then in a warm house. They are outdoor animals. If you have a basement or garage that is not really warm, that would be much better, but for example, if it is 20 degrees outside during the day and 70 in the house at night, that is a 50 degree difference, which can really mess them up. I have said before that as long as they are able to get out of the wind and precipitation, mine have always done fine outside in the winter. Yes, I do worry when it gets really cold, but I make sure they are well fed and do have an area for a hospital area if one or more needs to recuperate in a warmer place.
    Again, I realize some people keep them inside, but I just don't feel it is fair to them.
    I hope you take this in the way it is offered, just to be of some help. And sorry to anyone who is offended, but I just feel very strongly about this.
     
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  6. MyDuckyMomo

    MyDuckyMomo New Egg

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    I want to thank you guys so much for your advice and things. I am not 100% sure if I'm getting a duck, but I'm just stable enough to have one. After all this though, it's up for consideration. Perhaps if I explained more of my situation for you guys?

    Well I'm 18. I live in central Pennsylvania with my parents. We have a dog that isn't really animal aggressive but she definitely takes time to warm up to other pets. I do have a basement for the person that asked. The pros of my basement is its secluded and spacious, nobody would bother the duck. The cons are it smells like mold, it's all concrete and gets pretty chilly. As for my yard, I have a very spacious yard, it's not fenced in and we do have neighbors with dogs that bark but you can't see them. Which is why I commented about the harness or walking a duck simply because my yard isn't fenced and if a neighbors dog ever got loose, I would need to get the duck and head for the house.

    I have a door in my bedroom that leads outside, so it's really easy access to let the duck outside when I need to. I just wanted one for right now because I get lonely in my house. My dog is really old and she doesn't pay attention to me. I don't have a job yet, but when I get one, I'm hoping to get a job during the nightshift simply because pets sleep at night. So if I put the duck in a crate before I headed out, it would be awake when I got home in the morning and because the max amount of hours I ever sleep is 3-5, I would still have time to play with the duck. So I'm not really sure if getting a second duck right away is good with my situation.

    I'm not really sure if its necessary to get a second duck with the first one .. Especially since its my first ever duck and I have no experience with it. Would it be okay or still the same if I waited a year and got a second duck for the first or is it truly recommended to get two at once?

    My duck would only be outside long enough to get its daily exercise in swimming/walking (however long that may take) and then I would walk it straight back into my bedroom.

    Unfortunately, I do feel for the comments about winter. My main concern is swimming in the winter and the weather. I'm not really sure. I'm not a cold weather lover myself, so I can't understand the ducks thoughts either. If the kiddie pool is covered in snow or something, will the duck still swim in it and is that safe?

    As for The duck diapers thing, someone told me that making your own diaper is a lot more cost effective considering your duck does grow quickly, so she sent me a link to making your own duck diaper which was really cute.

    So based on my situation, I can almost guarantee most of you probably won't think this situation is good for a duck. Keep in mind, I won't get it until April which gives me a good amount of prep time.

    One more thing ..I'm moving to the south with my boyfriend in about a year or two. We've been planning it for a while, so it won't be as cold in the winter then, if that changes any more advice.

    Thank you guys so much. Sorry it's kind of lengthy. I really do appreciate all comments and thoughts. I'm kind of excited to get a duck because I've wanted one for 7 years now. But I am willing To wait a few more in order to get the perfect living situation for my pet.
     
  7. callmeRISH

    callmeRISH Out Of The Brooder

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    Heavily recommended that u get more than one
     
  8. smonkeySK

    smonkeySK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Get more than 1 - unless you work from home or are unemployed you will not be around enough to keep a duck on its own.
    Even working nights - ducks don't sleep straight through plus there's the time you are asleep; it may only be 3 hours but that is 3 hours of stress every day for the poor little thing.
     
  9. MyDuckyMomo

    MyDuckyMomo New Egg

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    Sep 20, 2014
    Pennsylvania
    Alright well before I make any final decisions I am wondering if anyone could provide me with a checklist.

    I realize you probably can't name everything but if anyone can make a checklist of all the basic things I would need to purchase in order to take care of inside the house ducks.

    Preferred if you put it in a checklist order. Not necessary, but I really want to put a price on all the things I need before I go out and start buying.
     
  10. smonkeySK

    smonkeySK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feed bowls
    Water bowls (put a feed station round it to contain the mess)
    Sleeping area and bedding
    Duck feed
    Niacin (Brewers yeast)
    Diapers (if you are going that route then you need to start early if you want them comfortable in diapers)
    Heatlamp or ceramic heater.
    Carrier (we used to use an old hat for ducklings!)
    Most stuff can be put together on the cheap or be something lying around waiting to be re purposed.


    I wouldn't worry too much as everyones setup is in flux for the most part - continuous improvement is the key.
    There are too many variables for there to be 1 perfect setup - all ducks are not the same (even ones of the same breed!), all people are not the same and all environments are not the same.

    Good luck with it all
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014

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