Ducks are reasonably easy to care for, as long as you provide them with the interaction they require and the shelter, food, and accessories they need to remain healthy and happy. Like all animals, a balanced diet is crucial, along with an appropriate shelter, access to fresh water, and the right environment. Gaining a solid understanding of everything your ducks need ensures you are well prepared and have happy, well-adjusted ducks.
Ducks need proper shelter to keep them warm in cold weather and out of the sun in very hot weather. Additionally, a proper duck shelter provides a secure area which keeps them safe from predators and vermin, including rats, mice, and foxes. Good choices include a duck house or duck coop. This kind of accommodation tends to be chicken coop-style and offers a raised, secure house where ducks comfortably bed down. Your duck house needs a door that you can securely shut each night to keep them safe.
As well as a secure, comfortable duck coop; your ducks need a substantial run. Even if you allow your ducks to roam your garden, they need a safe, secure place to access the outdoors when you are not around to supervise them. The run needs to attach to, or enclose the coop. The most common runs have wooden frames and wire mesh coverings. Your run needs enough space for all of your ducks to stand upright and roam around comfortably, and must be secure against intrusion from predators. Ideally, you should have a small pond in the duck run, allowing your ducks to paddle and swim. If you do not want to sink a pond into the enclosure, use a child's paddling pool, instead. Your duck run is the perfect way to let your ducks enjoy the outdoors at any time when you are not at home.
Providing your ducks with a balanced, nutritious diet is crucial. If your ducks have a poor diet, you shorten their lifespan and cause health problems and deformities. Ducks enjoy supplementing their diet with slugs, snails, and other insects, along with grass, plants, such as dandelions and sunflowers, and young plant sprouts. However, you should feed them specialist duck food as a staple diet, such as Layer's pellets. A complete duck food provides all the nutrition ducks need and helps maintain good health. You can further supplement their diet by providing fruits and vegetables daily, along with plant shoots, plants, and scratch grains.
Ducks are by nature social beings, and they need the company of other ducks. However much time you spend interacting with them, you cannot replace the social interaction that occurs between multiple ducks. This is something your ducks absolutely must have to be healthy, happy, and well balanced. Ideally, keep four ducks or more, although two or three ducks equal an acceptable group.