Key Findings from Our Survey on Duck Care

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Last updated on May 10th, 2024 at 07:33 pm

It’s with great excitement that we present the findings of our Survey on Duck Care, a collaborative effort that brought together 55 participants from 8 different countries. Through the power of social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, we were able to reach duck enthusiasts far and wide, gathering valuable insights into responsible duck ownership.

Participants generously shared their experiences and expertise, providing invaluable data on various topics, including flock size, breed diversity, feeding schedules, and housing preferences. This collective effort has enriched our understanding of duck care practices and fostered a sense of community among duck enthusiasts worldwide.

We extend our sincere gratitude to all who contributed to this survey, as your participation has been instrumental in shaping the results. Without further ado, let’s delve into the findings and uncover the fascinating trends and patterns observed across our global duck-loving community.

We will first break down the answers by questions and later dive into a deeper analysis of the collected data. Let’s get started:

Q1: In what country do you reside?

Join us as we explore the geographical distribution of our duck-loving community, as revealed by our survey participants.

Survey on Duck Care Results
Survey on Duck Care Results

Summary of Results: The majority of respondents hail from the United States, reflecting a strong presence of duck enthusiasts across various states. Additionally, we have participants from Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Spain, Hungary, Sweden, and beyond, highlighting the diverse international community united by our shared love for ducks. From North America to Europe and beyond, our survey captures the global tapestry of duck ownership.

We will see some variations based on geographic location, especially when it comes to duck breeds and commercial duck feed brands.

Q2: How many ducks do you have? 

Let’s dive into the data as we examine the flock sizes reported by our participants. From single ducks to sizable flocks, we’ll explore the numerical landscape of duck ownership as revealed by our survey.

Survey on Duck Care Results
Survey on Duck Care Results

Summary of Results: The survey presents a diverse range of flock sizes among our participants. Responses include a spectrum of numbers, from as low as 1 duck to as high as over 30 ducks.

The most commonly reported flock size is 11 to 15 ducks. While some participants maintain smaller groups of 2 to 9 ducks, others oversee larger flocks of 16 to 30 ducks or more.

These insights provide a clear snapshot of our community’s varied scale of duck ownership.

We have a flock of seven ducks and feel like this is a good size for lively group dynamics.

Q3: What is the composition of your flock?

Let’s take a closer look at the makeup of our participants’ duck flocks, as reported in the survey. Whether they’re managing mixed flocks with a combination of hens and drakes or opting for single-gender groups, we’ll uncover the various compositions that contribute to the diversity of duck communities within our community.

Survey on Duck Care Results

Summary of Results: The survey reveals diverse flock compositions among our participants. The majority of respondents maintain mixed flocks, consisting of both hens and drakes, reflecting a common approach to duck ownership.

However, there’s also a notable presence of single-gender flocks, with some participants exclusively keeping hens or drakes. Within the single-gender flock category, the majority keep hens only flocks.

As most of the participants, we also have a mixed flock. But this was rather by accident. Initially, we wanted a girls-only flock, but Simon (who was a Simone first) turned out to be a boy and not a girl.

Q4: What is your hen to drake ratio if you have a mixed flock?

Let’s analyze the composition of mixed flocks further by examining the reported hen-to-drake ratios among our participants. From balanced ratios to unique configurations tailored to individual circumstances, we’ll uncover the diverse approaches to managing mixed-gender duck communities within our community.

Summary of Results: Participants shared a variety of hen-to-drake ratios in their mixed flocks, reflecting the different dynamics and preferences in duck management.

The most common ratios are 2:1 and 4:1, indicating two hens for every drake or four for every drake, respectively. Other ratios include 3:1, 5:1, 6:1, and 7:1, with some participants having even ratios or varying numbers based on the composition of their flock.

Additionally, there are instances where the ratio is not yet determined due to the ducks’ age or where separation is maintained between males and females, especially in cases where they had more males than females.

Our ratio is 6:1, meaning we have six hens and one drake. So, we are well inside the average distribution.

What is a good hen-to-drake ratio, and why?

Having a balanced ratio of ducks in your flock is essential for their well-being and harmony. A general rule of thumb is maintaining a three to four-hen ratio for every drake.

This recommendation stems from the natural behavior of drakes, especially during breeding season and beyond. Drakes tend to be quite vigorous and enthusiastic in their mating pursuits, often displaying high levels of activity. However, when the number of hens is insufficient relative to the number of drakes, there is a risk of over-mating. This means that a single drake may attempt to mate with the available hens excessively, which can lead to stress and physical strain on the hens.

By ensuring a higher number of hens per drake, you can help distribute mating efforts more evenly among the flock, reducing the likelihood of over-mating and promoting a healthier and more balanced environment for your ducks.

