There is more time and care that goes into a house duck than an outdoors duck. An outdoor duck does not need to worry about wearing a diaper, rooms it can not go into, bath time, an area set up for your messy eating duck to use, entertainment - toys and human time, ext. But a House Duck does need all those things. It is not want, it is need.
Keeping a duck in the house can be a ton of fun. But before you run off and buy a cute little duckling because you saw one online that was the cutest thing you ever saw, there are some things you need to know and consider. A duck is a living being and has needs. An indoor duck will need even more from you on a day to day, every day, day after day basis.
WATCH WERE YOU ARE WALKING
When you have a duck in your home, duckling or full grown, you must always watch where you are walking sot that you do not step on or trip over that small pet! They are small and fast and love to be right by your feet as you walk and might turn right in front of you. Make sure any visitors are told the same.
If your duck is a houseduck and it does not go outside to swim in a pool or a pond, then your duck needs a bath at least four times a week, every single day is better. Fill up your bathtub about 8 inches, just so that the duck can actually dangle it's feet and swim a bit. Keep the water tepid, not hot, not cold, just room temperature. Let the duck splash around and play for a while and yes, you will have to clean the tub, the floor, the walls, but aaaawwww, look, your duck is having sooooo much fun and getting clean.
After the duck comes out of the tub, you might want to let the duck stay in the tub as the tub drains, let the duck alone to clean and preen. The duck, after the bath, will shake off and preen (fluff and dry it's feathers). If you leave the duck in the tub as the water drains, it will keep some, most, of the shaking mess in the tub area. Some people leave their ducks in the tub til the duck has dried off naturally and has pooped.
After your duck is clean and dry, you can then put a clean diaper on it.
In nicer weather your duck will love a small pool or pond outdoors where it can go out and play in the water in the sun. And it is fun to watch them love the water.....remember the phrase "like a duck to water."
Their bath time is very important for many reasons. They are ducks and need to be in the water for their sanity. Ducks also need to clean up. If your Houseduck wears a diaper and diaper holder, it's body needs a break from it and also need to get that area very clean.
Both of these photos belong to Alex, and efriend of mine. The second one of the baby in the cup, I would title "Add Water Please".
This photo was taken after Eden, our own housegoose, had finished eating. I could have taken the photo before the goose came to make the mess...but I think you need to know the truth of what a housegoose and or houseduck will be like to own.
Your duck will need a spot to eat and where food and water is always available. And yes, ducks are a mess when they eat and drink. There are many things a person can do to make the mess easier to contain and to clean up. If you kitchen is carpeted you might want to feed your house duck in a bathroom or mud room or even the laundry room. Use an area where the walls can easily be wiped down or cover your walls with plastic of some sort. You can and some people do, cut a plastic storage tub so that the duck can reach into it and keep some of the mess contained. We like the cardboard boxes we pick up in town from places that are throwing them out. We use them for our house birds and then use them in the awful mud here in NW SD where the mud is really dinosaur poop. The boxes break down in the soil and give the soil a bit of "body". You can also use the cardboard in your garden area.
House geese and ducks need heavy flat bottomed food and water containers. A heavy crock is a good idea. Because water fowl need to dunk their nostrils in the water and many like their heads in, use a crock deep enough for the duck to get down in. A large or giant dog breed crock bowl would work well.
Keep the area clean....yes, it will be a job you will be doing often.
THE DUCK DIAPER HOLDER AND DIAPERS
Having a Duck in a Diaper Holder is a big deal. There is a lot of diaper changing and they never ever outgrow it. It is something to really think about before deciding you would like to own a house duck. So much so, please check our menu, I set up an entire page "About Duck/Bird Diapers". Keep in mind the time and money involved in changing your birds diaper several times a day, every single day.
Please, PLEASE, keep in mind that your Diaper Holder for your houseduck needs not only to fit correct, but also needs to be comfortable for the duck. No sharp edges or sharp parts, the fabric needs to give a bit as the duck moves about. And no duck, or other house bird, should be in a diaper all the time. It is always a good idea for the bird to have a bed or sleep area where they can be without their diaper holder on.
WORTH REPEATING - Reusable/Environment Friendly/Green Duck Diaper
I used cloth diapers for my three human sons. Not only are throw away diapers expensive, they ruin the environment! I could get on my "High Horse" right now and tell you how discussed I get with the TV commercials of actors and actresses telling us all to use better light bulb and to turn off the water while we brush our teeth....and that is important but five will get you ten each and everyone of them are using disposable diapers on their babies and disposable sanitary pads for all the females of that age in their homes. If everyone in the world would stop using these types disposable items, we would not only have less trash piles up....but think about what is wrapped up in that plastic then thrown out!
