Ducks can be sociable, affectionate, emotional and intelligent pets; so some can play with toys, understand simple commands and even walk down the street. However, like all birds, they need certain care, including adequate food and according to their needs.
The domestication of some animals has caused changes in their evolution and in the way they meet their own needs. Such is the case of the domestic duck , a bird that is found all over the world and is known for its docile, gentle, calm and cheerful nature.
This bird has gone from being a wild white duck with vigorous wings and capable of foraging for its own food in the wild, to being a domestic animal with a diminished ability to fly and largely dependent on man for food and care.
However, these animals can become an adorable pet and live a full life for 9 to 12 years in a domestic environment. For this reason, to provide the best care and ensure that it remains in optimal health conditions, feeding the duck is an essential factor for its quality of life.
What little ducks need
Whoever has decided to adopt a duck as a pet, especially in the case of a baby duck, should evaluate what small ducks eat before starting to feed it; the idea is to ensure a correct diet with everything your body needs.
A good option would be to offer a natural homemade preparation, it will only be necessary to mix fruits, vegetables or seeds. Another alternative could be to buy feed for small ducks and offer it moistened with water, so that they swallow more easily.
Likewise, it is essential that the first 5 weeks the animal is kept in dry and warm places; such as a cardboard box with a bed of straws. It is also important to avoid leaving them in the water, since they could easily drown; since at this age they still do not have enough feathers to stay afloat.
When the duck is no longer a chick
After the first three weeks of the chick’s life, according to its growth and development, it is advisable to provide it with a special food for poultry of good quality and in the recommended rations for the benefit of its health.
However, it is necessary to ensure that this food offers an appropriate nutritional value for this type of bird. This is mainly due to the fact that there are products on the market to feed ducks that focus only on weight gain, which in the long run is unfavorable for the health of the animal.
Indispensable foods in the diet of a domestic duck
Regardless of the different species of ducks that exist, these are birds that need a large amount of food on a daily basis that includes minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins.
In this sense, once the ducks have reached adulthood, among the foods that should not be missing from their diet we have grains and seeds; since they are cereals that are a main source of vegetable carbohydrates. For this reason, it is advisable to provide them with barley, rice, oats, corn, soybean and sunflower seeds; foods that in addition to offering adequate nutrition, also favor your digestive process.
In addition to this, they can be offered eggs and cooked boneless fish, as they are excellent sources of animal protein. Likewise, egg shells and ground bones that provide them with protein and the calcium necessary for their body.
On the other hand, it is recommended to offer them leafy vegetables, vegetables and fruits that are important sources of vitamins. However, excessive consumption of fruit should be avoided, as sugar could be detrimental to your health.
It should be noted that, according to experts in these birds, the most advisable thing for the health of the duck is to distribute the food in five different portions throughout the day.
The importance of water in the life of the duck
Having a duck as a pet is not common in homes, since they are wild birds that require a certain space and a permanent water source. For this reason, if you are wondering how to take care of a duck, you should know that it is essential to provide them with the maximum possible comfort in terms of their water needs.
Ducks are birds that need clean and fresh water to drink at all times. For this reason, it is important to have a deep bowl that is ideal for drinking water, in this way they will always be hydrated.
Likewise, since they are animals that do not have teeth, water turns out to be their best ally when swallowing the food from the dispenser, which could be something similar to a bird feeder. For this reason, it is advisable to always keep the bowl close to the food and ensure the freshness of the water by renewing it at least twice a day.
A house for ducks should also have a large and natural pond, where they can swim and cool off easily; especially on hot days. Probably, watching them swim and enjoy the water is something that the whole family will be able to enjoy, and children in particular will be able to live this experience, to later recreate the scene in the Playmobil farms, for example.
A little freedom suits them
When the domestic ducks are given a little freedom to walk around the green areas of the house, it could be possible to observe in some way what the wild ducks eat. These pets, following their natural instinct, will probably go in search of small stones that, although it is curious, favor grinding small remains of food that are accumulated in their crop.
Also, by letting the ducks roam freely in the garden or patio of the house, their wild side leads them to act as a kind of biological control; as they could cleanse the garden of insects, slugs and other pests that are likely to ruin the plants.