In addition to the risk of over-mating, having too many drakes in proportion to hens can also lead to another challenge: drake fights. When the number of drakes outweighs the number of hens in a flock, competition for mating opportunities can intensify, potentially triggering aggressive behavior among the male ducks. These conflicts may manifest as territorial disputes or physical altercations between the drakes as they vie for dominance and access to females.

Drake fights pose a risk of injury to the ducks involved and create a tense and stressful environment for the entire flock. Therefore, maintaining an appropriate ratio of hens to drakes helps prevent over-mating and reduces the likelihood of aggressive encounters among male ducks, promoting a safer and more harmonious social dynamic within your duck community.

Q5: What breeds do you have? (select all that apply)

Analyzing the reported duck breeds from participants yields the following insights:

  1. Diverse Breed Selection: Participants exhibit a wide range of duck breed preferences, with various breeds represented in their flocks. Common breeds mentioned include Pekin, Cayuga, Khaki Campbell, Rouen, and Welsh Harlequin, showcasing the popularity of these breeds among duck enthusiasts.
  2. Mixed Breed Flocks: Some participants reported having mixed-breed flocks, indicating a preference for ducks with diverse genetic backgrounds or perhaps a commitment to rescuing ducks from ponds and shelters. This suggests a commitment to providing homes for ducks of various origins.
  3. Special Mentions: Certain participants mentioned less common breeds such as Magpie, Runner, Call, Muscovy, Saxony, and East Indie, demonstrating a penchant for unique and lesser-known duck varieties. Additionally, hybrid ducks were mentioned as having resulted from crossbreeding efforts.
  4. Rescue and Sanctuary Ducks: A few participants noted rescuing ducks or running sanctuaries, reflecting a commitment to animal welfare and providing a safe haven for ducks in need.
Survey on Duck Care Results

The most noted Duck Breeds were:

  1. Pekin Ducks: This breed appears to be one of the most commonly kept among participants, with many exclusively or primarily raising Pekin ducks.
  2. Cayuga Ducks: Another popular breed mentioned frequently, indicating a preference for their striking iridescent plumage and docile temperament.
  3. Khaki Campbell Ducks: Known for their prolific egg-laying abilities, Khaki Campbell ducks are also prevalent among participants, often kept alongside other breeds.
  4. Rouen Ducks: Several participants report seeing Rouen ducks, which are recognized for their resemblance to Mallards. These ducks add diversity to their flocks.
  5. Runner Ducks: With their distinctive upright posture, Runner ducks make an appearance in many participants’ flocks, showcasing their popularity among duck enthusiasts.
  6. Muscovy Ducks: Some participants mention Muscovy ducks, which are noted for their unique appearance and behavior. This adds further variety to the mix.
  7. Welsh Harlequin Ducks: A subset of participants favor Welsh Harlequin ducks, which are appreciated for their beauty and egg-laying prowess.
  8. Other Breeds and Mixed Breeds: Additionally, participants mentioned a variety of other breeds, including Ancona, Buff, Magpie, Saxony, East Indie, and Mallard, among others. Some participants also reported having mixed-breed ducks, indicating a mix of rescued ducks or ducks from various origins.

In case you are curious about our flock composition, we have two white crested ducks, two Cayugas, one Ancona, one Khaki Campbell, and one Silver Appleyard/Welsh Harlequin mix.

Q6: What is the primary reason for you to have ducks?

Analyzing the primary motivations behind duck ownership among participants yields quantitative insights into their reasons:

Survey on Duck Care Results
  1. Companionship: The majority of participants cite keeping ducks as pets as their primary reason for ownership, with a significant portion expressing a desire for companionship and the joy of having feathered friends in their households.
  2. Egg Production: A considerable number of participants prioritize egg production as their main reason for having ducks, highlighting the importance of fresh and nutritious duck eggs in their diets.
  3. Emotional Support: Several participants mention keeping ducks as emotional support animals, underscoring the therapeutic benefits of caring for these gentle creatures and their positive impact on mental well-being.
  4. Pest Control: While a smaller proportion of participants mention pest control as their primary reason for owning ducks, it remains a notable motivation for doing so, particularly for managing insect populations in outdoor environments.
  5. Rescue/Sanctuary: A significant minority of participants note rescuing ducks or running sanctuaries as their primary reason for ownership, emphasizing their commitment to animal welfare and providing a safe haven for ducks in need.

These quantitative insights offer a comprehensive understanding of the diverse motivations driving duck ownership, highlighting the varied roles that ducks play in the lives of their human companions.

And if you didn’t already know, we also keep our ducks as pets. Krümel, in particular, is very much like a pet, as she even lives part-time inside the house and enjoys vacations with us.

Q7: How big is your yard/property?

Before delving into the size of yards and properties reported by participants, let’s set the stage for our exploration. Understanding the space available for duckkeeping provides valuable context for assessing the scale and scope of duck care practices within our community.

