Indoor Duck Questions...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by HappyPlace, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. HappyPlace

    HappyPlace Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2011
    Middle of the Mitten
    I have been considering having two indoor cayuga ducks and I was hoping that those people on this forum that have indoor ducks could answer some questions...

    I've been reading a bit about duck diapers. How long do those people that use them keep them on their ducks? Is it an all day thing? All night? Is there anyone that doesn't use diapers for their indoor duck? If so, what do you have as a routine for your ducks? Do they stay in a pen when they don't/aren't wearing diapers? What about female ducks that lay eggs?

    Is it necessary to do any "duck-proofing" to your house? Such as with wires, cupboards, plants, etc.? Is there anything that you were surprised your duck got into?

    Was there anything when you got your house duck that you wish you knew before you moved them in?

    I have cats as well. Will I have to seperate food? What about things like catnip? Do I have to worry about kitty litter?

    Do your ducks sleep in a pen at night or are they allowed "free-range" through the house? What about while you are away (like for work)?

    I'm really interested in all of the good/bad/wish you knew info that anyone can give me...
  2. Alicia G

    Alicia G Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2010
    Nova Scotia
    Well I have never had a 'house duck' but if you were to bring/keep them inside you should keep them in a pen or with the diapers on at all times. I say this because they wont bother to be polite and only go in the litter box [​IMG] Duck like to grab and play with things, so cords should be out of reach, along with any plants you wish to keep intact. They would probably eat/play in the litter box too. And I would be careful with the cats in the house, they might decide that duck is on the dinner list.....
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Quote:I had a Muscovy duckling in the house from hatch till over 3 months. and I used a diaper harness and baby diapers inside of it. Ducks grow super fast so buying mutiple harnesses will be a must till they reach their adult size, the diapers have to be changed often, ducks can't control how often they go potty so they go alot. My Duckling slept in a dog crate with a board screwed from the inside at the bottom of the door to keep the shaving from spilling out on the floor as much. I didn't use the diaper when he was in his crate. And because I have 4 dogs when we went off he was put into our bedroom with the door closed to make sure he was still in one piece when we got home. Because we have wood floors and old ones at that sometimes I wouldn't even use the diapers and just cleaned up after him but it is work. So they will probably eat the cat food but I doubt the cats will eat theirs. They will probably play in the kitty litter so you'd need to put it out of sight. as far as catnip I am not sure if it's harmful to ducks, I know it;'s not to humans. Good luck and please before you make your decision weigh both pros and cons, Ducks inside do take quite a bit of work so it's not something to jump into lightly, which I take it your not or you wouldn't be here. also they need a bowl large and deep enough to wash their faces and bills out so messy floors will be often. Ducks are a wonderful and alot of fun, all the best in your decision.
  4. duckdad

    duckdad Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2011
    I have a couple little female rouens, one I hatched and the other purchased, that are growing up indoors until they are big enough to take care of themselves and live among the other adults. Its work. It's like having a 2 yr old baby....a couple 2 yr old babies. They get into everything, chew on everything, poop on everything, and eat like small hogs.....

    I keep my 2 "kids" in a pen that I made from 1/2" PVC pipe and use old towels to line the bottom so they have a softer surface to walk on. I wrapped the pen with garden fencing thats secured with tie-straps to the legs of the pen.
    I lay a tarp down, then the towels, them set the pen on that. They have plenty of room to run and play, I can roll up the towels and take them outside to hose off the worst of the mess before throwing them in the washer. Kids get bath time daily, fresh water as needed (food and water in bowls that are inside a tupperware container to help avoid spills) and fed twice daily. Thier area still requires some extra attention since they cannot take a bite or drink of anything without slinging it all across the pen...and onto the wall. As long as I keep "fresh sheets" on their bed the smell does not get bad and I use air fresheners when they are away playing in the water. I have to pick up the little one but the other will hop out of the tub and walk right next to me all the way to the pen and stand there waiting to be helped back inside...they DO learn.

    Its alot of work but I would not trade it for the world. They are more fun than I could ever have imagined, and I have the pleasure of watching these 2 intelligent birds grow up and mature. They are imprinted and spoiled rotten, but they were never intended to be wild and totally on their own.

    If you;re up to raising a couple children that are extremely curious, a little messy, sometimes nasty, and sometimes noisy, then go for it ! If you love ducks you;ll likely love having a couple in the house. They're a constant source of entertainment around here.
  5. jemjdragon

    jemjdragon Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 10, 2011
    I agree with duckdad. It is like taking care of small children. I have one duck and have only had her for 4 months, so I do not have a lot of informtion. Best advice is to research everything you can about ducks, indoor or outdoor. My duck has an out doorarea she can hangout in when I'm not at home. It is a "duck house" that we built so she can have an area to run around in the fresh air but still be safe from predators and rain.

