Unexpectedly own a DUCK (Khaki Campbell)....advice on ducks?


8 Years
Nov 28, 2011
Carver, Oregon
I went to pick up a chicken last night and the only catch was, her BFF had to come with her. Her BFF happens to be a Khaki Campbell.
I love the beauiful duck already, I'm just wondering if anyone can offer me any advice or insight on ducks. Is it okay for her to each the chicken feed I give my laying hens? Are the same treats safe to give her?

Also, I know she needs some water/swimming space. What would you recommend? A kiddie pool? Is that too shallow? Maybe a horse trough? Any tidbits of wisdom would be appreciated and used!

Thanks, peeps!

Just avoid feeding anything medicated and I wouldnt use a horse trough just because they are harder for a duck to get out of. Other than that enjoy your new duck
Thanks, Kevin! My husband LOVES her already (and he wasn't keen on getting a duck), even though the first thing she did was upset the water dish and poop EVERYWHERE. He's calling her a "chi-duck-en" because she doesn't know she's a duck (other than loving water). Her BFF is a Barred Rock.
Hooray for your new birds!

Your KC will need access to water at least deep enough to wash her entire head, for health reasons. It's best if she can do this any time - it avoids serious eye, ear, and sinus infections.

Aside from that, yes, the kiddie pool should work quite well. They're easy to fill, clean and refill. With just one duck you won't have the water management challenges that an entire flock poses. She will likely enjoy drilling holes in the ground, especially if it's moist and muddy.

Ducks don't roost, so make sure the roost isn't above where she'll sleep so she doesn't get plastered at night.

And also, since they don't roost and for a number of other reasons, ducks can be quite susceptible to predators - make sure they're secure.

I love my Runners - I'm sure you'll enjoy both your Khaki Campbell and your Barred Rock (I had a RIR when I was a kid - what a peach!).

If she's like my ducks, she'll go crazy for slugs. Some have told me their chickens do not like slugs, so that may not seem like a treat from their point of view.
Congrats on your new duck...

almost as exciting as a new car....except a car won;t dump on your lap.

They're a lot of fun and very entertaining.

As far as the feed, do NOT allow the duck to eat medicated chicken feed too much. Ducks will over eat and kill themselves over medicating. They can eat all kinds of other general feed, pelleted mash, alfalfa pellets, even dog/cat dry food. Kibbles & bits of something...
Give the duck some fresh greens and he (she?) s good to go. Cabbage is like crack to a duck...they love that. Peas too. Cucumber slices is duck snack food.

BTW...is it a drake or a duck? ducks quack. Drakes don;t. If he chatters a little, or talks like he has a sore throat thats a Drake. If she laughs, quacks loudly thats a duck. Curly tail is also a Drake trait.
Water...drinking water deep enough to dunk her head when she eats. they must have water to swallow. Later they need water to blow their nose..food gets stuck in the beak openings and they force water thru to clean it away.
Splashing around in a $12 kiddie pool is all thats required. This helps keep the oil spread on feathers and that helps keep them scotchgaurded against poo sticking to them like a rabbits fur....
Plan on changing pool water daily...drinking water 2-times a day.

Its work but they're worth it. Even when they dump on your shirt.....

Have fun !
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Honestly, I wouldn't even worry about getting non-medicated chicken feed if you already use medicated, as long as the medication in the food is AMPROLIUM. Before they started using amprolium in medicated chicken feed is when it was toxic to ducks if they ate too much. I raised my 2 ducklings on medicated chick starter until I ran out (which was roughly 3 months!) and they were pigs! They never had any problems!!! The only thing I would recommend doing is adding a little bit of niacin to your ducks food every once and a while, because there is less niacin in chicken feed than what ducks should have.

Good luck!
I am new to ducks too! I have had mine for about 2 months now and I find it the most pleasant little thing to have around! I hope you love your new ducky pal!

Re: the medicated feed debate. I went to my local feedstore when I first got the duckling and they had nothing to offer re: duck feed. They told me that they couldn't recommend the chicken starter because it was medicated. After a bit of chatting they told me that everyone else locally (farming area) has always purchased the chicken starter for ducklings and they have never been told of any ill effects.

Eventually I purchased some chicken starter as I had no other alternative. The duck lived on that for the first few months of its life and has never gotten sick.

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