So, since I do not use those products for people I sure wasn't going to for my house birds for life. I did use 1/2 pantie liner in the baby gosling and ducklings diapers....still working on that one. I have designed pulling and driving harnesses for dogs and goats, I have designed clothing for pet rats, hamsters, gerbils and even mice....so I started trying to figure out how to make a diaper holder harness that I could design a cloth diaper that would stay in place and also hold a piece of newspaper folded so that I could easily lift out the poop and use the cloth diaper, before washing it, as long as possible. I am very pleased with the diaper holders I have designed. They will of course also hold a disposable human baby diaper and or kotex if that is what you decide to use for your house birds.
Geese and or Ducks do not sleep as much as a dog or a cat and they will need to be entertained, or....they might get into things that they should not. Ducks love toys made with rubber bands. I loop several together then add a piece of polar fleece folded in half and tied to the last rubber band in the row I have hooked together. You can then loop these to a chair, or table or other area for the goose to play with for hours.
I bought a cute little child's rubbery toy called a "Light Up Googly Worm". It is about 10" long with a ball that lights up when the toy is moved and changes colors as it rolls on the inside. It has stretchy "prickles" all over it and the whole thing stretches out. It has a little loop on the top I put a ribbon through and tied to the table my husband's computer is on. We work at home so my husband is usually at his desk. Our house birds LOVES this toy and I only paid $3 for it.
Our housebirds, ducks and goose, not only loves to play with the squeaky dog toys, although they do not squeak them, but also our long haired dog's hair. Deron always talks to the two of them about how Raya the dog is getting her hair done by the best little bird hairdressers around.
You can use your imagination and find items in the human baby section as well as make fun things for your duck to play with. Just make sure, of course, they do not have sharp sides or loose parts. Look at it as a duck would, could it be a fun thing for an indoor duck?
DUCKS MOLTING AND THE DANDER
Have you ever owned a Parakeet or other caged bird before? Then you know what Bird Dust is. If not, it is bird dander. With a bigger bird such as a goose, or duck or chicken, you will have even more bird dust. When your bird molts you will also have feathers falling everywhere. All this is normal, some people will find it untidy. Other's look forward to all the feathers for their own crafts or to sell them feathers that fall out naturally.
KEEPING A HOUSE DUCK IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE
Keeping a duck or goose or chicken in the house dose not require too much education, but you do want to make it safe for both you and the bird. You also want to make sure they are cared for correctly, kept clean, fed correctly, and that they too are having a bit of fun.
Fowl live long lives when cared for correctly so you are making a commitment when you buy those darling little goslings, ducklings and or chicks. Like any bird, they do have a smell and they can not help the fact that when they poop, it is a large mess and stinks. Fowl are not clean eaters either....well? Birds usually are not. Then you will also have to deal with molting, when their feathers fall out, sort of like a dog shedding. When you own any bird, any type at all, you learn about "bird dander". It is just what it sounds like, dander, or dry skin that comes off when they shake.
Geese, ducks and or chickens can make good, loving and faithful pets if treated a cared for properly.
Please. If you decide to buy and own an indoor duck or outdoor ducks, please do read up and do your research on them. Ducks, like any animal, deserves the best care you can provide. Their needs are usually minimal, but should be met. There are a few medications you should always have on hand for your ducks. Correct Duck Food/Feeds are easy to find on the market. Please buy a few duck care books and or do some Internet reading before acquiring any type of animal.
There are some products of medication that a duck owner should always have one hand. Remember that some veterinarians will not see a duck. Some, if they do, will not know much about the birds without turning to the Internet for information. You will need to be prepared to care for your own duck. Farm Stores carry many types of Fowl Medications and vitamins. They are not expensive and most have a long shelf life with directions on the back of the package.
Above all, care for your House Duck correctly and responsibly and you will probably never have a medical emergency. That said, even the best care, the best set up areas, the best watched ducks/animal/children and husbands will get into some sort of medical emergency. Take the time before this happens calling veterinarians in your area to see if they do care for ducks. Have their numbers on hand.
PLEASE READ OUR "DUCK PROOF YOUR HOME" PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON DUCK CARE
The contents of this page for HouseDuck Care is still under construction. Please check back.
-- The Ducks In Diapers Team