    She likes to stick her beak into anything and everything. She is always curious and needs to check everything out. So duck proofing places is a must. Basically the way I see it is that anything that needs to be baby proofed or pet proofed should be duck proofed. They are messy eaters/drinkers. I solved that problem by putting her bowl of food and bowl of water in a single tub which are slightly taller than the bowls themselves. And when you get bowls try to look for something that can't tip over easily. Keep in mind that ducks will need grit to digest some of the food you offer and if you get females, you will need to offer crushed oyster shell to help give them enough calcium to produce egg shells. My duck wears duck diapers indoors. They lack the muscle that allows them to hold it in so when they have to go they just go. Because they grow so quickly though I did not buy a diaper till she was full grown. When she was a baby she stayed in a pen. I would still take her out and hold her and let her wander the house sometimes but have to clean duck poop after unless I covered the area she was exploring with towels. At night when she goes to bed I put her in a pet carrier. I have a bowl that attaches to the door of the carrier which I fill with water.

    Do not let them have access to cat litter. Like mentioned before, they may play in it and I'd be worried they may eat it for the grit. I'm not sure if cat nip is okay for ducks. I raised my duck with my cats and dogs. When she was a baby I didn't let them interact so much because she was small and I was worried they would hurt her. As she got older and bigger, they got to interact more fequently with her. She basically bosses them around now. I still will not let her be with them without supervision because cats and dogs are still predators and even innocent play can result in problems.

    I can't really give you more advise though I'm sure someone with more experience will help out.
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Cayugas are ducks in the larger end of the duck size continuum. Which means they are wider and taller than many ducks - at least when stretching out their necks to reach up for something!

    I don't have indoor ducks, but I do have Cayugas. They're gorgeous, fairly quiet, but talkative - they gabble amongst each other and with you. They seldom quack and the female's quack is quite loud, so it's good they don't quack for no particular reason.

    Curious and very smart birds. They bill EVERYTHING.

    Good luck! Report back if you decide to make a couple, or even ONE Cayuga into a house duck.
  7. HappyPlace

    HappyPlace Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2011
    Middle of the Mitten
    I actually don't plan on having house ducks (or ducks at all) until I have my own place, so this may be a while... I believe in doing research and preparation before the project, though. I appreciate everyone for their advice. This is exactly what I'm looking for - the good and bad. [​IMG]

    I have always loved Cayugas since the first time seeing one at a fair when I was younger. I had no idea that there even were black ducks until then. I also had a friend that had a Pekin for a pet. Her duck was almost as big as her Sheltie. I have always known that I wanted an indoor duck, though I didn't know that it was as common as it seems to be. [​IMG] I'm considering a pair for the ducks' benefit. It would either be two females or one each.

    I have two cats, one that is constantly playing in her water and creating puddles and one that is aptly named Crybaby. They both get into things constantly. Those factors aren't really an issue for me and I have already accepted that the mess/noise/curiousity would go up. There are things that I was worried about - wires, small objects like hair pins, cat toys and the like. I'm pretty good at keeping my things put up, but my cats' favorite toys are those little mice that rattle. Would I have to worry about a duck going for something like that? I imagine they would choke on them if they tried. I also use alpine wood shavings for cat litter. I'm worried about the ducks not only "shopping" in the litter but also digging it out. Anyone else with cats - how do you keep your ducks out while letting your cats in? Does using a covered cat box help? As for introducing the ducklings to my cats, they would be constantly supervised until they got older (full grown). I'm only mildly worried about the one cat with them. She plays rough but doesn't have front claws. Teeth are something else, though...

    It seems like most people are using a tarp covered with towels in their pens. Just how gross can the towels get and how often does anyone change/wash them? Would using a large rubber mat work? Under towels? Or better yet, rubber bottomed bath mats? Are the ducks pretty good about being in their pens? Especially while you are gone?

    Getting back to toys - What do indoor ducks like to play with (besides everything they shouldn't)? How bored will they get if I'm not playing with them/am busy/they have to stay in their pen for a while?

    I apologize for all the questions. There will probably be more after this, too. I would just like to know what I'm getting into and how much I will have to do and figure in when I do get my ducks. Again, I truly appreciate the help. [​IMG]
  8. duckdad

    duckdad Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2011
    Quote:The pens are a matter of habit outdoors and indoors its ALL on you to get them in and keep them in. If you are the least bit relaxed in your effort you can wake to a substantial mess as I did one morning. My 2 ducks followed me everywhere I went as they grew up. When I pulled the shower curtain back and reached for a towel....there were 2 ducks standing there waiting.
    I woke one morning as usual except that I opened my eyes and spot Buddy sitting there next to me on my pillow....he was a kid of about 6 weeks and seeing him did'nt register for a minute, until I rolled my head over and felt WET on my left ear.....uh-huh.
    I sit up and see Squeek sitting by my legs looking up at me. Thats about the time I notice that they had pretty well "decorated" the bed spread AND pillows. SHocking to wake up laying in a litter box of sorts, but hey, nobody made me have ducks as pets. They had escaped their inside pen and come to see dad. (its got to be payback for the friend that passed out drunk face down in a litter-box....and I gave him his new nick-name...CatBox,.)
    They CAN jump a lot higher than you would think and once they get wings...they will go where they please. Ducks are the only bird that can fly straight up. Most domestics are not strong enough to fly any distance but they can still fly enough to get out of enclosures IF they want to.

