Yes, your pet ducks need housing.  They need an escape from weather, predators, and general stress…just like a human does.  If you take some relatively simple steps to ensure you pet ducks have adequate shelter, it will go a long in promoting their well-being and happiness.

Once again, we turn to the pet duck experts at LiveDucks.com for advice on how to house ducks.  Also, a lot of the general waterfowl knowledge for this article comes from the section on keeping ducks and geese at PoultryKeeper.com .

Here are some guidelines for providing your ducks with excellent shelter –

  • Roaming – Ideally, you’ll allow your ducks to roam your entire yard.  If this is not viable, give them as large of an area as you can, ensuring that it is clean and safe from predators.  Also, use and area that is accessible to you for feeding, cleaning, and socializing.
  • Cages and Kennels – Do not fully cage your adult ducks unless it is to provide protection from predators.  If you must cage your ducks,  have the floor covered with bedding as a wire frame cage or even a flat metal surface can damage your ducks’ legs.  Also, make sure the gaps in the wire frame aren’t too wide so the ducks don’t stick their heads or wings through them, as this can result in injury.

If you use wire framing of any kind, ensure the floor has appropriate bedding and the wire gaps aren't too large.

If you use wire framing of any kind, ensure the floor has appropriate bedding and the wire gaps aren't too large.

  • Nighttime – Ducks should have access to a sheltered area for bedding and protection at night time.  If you bring in your ducks at night you greatly reduce the liklihood of an attack from predators and weather hazards.  A pen with a sheltered area usually works great.
  • Size – Avoid cramped enclosures that do not allow the duck to flap their wings and move around.  If you buy ducks at eFowl.com, their instructions suggests that ducklings need ½ square foot of floor space the first week, 1 square foot the second week, and 3 square feet after that.
  • Bedding – It is important that you use appropriate bedding to provide your ducks with adequate comfort and insulation.  Also, change bedding regularly to prevent mold from building up.  This can be hazardous to you and to your ducks.
    • Recommended Bedding Materials – hay, straw, fleece, newspaper strips (but not for the long term)
    • Materials to NOT use – wood chips, litter, anything that presents a choking hazard

Hay or Straw makes the best bedding.  Be sure to change it often.

Hay or Straw makes the best bedding. Be sure to change it often.

  • Ducklings – Keeping ducklings in a cardboard box for safety and warmth reasons is perfectly acceptable.  However, be sure that their bedding is not a flat surface, as this can cause spraddled or splay legs.
  • Heat – Even when conditions are mild or warm, ducks of up to about 4 weeks old need a steady heat source.  Usually this is a heat lamp placed high enough such that ducks will not burn themselves.

Great all-around duckling housing - note the heat lamps providing ample warmth

Great all-around duckling housing - note the heat lamps providing ample warmth

By being careful to avoid potential harzards, and providing your ducks with basic comforts you can create a safe any happy environment for your pets.

20 thoughts on “How do I house my Pet Duck?

  1. My name is CODY.I love my,pekin ducks,mallard ducks and khakie campells.

  2. Awesome! I’m glad to hear it Cody!

    Where did you get them? How old are they? What are their names?

  3. I am very close to buying some 5 day old ducklings.. I live on 70 acres and have a small pond. I am very confused, though , about how to protect them from predators… I KNOW we have occasional coydogs, raccoons, a mink once, a fox a few times, lots of hawks and owls. DO they need to be locked up at night? And in the upstate NY winter, Housed in some sort of bldg? Please advise me!? many thanks!

  4. We have 1 duck left of 7 ducklings we bought this spring. They were all female mallards. The other 6 flew away 1 at a time over a period of several weeks this summer. The one that has stayed has become a pet of the yard. She actually follows our German Sheperd dog around and eats her duck food in the mornings on the porch between the Sheperd and Beagle dog. She especially hangs around the Sheperd and makes funny noises while following her around. The dogs do not bother her, although the cats will sometimes run at her and she flies out of reach. But, most of the time the animals all hang around together in the yard and follow me around when I am working in the yard or garden. I have 2 dogs, 3 cats and a duck at my heels! My concern is in how to keep her safe and comfortable for the winter. She swims in a child pool in the yard and has never left the yard. I’m not sure if I need to keep her water to swim in all winter or not. We will build her a shelter next to the house with hay in it. She has been sleeping on the porch on the dog bed!

  5. Hi.
    My husband brought me home a duckling tonight. Do I take care of it like chickens. Can it go in with my 3 week old polish hens? Does it eat the same food?

    Thanks Peggy

  6. I have 6 pekin ducks who live in a very large chicken coop/external run. They hang out with rooster, chickens and pidgins within this enclosure. They have their own nesting area in the form of a winterized dog house just next to their 3 foot pool. They are just now getting to paying age and I have two females, Tatski and Rengi, as well as four males, Rukia, Rongiku, Ichigo and Kenpachi (aka Batman). I was referred here by a vet tech friend of mine. Nice info! Thanks for loving ducks as much as I do!

  7. Edit to above: that would be A rooster and laying age, not paying. ;)
    p.s. Kenpachi’s aka is batman because as a duckling he was yellow and wore a brown mask over his eyes. :)

  8. hi i live in the counrty in pa and about 7/8 months ago i came home to a box of 3 moscovy ducklings i housed them inside and fed them and then placed them outside in my fenced in side yard with my bantam chickens they got along very well going in and out of the chicken coop but i recently due to a huge mess the huge now ducks were making set up a pen right now i have a kiddie pool and plastic old little tykes play house and of course a large bottom of a critter cage for food dish n a second huge bottom for fresh water! my concern is the play house tho it is missing the main plastic door it has a full roof n open n close shutter windows but how can i make it better n warmer for my 3 ducks? i have the whole pen area covered with a layer of straw/hay n extra thick layer inside the play house but any ideas would be great im beyond open to suggestions please feel free to email im new at this whole duck thing n i will admit im clueless as to what im doing or not doing all 3 ducks are friendly n healthy n seem to be happy but i would love any ideas n help? eel free to email me at soniadimler@yahoo.com type ducks in subject bar so that i know tho thanks in advance im just in need of info n help im very willing to learn as i love all creatures big n small!

  9. We think they are so cute. We’re going to be getting 3 little ducks for our birthday. Ducks are our favorite animals

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