Duck Questions and Answers

Q. What is the best time of year to get ducklings?
A. Anytime between mid-April and July. Because the nights and days are warm they can go outside in a coop at 3 weeks of age. If you get them earlier in the year you will have to keep them in a heated environment longer.

Q. How old do they need to be before they are ready to catch bugs?
A. In the wild they start patrolling for bugs at a few days of age. When you move your ducklings outside they will immediately start searching for bugs. We have seen ducklings that are just 3 weeks old constantly running around our yard and catching bugs non-stop for hours at a time.

Q. Do they need a house in the winter?
A. No, waterfowl are heavily insulated with a down undercoat. They are able to stay outside in snow and freezing rain. The only shelter they need is a small area of shade from the sun in warm weather. In warm weather their insulation causes them to get hot quicker than other poultry species.

Q. Do they need a pond?
A. No, all they need is a small kiddie pool. Ducks need enough water to dip their heads in to clean out their nostrils. They also need to be able to splash water on their backs to stimulate their oil gland and preen their feathers.

Q. Will ducks make my yard messy?
A. No, their poo is very liquidy and sinks quickly into the ground.

Q. Can they fly?
A. None of the breeds we raise except Muscovies can fly. This makes it easy to confine them behind a fence. This also means you will need to put them in an enclosed pen each night to protect them from predators.

Q. How many ducks do you recommend for best bug control?
A. 3 ducks for yards less up to an acre. 2 to 4 ducks per acre for larger properties.

Q. What feed do they need?
A. Feeding ducklings a non-medicated chick starter feed for the first 4 weeks is acceptable. After that a chick grower feed until they are full grown. Occasionally you can find a waterfowl grower feed which would be excellent. Only a few feed companies make feeds formulated for waterfowl. Once they fully grown and feathered they can eat an adult duck or chicken feed.