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Discussion in 'Ducks' started by james408, Nov 7, 2010.
What is the best breed of duck for a pet? What about for an indoor duck?
I would say Cayugas or Pekins(Jumbo or otherwise), but that's just from my experience. Individual ducks within a breed vary greatly. I've only had two Cayugas in my life, but both of them were really tame and friendly. I know they are supposed to be a calm, quiet breed, and I have found this to be true so far.
The Pekins I now have, which are Jumbos, I have found to be really friendly. Not quite as tame as my Cayugas, but still very sociable. I have also had two ordinary Pekins in the past who were not quite as friendly, but I am willing to say that that was just them and not necessarily anything to do with the Pekin breed in general. I have heard that Pekins are supposed to be good pets.
I have heard that Welsh Harlequins make good pets as well, but I only have one, and she is not as friendly as some of my other ducks, though not unfriendly by any means. So I don't have enough experience with them to say. But really, almost any breed can make good pets. It just depends on the specific duck. But there are those breeds that shine as far as friendliness and sociability with humans goes, and I would say Cayugas are at or near the top.
I know lots of people on this forum have Muscovies, and love them. I've never had any myself, but I hear they are excellent pets, along with providing good meat and eggs.
Hope this helps!
I think call ducks make the best pets, but you wouldn't want them in the house because they are very loud! East Indies are cute and not as loud as the calls but tend to be shy. A lot of peope also like to keep runners as pets. Mallards are fun to keep too.
I would say either pekins or welsh harlequins. I don't have "tame" ducks that you can just walk up to and pick up, but my pekins and harlequins are always first to see what's going on or to eat out of my hands when I am giving a rolled corn supplement to the normal diet. Come to think of it, I have a fawn and white runner who always wants to be part of the action too. My swedish, cayugas, other runners, and layer 300's don't really want to get close and are much more standoffish.
I have 3 runners. My fawn and white is a personable duck and is willing to be picked up, but not her preference. My blue (silver) runner is personable, but doesn't want to be picked up. My chocolate will follow me, but won't get close enough to be picked up and if you try, she runs. She's very timid. AND LOUD.
2 of my 3 are loudmouths. The fawn and white is much quieter of my 3.
I couldn't imagine keeping ducks inside. But that's me. I know people on here do it or have done it, but not something I'm interested in. If we have a hurricane come through, they can have a tub in one of the spare bathrooms or our master shower until the nasty stuff is over and then back outside with them.
I may be biased but I would say Indain Runners are easily the best pet ducks. They are personable and sweety and all around funny. I have 2 feamales. They are so happy to be cuddled and held. I would recomend raising them one by one. in that case almost anybreed would work. But seriously. Look into runners.
Our runners are mostly outdoors. but they do wear their diapers and they love being inside! They'll sleep on the couch and follow you around. they chase the dogs around and are happy to splash around in the bath tub. I would love to keep them indoors all the time!
my Welsh Harlequins are quite tame, I can go up to them and pick them up. THey don't like to be held for long, but, I can pet them and pick them up.
Just be aware the ducks poo a lot. They cannot control when to poo so you will need diapers for the duck. Your duck will also need a lot of interaction so it can imprint on you. Best to get it as a day old duckling and hand raise it. Just be aware they poo as much as a 50 pound dog only in hundreds of piles. It can be quite overwhelming. I believe diapers need to be changed every 3-4 hours. Is that something you can do for years to come? If not can you provide a nice secure environment outside? A nice duck house for the night to protect against predators is all they need.
It all depends on your needs--is friendliness the first consideration? Many people say muscovies are best for that. But they are large and some folks don't like the red caruncling on the face. Calls are as cute as they come, but they're noisy.
I frankly NEVER recommend jumbo pekins for pets. They are adorable and calm, but because they were developed for factory-produced meat, they tend to have a lot of leg problems (too heavy for the muscles in their legs--in factory conditions this doesn't matter because they are either killed at a couple months old or they are kept in tiny battery cages where it doesn't matter whether they can walk). The two jumbo pekins I had BOTH had horrific leg problems. Other ducks from the same hatchery had none. They also tend to die younger due to their organ systems being underdeveloped for their bodies. Again, that doesn't matter to the factories that breed them for meat, but it matters to pet owners.
Other than that, I think most domestic breeds would be suitable and it's really just a matter of personal preference and your specific needs.