I’m sure you’ve heard that having ducks in your backyard may be quite rewarding. Their eggs and meat are delicious, and they are also useful garden companions.
Trust me when I say that learning how to raise ducks in your backyard should be a breeze because these adorable birds are easygoing, cold tolerant, and illness resistant. I couldn’t bear the image of these adorable little webbed feet sauntering around my yard. So, I went out and got some ducklings.
Of course, I knew they were untidy and demanding at times, but their fine laying prowess astounded me. However, before you begin, you must first learn about rearing ducklings, and these are the ducky lessons I learned while raising my first duck flock.
How to Raise Ducks in Your Backyard
1. Check the laws
Before you consider raising ducks in your garden, you should first check with your municipality to see if it is legal. Unfortunately, some states have laws on these docile birds that dictate the number, breeds, and management of ducks you should keep in your backyard.
While raising ducks, you should mind your neighbors’ peace, especially if they live nearby, because ducks, like chickens, can be noisy. It’s worth asking if they’re cool with you having ducks around.
Otherwise, just a few states have regulations against duck raising, but you should check with your local laws before embarking on this delightful adventure.
2. Choosing a perfect breed
Now that you’ve cleared the legal hurdles, the next critical step is to choose the breed that’s right for you. There are various breeds of farmed ducks to pick from, and your choice totally depends on why you want to keep them.
For eggs, popular breeds include Runners, Khaki Campbell, and Welsh Harlequin, while if you want to raise ducks for meat, choose Pekin or Muscovy ducks. I would recommend Pekin or Welsh for beginners because they are temperate and resilient.
However, it is critical to undertake your study to determine which breed is ideal for you.
Also read: Deer statues for garden decor
Housing is one of the most important considerations while raising ducks. Building a duck coop is a simple and enjoyable DIY project. Alternatively, you can get a premade coop.
If you opt to do it yourself, make sure that each bird has 4 feet by 8 feet space. This will give the ducks enough room.
If you have hens in your backyard, you may make a few changes to make your ducks feel more at ease. Ducks, for example, do not need to roost at night; instead, supply them with a nesting box on the ground. Long ramps will also make it easier for your ducks to climb inside the coop.
Appropriate ventilation and spacing are critical for reducing disease transmission when it comes to housing. Ducks are resistant to the elements, but good housing ensures that they are well protected from predators.
Also read: How difficult is it to raise quail in yard?
Ducks adore water, and after a week, a bowl of water was insufficient for my ducklings. They kept kicking the bowl, attempting to dip their webbed feet in it. Ducks enjoy swimming and will require a plentiful supply of clean water.
I was having trouble figuring out how to always have plenty of water available. So, I purchased a kiddie pool.
To keep the water clean, I changed it every four days. Because they like to groom their feathers, the water must be clean. If the water is colored, your ducks will not swim.
Ducks require clean water to dip in their bills, but you should not fill the kiddie pool with too much water, or your ducklings may drown. You don’t need to have a body of water in your backyard to have happy ducks.
Also read: Oil extractor pumps for mower
Ducks are easy to feed, especially if they are allowed to roam freely, and they are excellent foragers. A healthy duck, on the other hand, requires adequate nutrition.
You can feed the duckling chicken ration for the first three weeks since the crude protein levels are around 16%, which is a safe range for the ducklings because too many proteins would cause an ailment known as angle wing. Likewise, ducks are heavy feeders; thus, the chicken ration must not be medicated.
The full feeding strategy is the best way to feed ducks. I’d fill the feeder and leave it for them all day. I’ve noticed that they only feed when they’re hungry. As the duck matures, you should reduce the protein level of your food. Additionally, niacin should be included in duckling diets to promote the development of strong legs.
Feeding and supplements will entirely depend on the duck’s purpose; for example, calcium is essential if it is for egg production.
Also read: Large outdoor wolf statues
FAQs About Ducks
Can your raise ducks at home?
If you’re thinking about raising ducks as pets, I wouldn’t recommend it because ducks are social birds who are happier when they’re outside.
Do ducks need a coop?
Ducks require a coop, particularly at night. Train your ducks to go to bed on their own; unlike chickens, ducks can see at night and tend to forget.
Do ducks poop a lot
Ducks defecate every 15 minutes on average, they can’t control where they poop, and your yard will be littered with liquid, copious poop. On the plus side, their feces make excellent garden manure.
Are ducks noisy to keep
In my experience, ducks are not as loud as chickens. It also heavily depends on the kind and number of ducks you keep. However, your neighbors would be aware of their noise during the day.
Raising ducks is a lot of fun, and they are more disease-resistant than chickens.
They are well-mannered, and their eggs and meat are of high quality. Ducks are also terrific garden pals, and as they waddle around your yard, they provide a delightful distraction.
Now that you know how to raise ducks in your backyard let’s go quacking and enjoying yourself while providing quality and flavorful food for your family.