The size of the yard or property where ducks are kept plays a crucial role in shaping their living conditions and overall well-being. From compact urban gardens to sprawling rural homesteads, the available space influences everything from flock size to housing arrangements.

Let’s explore the diverse range of yard and property sizes reported by participants, shedding light on the spatial considerations in duck ownership.

Survey on Duck Care Results

Analyzing the reported sizes of yards and properties from participants offers valuable insights into the spatial dynamics of duck care within our community:

  1. Less than 1/4 Acre (1000 square meters): A notable proportion of participants report having yards or properties smaller than 1/4 acre, indicating a preference for duck keeping in more compact urban or suburban settings.
  2. 1/4 to 1/2 Acre (1000 to 2000 square meters): Another common category includes properties ranging from 1/4 to 1/2 acre, suggesting a moderate amount of space for duck keeping that allows for some freedom of movement and exploration.
  3. 1/2 to 1 Acre (2000 to 4000 square meters): Participants with yards or properties in this size range enjoy a more spacious environment for their ducks, providing ample room for grazing, foraging, and socializing.
  4. 1 to 5 Acres (4000 square meters to 2 hectares): A significant number of participants report having larger yards or properties spanning between 1 and 5 acres, offering expansive grounds for duck keeping activities and potentially accommodating larger flocks.
  5. More than 5 Acres (more than 2 hectares): Some participants indicate owning extensive properties exceeding 5 acres, providing abundant space for ducks to roam freely and engage in natural behaviors.

Overall, the reported yard and property sizes reflect diverse spatial configurations, catering to duck enthusiasts’ varied needs and preferences. From intimate urban gardens to sprawling rural estates, each setting presents unique opportunities and challenges for providing optimal care and enrichment for ducks.

We live in a suburban neighborhood with a small yard of less than 1/4 acre. Seems like we are in good company.

Q8: Do you let your ducks free range?

Before delving into the specifics of participants’ free-ranging practices for their ducks, let’s introduce the topic to provide context for our analysis. Understanding how participants manage their ducks’ freedom of movement sheds light on their approach to providing enrichment and safety within their environments.

The decision to allow ducks to free range or confine them to specific areas is a crucial aspect of duck care. It impacts their physical health and well-being and influences their ability to engage in natural behaviors and explore their surroundings. Let’s explore the diverse approaches to free-ranging practices reported by participants, highlighting the considerations involved in balancing freedom and safety for ducks.

Now, let’s examine the reported free-ranging practices to gain insights into how participants manage the movement of their ducks within their environments.

Survey on Duck Care Results

Summary of Free-Ranging Practices:

Analyzing the reported free-ranging practices among participants provides valuable insights into how ducks are managed within their environments:

  1. Supervised Free Range: A significant number of participants allow their ducks to free range but only under supervision. This approach ensures that ducks can explore their surroundings while minimizing risks from predators or other hazards.
  2. Fenced or Aviary: Some participants mention having fenced yards or aviaries where ducks can roam freely within a confined space. This setup offers protection from predators while still allowing for some level of movement and exploration.
  3. Unsupervised Free Range: A smaller proportion of participants indicate that their ducks can free range without supervision, giving them unrestricted access to their surroundings. This approach allows ducks to exhibit natural behaviors but may entail higher risks from predators or other dangers.
  4. Combination of Supervised and Confined Areas: Several participants mentioned dividing their property into designated areas where ducks can free range under supervision or within fenced enclosures. This approach combines the benefits of free-ranging with the security of confinement when necessary.
  5. Limited or Rare Free Range: A few participants mention limited or rare instances of free-ranging, indicating that their ducks are primarily confined to specific areas or only allowed supervised free range on occasion.

Overall, the reported free-ranging practices demonstrate a spectrum of approaches to managing duck movement within various environments. Participants prioritize a balance between freedom and safety, ensuring that their ducks can engage in natural behaviors while minimizing risks from predators and other potential hazards.

The level of protection needed for ducks largely depends on the purpose of your ducks. Among those who have ducks as pets (us included), you can see that they prioritize the safety of their beloved feathered friends.

Factors such as geographical location play a significant role, as varying predators pose different threats. This influences the extent to which our flock requires safeguarding and whether they can roam freely without constant supervision.

Q9: Do you have a run?

Understanding whether participants provide runs for their ducks sheds light on their approach to balancing confinement and freedom within their environments.

A run is a designated enclosed area where ducks can safely exercise and roam, protected from predators and other hazards. It serves as an extension of their living space, offering opportunities for physical activity and enrichment. Let’s explore whether participants provide runs for their ducks and how this aspect of their care influences their overall management practices.

