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Fun Of Duck Keeping

During the past few years we have witnessed a huge growth in the number of people who have discovered the fun of keeping both ducks and poultry in their back gardens.

Ducks in particular are beautifully ornamental in their own right.  They bring a garden to life, are affectionate and make great pets and come with the added bonus of providing eggs for the kitchen.

Duck keeping as a hobby is currently booming as more and more people are discovering the enjoyment of living with and caring for their own small flock of ducks. 

Duck keeping initially presents the owner with more challenges than those facing the prospective poultry owner as ducks of course need water for swimming, dabbling and diving.  The water should always be well aerated to avoid stagnation and your ducks also need some room to roam and forage.  Purpose-made duck ponds are available on the market but you should also consider other options such as children's paddling pools which are ideal if space is limited.  This is also a handy option for hygiene reasons - just lift it up, clean it out and refill it with clean, fresh water as required. 

Make sure you also have adequate duck housing and shelter to protect them from inclement weather and any predators that may be lurking.

As mentioned before, duck housing is essential and safety, security and style should all be considered before purchasing.  Do you prefer flat packed or ready assembled?  Do you need it to be fox proof?  You need to consider the location of the housing - place it out of the wind if possible.  Consider the amount of ventilation the housing offers as ducks need plenty to help prevent respiratory problems and as aid to their general well-being.  You might also want to consider an exercise run if you don't want your ducks to have access to all of your garden. 

Ducks are usually quite casual about where they lay their eggs and so a nesting box in a quiet, shady position within the housing will encourage them to deposit their eggs where you want them to and help to keep the eggs clean.

Feeding your ducks a regular balanced diet is a must and whilst the ducks will feed from a shallow tray, it is important to keep their wheat, pellets and grit protected from  the elements by using a purpose-made feeder.  Remember that a duck has a broad bill, so if using poultry feeders, make sure sufficient room is allowed for their shovelling eating motion. 

A good starter kit for duck keeping is as follows:  A suitable duck house, a bag of layers pellets, corn, poultry grit, bag of wood shavings, feeder & drinker.

Spring is considered an ideal time to start duck keeping as there is the prospect of warmer weather and more time spent outdoors, so the winter months are the time to start considering what requirements you have, what work needs to be done and what type of duck you hope to keep.  As with all pets, ideas-4-pets recommend that you read as many books on the subject as you can and talk to as many duck owners as you can before making this all-important decision.