My Experience Having a Pet Duck
Have You Ever Heard of a Pet Duck?
Keeping a duck as a pet is very rare, but it seems to be more common these days. Ducks are becoming domesticated in several areas of the country, and, believe it or not, they make great pets.
There is a lot involved in caring for one. When our family first got our Kuacky, we had no idea what to do with her. We worried about her being away from her mother and the other ducklings, so we did some research and learned quite a great deal.
A Very Reliable and Well-Know Source Among Duck Lovers and Associations
There are all sorts of different opinions and advice out there, but I only trust one source.
After receiving Kuacky as a gift, I found a wonderful lady, named Nancy, who I called Nancy Goose. She and her husband raised and cared for pet ducks and geese. They were very experienced in the matter because they raised a pack of their own for many years. I really enjoyed their website, called "The Goose Mother," and I learned so much from the information and stories they shared. We often called the owners and got great advice and support. Believe me, in the beginning, you will definitely need this kind of support. Nancy became my friend, and it was through her website, her book, and her hand-designed duck diapers that I was able to raise Kuacky correctly.
Our precious Nancy Goose passed away on February 26, 2009. It was so heart-breaking. But, I am here to tell you that her legacy still lives on.
Her site and store are still being run by her wonderful and supportive husband, Alan. He, too, is a great guy who will give the same type of support.
In the beginning, it was so hard to care for Kuacky. Ducks are very clean creatures, but they are messy when it comes to pooping. They poop often and everywhere, and you will not be able to control it. If you're thinking about litter-training your duck, it ain't gonna happen!
To prevent a mess in the house, I got the "Miracle Duck Diapers" on Nancy's site. What a life saver and difference that made! Now our baby can be in the house anytime she has her harness and diaper on. She loves being in the house with us because she feels like we are her pack.
Caring for Our Precious Duck
Each duck has its own personality, but the care will be about the same.
Kuacky loves being in the house with us, but she loves being in her bath even more. Her favorite thing is bath time. She does not care if it is the sprinkler, the hose, or her outdoor kiddie pool — she loves them all. Her favorite, however, is the pool. She swims, splashes around, and has a great time.
Unfortunately, Kuacky started having uncontrollable seizures. We took the pool away because we feared that she would drown if she had an episode. At that time, the seizures happened every half hour or so. They were so severe. We took her to doctors and did all that we could do. No one knew what was causing the seizures. We really thought that we were going to loose our baby. But, all of a sudden they stopped. Now, they occur only occasionally. We keep seizure medicine handy incase they get bad again. We think it has to do with her egg-laying cycle, but we are still unsure. Back when the seizures were severe, Nancy suggested we give Kuacky "sugar water." It did help her get better.
When we can't be with her or she can't come indoors, we keep her in a pen. She gets so tired of her pen, and we feel so bad about it, but we have to keep her there because we don't want her on our concrete porch. This is where she waits longingly, hoping to be let inside the house. The concrete causes her feet to develop a common infection called "bumble foot". She has gotten her feet lanced, stitched, and treated several times. Once a duck gets "bumble foot" it is very hard to cure, and it comes back very easily, so we battle with it all the time.
Our precious Kuacky also loves to be out in the yard. She loves to graze the grass and eat bugs. Her favorite bugs are mealworms. We are raising our own mealworm colony now, so, hopefully, she will get an abundance of them soon. We are seeing results with the colony.
Ducks are very much pack animals, and once you raise them, they view you as their family or "pack." If you raise it as a baby, it "imprints" on you, so if you abandon it with other ducks later on, it will not know what to do. Many people receive a duck as an Easter gift, and then dump it off with a pack of wild ducks when they get tired of caring for it. Big mistake! You will be setting it up for death.
A human-imprinted duck does not know how to survive with other ducks, and they will not accept her/him either. Only take in a pet if you are going to be a committed parent for the entirety of its lifetime.
Why Do We Have a Duck for a Pet?
We got our precious duck as an Easter gift. Our family is not one to give away precious pets after we bond with them, so she stayed with us. Within a few days of having her, she had already “imprinted” with us. We became her pack. We quickly had to learn how to care for this precious bird. We didn't want to neglect her by leaving her outside in a pen all day with no attention. She needed the love, affection, care, and attention that our other pets always get.
I started doing research through the internet. This was three years ago, and the research was lengthy. I looked for information on house-training, feeding, and how to care for them as pets. It was very hard to find information on this topic back then, but a lot has changed in three years. "Pet duck care" and "duck diapers" are now easy to find in the search engines. I guess more people are now raising them as pets.
We just celebrated Kuacky's 3rd Birthday. We hear ducks have a lifespan of 20 years, so we are looking forward to many more happy years with our precious Kuacky.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
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