    As far as the towels and tarps....change towels at least once a day depending on size of pen and size of ducks. They poop proportionately to their intake and the diet can effect how much and what kind of mess you deal with. I roll up towels and shake them off outdoors, then drop in washer with a good dose of detergent and bleach. fresh as a daisey afterwards....Their linens are THIER linens and not gonna be found on MY towel rack anytime case anyone is wondering. So get some cheap bath towels, or some pillow cases with a high nylon or synthetic fiber content as those let the poo fall off easier. The tarp gets rolled up and washed once a week, and the area vacuumed and "freebreezed" while the kids are in the tub. I have 2 tarps cut to size, and throw them in the washer as well. One set is always ready to go. Contain the food/water mess by placing bowls inside something larger as someone else described....thats taller than the bowls....Something thats heavy enough that they cannot dump it over. I use a tupperware square tub thats about 8" X 12". I set 2 other tupperware bowls in that and most of the feed and wet stays inside.

    The object is protecting the carpet and walls. I keep the indoor pen next to the window so they get fresh air and a view....but I keep a piece of cardboard between the pen and wall so I don;t have to scrub walls every week. I have DDT (dedicated duck towels) and other pen stuff thats theirs.
    Rubber mats seem Ok at first glance, but you have to be able to wash them and keep them pretty near sterile. I used to take towels out and hose them down but that was a hassle on bad days, so shaking them and bleach do the work now. I tried door mats, carpet runner, camoflage tarps, (they ate the camo skin off the tarp, it looked like greens) and I've tried simply hosing down the outside area. That was not effective since duck poo on a porch or concrete will cause a stain and bacteria and more bleaching is then required to clean it away. Mine will eat the picture of a head of lettuce or cabbage so be careful what you allow them to get close to. They also LOVE plastic bags....
    Using a covering inside the house pen like towels is best, sheets are too big and bulky and ripped sheets invite chewing on edges. Also, stay away from styrofoam boards...(sounded like a good idea) as they will eat the styrofoam. Mine STILL dig under the edge of the towels looking for a styrofoam snack...must taste good. I had the baby get a foam pellet stuck in her nose and could'nt breath right until she managed to blow it out in water...

    So, tarp, then towels, and I lay a 2nd towel on the area where the food/water box will be. Change it daily or twice daily if necessary and wash towels daily. Its like diapers used to be. Outside, unless yopu have a coop or duck-house it'll be about the same things except you can use the water hose to birds LOVE house cleaning outside...they see the water hose coing out and they go nuts wanting to be sprayed and hosed down. I hose them mostly for cleanliness since they are held alot and I am not a big fan of getting duck poop all over me from somebody thats been walking around in a dirty pen.
    1 person likes this.
  9. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    [[[.......Is there anyone that doesn't use diapers for their indoor duck?......]]]]]

    According to the professional carpet cleaner that I use, he sometimes gets called in to clean a carpet that is thickly encrusted with dried chicken poop. So apparently, there are people who don't use diapers on their indoor poultry.

    If you are going to get your own place, I suggest something with a nice safe fenced backyard that you can set up with play toys and a small swimming pool for your ducks. Outdoors is a much more natural habitat for them and you can sit outside with them to watch them play. Then, if you want indoor ducks you could have then trained to wear diapers and come indoors perhaps for a few hours in the evening to watch TV with you.

    Ducks aren't really suited to being house pets. Some people can make it work by doing a lot of extra work, but it is a lot easier to keep them outdoors and you can enjoy them just as much outdoors.

    Raising a duck like he is a lap dog often gives the duck personality disorders. That is another huge consideration. Pay attention to who is getting attacked by their duck and it is always a hand raised pet duck that does it.
  10. lovesgliders

    lovesgliders Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2011
    [[I don't have house ducks, but my duck pen took far longer than we originally anticipated so I had three Mallard ducks inside from 3 days of age to ten weeks of age.]]

    You asked how gross duckie towels can get.

    Have you ever seen the show Animal Hoarders?

    My duckies were spoiled rotten, but I had to go to work every day, so they would go eight hours in their indoor pen without any tending. It was a ferret playpen (wire) with thick towels on the floor, in my dining room floor (which is linoleum) for ease of cleaning.

    When I would get home from work, they would look like something straight out of Animal Hoarders. Poop, food, water EVERYWHERE. They would have totally filthy-ized their pen like they were the most neglected animals on the planet.

    It is truly unbelievable how much a duck can poop, especially a growing duck. They poop about every eight minutes, I swear. Then they walk in it. Ooooh the mess.

    I actually used to be horrified that someone would come over right when I got home from work, before I had time to clean up that "crime scene." I am fastidious when it comes to my animals so I was horrified at how awful they looked after only eight hours without a towel change.

    You will be doing a lot of laundry. Are they worth it? Totally! I love my ducks! But I was so happy the day they moved outside. More time to enjoy them, less time spent cleaning. I love ducks, but they make crappy roommates.
    barnababy likes this.

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