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Keeping Ducks

Keeping Ducks

Articles and guides to help you keep domestic ducks at home in the garden.

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Keeping ducks in the garden is growing in popularity. Even without a pond, you can keep domestic ducks happy with a tub that is emptied and refilled daily with fresh water. You can also keep more than one drake in a flock of ducks. Typically 4 or 5 ducks per drake is a good ratio.

Keeping ducks does require some forethought, though. Ducks will need to be put to bed at night (although they may develop a routine and go into their house when it gets dark if that is what they have been used to). Unlike chickens, they are very easily herded by holding out your arms and walking behind them.

Ducks can also be productive. During the 1920s, trials established that Khaki Campbell ducks could produce more than 250 eggs per year without any special conditions. Before the Second World War, ducks were on track to become the biggest egg producers. It was only because of the advances with hybrid hens during the 1950s and their tolerance to intensive farming that keeping ducks for commercial egg production wasn’t successful.

All of our domestic duck breeds are descended from the common Mallard, except for the Muscovy. Each breed has had its purpose over time, but for now, most of us are happy to keep a few ducks in our back gardens as pets for their beauty and their funny antics, with the bonus of some eggs for the table.

Featured Articles:

Beginners

From the beginner’s guide, to choosing equipment, housing, feeding and choosing the right type of birds for your setup, these articles should cover all you need to know to get started raising backyard chickens!

Keeping Ducks

Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Ducks

Keeping a few domestic ducks in the garden is growing in popularity. In this beginner’s guide to keeping ducks, I will cover all the basics you’ll need to consider before getting ducks. 

Feeding Ducks

Feeding Domestic Ducks

This article provides information about feeding ducks: specifically domestic ducks. That is, pet ducks kept in gardens or smallholdings.

Can You Keep Chickens and Ducks Together

Can you Keep Chickens and Ducks Together?

From a purists point of view, we should keep chickens and ducks in separate enclosures, but I have kept my chickens and ducks together for many years with very few problems. Here are a few things for you to consider.

What duck to drake ratio

What Drake To Duck Ratio?

What duck to drake ratio can you have in a flock of ducks so that there aren’t too many squabbles amongst drakes or too much ‘attention’ given to the ducks during the breeding season?

Are Ducks Noisy

Are Ducks Noisy?

Before getting some ducks for the back garden, many people ask the question “are ducks noisy?” Many of us have neighbours to consider, and just like a crowing cockerel can be a problem, some ducks can make quite a bit of noise.

Health

With good husbandry, we can keep our birds healthy and dodge many poultry diseases. Natural products can help build up the immune system and improve overall health. Long-term habits are essential, and we can usually avoid chemical wormers, but regular checks with a worm count kit tell us if our regime is working.

Worming Ducks

Worming Ducks

Ducks can carry worms, just like other poultry. Worming ducks (or de-worming, as some people say) is not difficult using a suitable worming product, but whether you need to worm ducks is often a question that comes up.

Winter Care of Bantam Ducks

Winter Care of Bantam Ducks

Higgins Rat Ranch Conservation Farm is located in Alberta, Canada. During the winter, the temperature can drop as low as -45°C. Specialist care is, of course, required in these icy winter conditions.

Duck Welfare

Commercial Duck Welfare

Commercial Duck Welfare

Most of us have been aware of High Fernley Whittingstall’s ongoing campaign to raise the welfare standards of British commercially reared chickens, but what about

Releasing Domestic Ducks

Releasing Domestic Ducks into the Wild

Zoe Brodie-James investigates the ethics and law of releasing domestic ducks into the wild on the local pond and finds some sad and sometimes illegal scenarios that go on there.

How to Care for Wild Baby Ducks

How to Care for Wild Baby Ducks

Note: This article on how to care for wild baby ducks pertains to wild Mallard ducklings only. Domestic breeds of duck require different types of

Foie Gras

Foie Gras

Zoe Brodie-James has written several articles on the welfare of ducks for us, some of which have been quite moving but none of them have

Genetics

Whether you realise it or not, if you are selective with the ducks you breed from, then, you are applying genetics! Genes from the ducks you have selected in your breeding pen are passed on to their offspring. It helps to have a basic understanding of waterfowl genetics in order to get the best results.

Albino Duckling

Albino or Leucistic?

Most of us have a mental image of an albino; a bird or animal that is completely white. To complete the picture accurately we should

Related Category

Ducks>Incubation and Hatching Ducks

Hatching Ducklings

Incubation, Hatching Eggs & Raising Chicks

Articles about incubation & hatching duck eggs artificially in an​ incubator, raising ducklings or hatching as Mother Nature intended using a broody hen.

Breeds

There are twenty-three recognised breeds in the British Poultry Standard. You can browse through profiles and photos of all of these in the duck breeds category, but you can find some breed-specific articles here.

Call Ducks on Grass

Keeping Call Ducks

At one time Call Ducks were known as Decoys and were fed or tethered at the entrance to long traps. Their loud calling would entice

History of Aylesbury Ducks

The History of Aylesbury Ducks

The white Aylesbury is, and deservedly, a universal favourite. Its snowy plumage and comfortable comportment make it a credit to the poultry yard, while its

Related Category

Ducks>Duck Breeds

Duck Breeds

Duck Breeds

Photos and breed profiles for every domestic duck in the British Poultry Standard.

The Kit!

Equipment I've used that you will see in this category

BEC Feeders Review

BEC Feeders Review

I took delivery of a large box of feeders from the manufacturer BEC and have been testing them for the last 4 months in a

Ducks: Categories

Where would you like to go now?

Duck Breeds

Duck Breeds Pages

Photos and breed profiles for every domestic duck in the British Poultry Standard.

keeping ducks general thumbnail

Keeping Ducks

General articles, guides, and information about raising ducks at home or on an allotment.

keeping ducks incubation thumbnail

Incubation, Hatching & Raising Ducks

Articles about incubating, hatching duck eggs and raising baby ducks.

Books

My recommendations