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Keeping ducks as a pet is fast becoming a trend all over the world. More and more people are starting to enjoy these intelligent, funny and amazing creatures.
This article I will list my top picks of duck breeds that I think make wonderful family pets.
What to Look for in a Breed of Ducks to Keep as a Pet
A duck breed that is not flighty, cheeky, loud or shows any signs of stubbornness or aggression.
They must be friendly and gentle that you would allow a child to play with them. At least a supervised child – they are still animals and children should not be left alone with any animal
Calm but curious
A duck should be calm and not spook easily when they interact or cross paths with a human or domestic animal that poses no threat to them.
Curiosity is what makes them want to follow you around and learn things.
Easy to maintain
All pets require attention, care and maintenance. They have to be checked for parasites, injury and illness regularly. There food and water must be cleaned and fresh each day. There is no getting around that for a healthy pet.
But a pet that can fend for itself like going out foraging and actually also helping out around the place is a good pet to have.
They do need to be adaptable and be able to adapt readily to their environment. There are a few breeds that are not too adaptable and require a certain environment. You also get some finicky animals that require a lot of special arrangement in order to help them adapt.
In a duck breed, you want them to be hardy and make themselves at home in whatever environment you have to offer them.
When I say that I do not mean that you can just shove them into any old environment. They do need a bit of consideration to see if your garden will be a suitable fit for the duck breed.
We all have a particular taste and staring at our ducks is a tranquil relaxing past time. We want to be able to look at them and sigh, smile or have a little giggle.
Some may also want a pet that spruces up their garden with their soft beauty.
You will know your duck when you see it!
Flightless if possible
One thing you do not want is your duck(s) landing up in your neighbor’s garden. They are after all quite curious and if they can fly they are going to want to know if the grass is greener and full of delectable bugs or grubs on the other side.
Some of the larger duck breeds cannot fly or can only fly a very short distance or not too high.
But if you do not mind clipping their wings then that is your problem solved.
Top 10 Domestic Duck Breeds to Keep as Family Pet
They are a critically endangered duck breed as listed by the American Livestock Conservancy. They are in need of a lot of TLC to get the breeds population numbers up.
Welsh Harlequin is a fantastic pet duck. They are calm, placid, docile and really friendly. Some have even reported them to be quite nurturing. This is because the hens are extremely broody and make excellent mothers as well.
They do not usually fly and as they are quite heavy but mainly because they are quite content to stay close to their homes in the security of their own gardens.Read More
The Buff or Buff Orpington duck is another duck that makes a great pet. They are quite popular as backyard and farm/homestead ducks, so they may be a bit difficult to find.
They can fly but generally do not even try but it may just be best to have their wings clipped just in case.
They are calm, gentle and friendly plus they have a great ornamental value. They are very pretty ducks and also lay a lot of nutritious eggs. Read More
Aesthetically they are very pleasing with their glossy black feathers that have an iridescent green sheen. Their beak, legs and feet are also black and they quite a large breed of duck that normally does not attempt to fly.
They lay charcoal color eggs for a great talking point at the table whilst being a really good pet.
They are friendly and calm as well as quiet, in fact, they are one of the quietest duck breeds. That is not to say that they cannot get quite vocal if upset or provoked.
They are quite hard to come by and are listed as a threatened breed by the American Livestock Conservation.Read More
The Swedish Blue is a beautiful calm and friendly breed of duck. They make a lovely showpiece for the garden and lay some rather interestingly colored eggs depending on the season. Their eggs can be anything from white, green, blue, grey tinted or grey.
They can fly but rarely even attempt to as they prefer to stay close to their home. It may be advisable to have their wings clipped just to be on the safe side.Read More
There are many reasons to love this unique duck.
Their unique splotches, splashes or dots of black marking on their white feathers make sure that not two ducks are alike. This makes each duck easily identifiable in a flock, so you know if you are calling Betty the duck it really is her.
They have the most brilliant temperament in that they are calm, friendly and lovable. They form deep and lasting bonds with their flock and even sometimes with their humans.
They also lay a lot of blue, white or cream-colored eggs for the table each year. They start laying eggs at around 5 months old and usually an adult duck will lay around 200 to 280 eggs per year. They do not fly so they will stay in your garden and are one of the most sensible and savvy duck breeds. They are smart as well and tend to be quite alert to danger making them less vulnerable to predators than other breeds.
Sadly, they are quite rare and are critically endangered therefore are in dire need of breeders that are interested in helping recover their population numbers.Read More
The Rouen is a large duck and is too big to fly so cutting their wings will not be necessary. This breed is very sociable, friendly, calm and really loyal. They were bred to be a pet duck for farms and or homesteads.
They have beautiful colored plumage that makes them also a great garden showpiece, but they can be a bit cumbersome because of their size. In fact, the females have a tendency to stand on their eggs accidentally breaking them as their size makes them quite clumsy.
You do get two kinds of Rouen ducks there are the commercial Rouen ducks that are quite a bit smaller than the exhibition Rouen ducks. The commercial Rouen duck is quite common and used in egg and meat production.
The exhibition Rouen and the one I would recommend as a pet are becoming quite rare and are listed on the American Livestock Conservations watch list.Read More
The Khaki Campbell lays a lot of white eggs a year up to 240 of them. They are a beautiful duck breed with their pretty Khaki feathers. They were purposely bred to be a dual-purpose duck.
They have been known to be a bit flighty at times but mostly calm and friendly. They do make a good pet, but they can fly and will if spooked so they would need their wings clipped.Read More
These ducks are a great all-around duck. They taste good, lay lots of extra-large to jumbo-sized eggs and they are quite calm and friendly. In fact, they are so sweet and love to follow their humans around the yard chatting. They are also delightful ducks that are happy and fun to have around the back garden. They tend to adapt very quickly to their environment and love to forage for grubs, bugs and insects. They are quite common and easy to find at most poultry sellers their duckling are the cutest little things.Read More
These lovely ducks are listed on the American Livestock Conservancy list as threatened. As they easily adapt to most environments it makes them great as a backyard pet. They will also lay around 190 to 240 large white eggs a year. They are calm, friendly and can be quite lovable if raised correctly. Their plumage is fluffy and quite beautiful along with their perfect stature they also make exceptionally good exhibition ducks.Read More
I had to list the Crested duck as they truly are a wonderful breed of duck. With their little pompom hats and silly antics, they will make you smile as you watch them waddle and wade.
The ducklings grow really fast which is why they are an excellent meat breed. They also lay a decent amount of eggs per year of between 100 to 130 medium/large sized white eggs per year.
They can tend to seem a bit shy, but they are actually really hardy, smart and friendly ducks.
The Crested duck makes a great backyard pet and will give you a lot of entertaining moments.Read More