Keeping ducks in the house - A big mistake or un-rational fear?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by blazezook, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. blazezook

    blazezook Hatching

    May 24, 2012

    I'm trying to convince my mom to let me take my two Welsh Harelquinn ducks, Millicent and Mildred, inside the house with me for winter but she is concerned they will be messy and smelly. I read on the internet that if they wear diapers and you change them every four hours there is hardly any smell and they can stay very clean, but she is not convinced. So I ask for your help - is there anyone out there that can put her concerns to ease or is her gut feeling right and I am the one who should be wary? I wanted to ask all you duck lovers what you think. I love my two babies and I would love to have them with me in the house. So please, enlighten us.
  2. melissamerry

    melissamerry Songster

    Aug 17, 2012
    Goleta, California
    Hi! I have 3 mallards around 5 months old and they all wear diapers and stay inside with me. I live in a small one bedroom apartment and I've worked hard at figuring out how to keep it clean-but it is possible!!

    Diapers are a must! I would recommend an extra set for each duck so that when the first one is washing you can put the others on them
    (it took me a lot of vacuuming and carpet cleaning to figure this out)

    I would also suggest a rubbermaid bin for their food and water. I just cut a door for them with a lip on the bottom to keep in any spilled water. They are messy diners and I find this set up the easiest and fastest to clean. I just rinse mine out in the shower!

    If they wear the diapers all day, I would also suggest a bath a few times to keep their bottoms clean. No one wants to sit in their own filth, right?

    I love my ducks dearly and I do take them outside daily even though we don't have a yard.

    I hope this helps and good luck!
  3. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Songster

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    IMO, BIG mistake.
    1 person likes this.
  4. BigBlock

    BigBlock In the Brooder

    Jun 2, 2012
    My 2 ducks make an enourmous mess of my back yard, I can't imagine having them in the house. Change the diaper every 4 hours? I would think you would have to change it more often than that, a duck will poop like a hundred times in 4 hours...
  5. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Crowing

    Oct 24, 2009

    Its OK for a short time, but you will get tired of changing the diapers every hours for months on end. Also the ducks will be much happier outdoors getting messy and dabbling in the mud. They also love a place to swim.

    Some animals are just not suitable for house pets. I once saw a TV program where some couple were keeping a Bison in the house!?

    If you have a yard I would keep the ducks in there, but you can still bring them into the house for 'play time' with you, and then you can put the diapers on them inside. I am sure the ducks are much happier living outdoors in a more natural way.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Kahn

    Kahn In the Brooder

    Jul 7, 2012
    Somerset, UK
    I was thinking the same but having seen them out there in the stormy weathers and the frost we've been having lately has completely changed my mind.

    My ducks in particular are loving it, they literally jump into the puddles and splash around, shake themselves off then carry on. Ducks have a much higher body temperature than you would expect thus they don't feel the cold as easily as other animals or even us. This could also cause problems if you have the heating on when you get cold as the ducks will run the risk of getting over heated. Infact, one this I've discovered when out in the fields (I live on a farm, I don't take my ducks for long walks ^.^) is to scoop up one of the ducks and give it a hug, it soon warms your hands up!

    The only time I had my ducks live indoors was when I first got them and they still had their baby fuzz but as soon as that was gone i moved them outside and even they were much happier being outside. Just give them some extra bedding outside and they should be fine. Hell, they make douvets out of duck down because it is extra warm so they must be fine with cold weather :p

    Finally, I'm not an expert, I only have two ducks and have only had them since July but this is just my opinion on the matter that may be worth giving a thought :)
    1 person likes this.
  7. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Crossing the Road

    Apr 19, 2012
    NW Vermont
    The OP doesn't say where s/he lives so I can't guess as to the potential weather issues.

    BUT, IMHO, ducks and chickens are outside animals, not house pets. They have the natural ability to grow a coat that will keep them warm. Not so my idiot 17 Y/O who put on a second light weight fleece today when I told her it was 14F. Then she complained when her hands were cold in the light knit gloves and didn't look very comfortable during the 10 minute ride to school.

    Give the ducks shelter, food and water. If they are outside, they will grow the coat they need for the weather and will be fine.

  8. wildpeas

    wildpeas Songster

    Mar 18, 2012
    Port Orchard, Wa
    Who is going to do the constant diaper changing and multiple baths a day?

    I know some people like having their ducks inside the house and that's their prerogative but in my opinion ducks belong outside in the weather with access to a house that they can go into if they so choose during the day and are locked in at night. Access to forage, food, and water, including bathing as often as they like. It's basic animal husbandry.
  9. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    Are you home all day or in school? i guess i ask who is going to change the ducks and keep them clean all day. I know some keep ducks indoors, i personally don't, to me they are poultry and poultry is livestock they live in coops, barns and outside.

    Do you not have proper outdoor shelter?(weather protection, predator proof) For an instance in regards to cold it's -7C this morning i come by after feeding the horses the one duck is bathing in the water bowl[​IMG] so yeah, clearly she is A-ok i am frozen lol

    I guess my point here is yes, it's doable but i think less than ideal and really requires a different level of care and commitment because ducks at the core are really no house pet.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  10. alaska-chick72

    alaska-chick72 In the Brooder

    Nov 28, 2012
    interior Alaska
    I am no expert,, and have little experience with ducks but do know that they do poop everywhere. I agree with everyone here that these animals were created to be outside. But on another note,,,,,,, I have read about a couple that travel in their motorhome with their 'house' geese and duck. Google 'mother and father goose' and take a gander at their web page. Its an interesting read.
    1 person likes this.

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