Suburban duck care is a scheduled daily activity for us. We make it a point to feed and water ducks at specific times. Just like kids they are dependent upon us to take care of them. From our observation, suburban ducks thrive on routine. Keeping to a schedule helps us to run our home and manage our animals efficiently.
Daily care for ducks is arduous, and requires diligence in consistency. In addition to the daily routine of feeding we have to handle the upkeep, and sanitation of the feeding area. The basic three: food, shelter, and water have to be maintained to keep our flock healthy.
Shelter for Suburban Ducks
We keep our ducks in an enclosed duck house with a screened in porch area. This is a two part area that helps them to be safe, keep warm and have room for exercise until we let them out in their yard. Safe duck area’s include a fenced area with an enclosure to protect against predators, building a safe shelter out of pallets, or creating a free range duck home.
Each shelter has to hold the main objective which is to keep them safe from predators. The second objective is too keep them warm and dry. Whatever shelter is chosen, utilize the two objectives in the design.
Food and Water for Suburban Ducks
Feed them daily on a schedule, twice a day if necessary. When I feed our ducks, I go out in the morning around 8:30 am. Part of my routine is to fill up their food bowl halfway. I do this so they do not step in their food, spill it, or get it soggy. I prefer to feed twice a day. When I fed them once a day and would fill up their food bowl, it would get spilled and wasted.
After I fill their food bowl, I distribute straw in their house. This helps them to keep warm and clean. Adding straw daily keeps the smell down, and the area more sanitary. Furthermore, the ducks like to move the straw where they want it, so I lay more straw down in the corner.
After I have taken care of their food and shelter, next is water. In the winter this proves to be a little harder due to freezing temperatures. On those days, I have several gallon milk jugs that I fill with hot water. Throughout the day, I will go out and check to see how their water source is doing and fill if needed. In the winter, on really cold days I do not keep a schedule, but fill their water as needed.
In the summer, the duck water bin gets cleaned out daily, and I water them in the morning and in the later evening. Summertime, the ducks are in their pool a lot, so the watering bucket doesn’t have to be filled as often.
Sanitary Living Conditions in the Duck Area
Winter time is easier to maintain the smell in the duck area. Summertime is hard. The heat causes the flies to be attracted and we clean out the duck area more often. Our ducks have plenty of straw to keep them warm in the winter and clean in the summer. Adding straw to our suburban duck pen and play area is part of my daily routine. When I have them distracted with food and water, then I sprinkle fresh straw all through their area.
Summer in the duck area has to be met with an understanding that ducks are messy. Our best defense has been to move the pool around, rake up the old straw and lay down new every 2-3 days. Keeping the ground from maintaining too much moisture has been key in keeping down the smell.
Ducks are a lot of work, but they are also full of enjoyment. One of our favorite times of day is when we let the ducks out to play and we get to laugh. They have such a great time playing in their pool, or just walking around the yard looking for bugs. Ducks are a great asset to the suburban homestead.
Before I head into the house, I add one bucket of water to their pool. In the winter, I try to make sure this pool has warm water for them to paddle their feet in for awhile. About twice a week, I will add lettuce treats in their pool. They like the change and enjoy snacking while they play.
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