Survey on Duck Care Results

Summary of Run Presence:

Analyzing the reported presence of runs for ducks among participants provides insights into the provision of safe and enclosed areas for their ducks:

  1. Presence of Runs: The majority of participants indicate that they have a run for their ducks, highlighting a commitment to providing designated areas where ducks can exercise and roam while remaining protected from potential dangers.
  2. Variety in Run Sizes and Types: Participants mention a variety of run setups, including traditional enclosed runs with roofs, large play areas with pools, and partially enclosed spaces without roofs. This diversity in run configurations reflects the participants’ adaptability in catering to the needs and preferences of their ducks.
  3. Absence of Runs: A minority of participants report not having runs for their ducks. This may suggest alternative arrangements for providing exercise and enrichment, such as supervised free-ranging or access to fenced yards or aviaries.

Overall, the reported presence of runs underscores the importance of providing safe and enclosed spaces for ducks to engage in physical activity and enrichment while minimizing risks from predators and other hazards. Participants’ diverse approaches to run provision reflect their commitment to ensuring the well-being and safety of their feathered companions.

We have our ducks in a hoop coop, which serves as a run (even if the name says coop). This keeps them safe from predators throughout the day when we are not there to safeguard them.

Q10: Where do your ducks sleep at night?

Where ducks sleep at night is a crucial aspect of their care, influencing their security, comfort, and overall well-being. Whether they rest inside predator-proof coops or houses, outdoors on pasture, or even inside the owner’s house, each sleeping arrangement reflects different considerations and preferences. Let’s explore the diverse sleeping arrangements reported by participants and their implications for duck management and care.

Survey on Duck Care Results

Summary of Duck Sleeping Arrangements:

Analyzing the reported sleeping arrangements for ducks among participants reveals diverse practices in providing shelter and security during the night:

  1. Inside Predator-Proof Coop/Duck House: The majority of participants indicate that their ducks sleep inside predator-proof coops or duck houses. This setup offers protection from predators and adverse weather conditions while providing a designated space for rest and nesting.
  2. Outside on the Pasture: Some participants mention that their ducks sleep outside on the pasture. This arrangement suggests a preference for natural sleeping environments, although it may entail higher risks from predators or exposure to the elements.
  3. Inside Predator-Proof Run: A few participants report that their ducks sleep inside predator-proof runs. While similar to coops or houses, runs may offer more open space for movement while still providing protection from predators.
  4. Inside the Owner’s House: A small number of participants mentioned that their ducks sleep inside the owner’s house. This arrangement reflects a close bond between owners and their ducks, although it may not be practical for all households.
  5. Variety of Sleeping Locations: Some participants describe a combination of sleeping locations, including coops, runs, yards, and even sunrooms connected to the house. This flexibility allows ducks to choose their preferred sleeping spots based on weather conditions and personal preferences.
  6. Adaptation to Weather Conditions: A notable observation is that ducks may not always utilize their designated sleeping areas, especially during warmer months or when it’s raining. This behavior highlights their adaptability to environmental changes and their preference for comfort.

Overall, the reported sleeping arrangements reflect a balance between providing security and comfort for ducks while allowing for natural behaviors and environmental adaptation. Participants’ varied approaches demonstrate their commitment to meeting the diverse needs of their feathered companions.

Six of our seven ducks sleep in their duck house. We like this arrangement because it gives them extra protection, plus they have a cozy place to rest and spend their nights. Krümel is a spoiled little baby and sleeps inside the house with us in her own little area.

Q11: Do you use anything else to protect your flock?

Protecting a flock from predators and other dangers is a top priority for duck owners. Employing various protective measures ensures the safety and well-being of the flock, allowing ducks to thrive in their environment. Let’s explore the diverse strategies participants use to protect their flocks, ranging from physical barriers to innovative deterrents.

Summary of Protective Measures for Flocks:

Analyzing the reported protective measures employed by participants reveals a range of strategies aimed at safeguarding flocks from predators and other potential threats:

  1. Physical Barriers:
    • Fencing: Many participants utilize fencing to create physical barriers around their flock’s living area, restricting access to potential predators.
    • Electric Fence: Some participants implement electric fencing, providing an additional deterrent to predators.
    • Aviary Netting: A few participants use aviary netting to cover their flock’s garden or pond, preventing aerial predators from accessing the area.
  2. Guard Animals:
    • Guard Geese: Several participants rely on guard geese to protect their flock, leveraging the geese’s natural instincts to deter predators.
    • Dogs: Others employ dogs, such as German Shepherds or Bassett Hounds, to patrol the area and deter predators from approaching the flock.
  3. Technology and Surveillance:
    • Motion Sensor Lights: Some participants install motion sensor lights to illuminate the area and deter nocturnal predators.
    • Cameras: A few participants use cameras for surveillance, allowing them to monitor their flock and detect potential threats remotely.
    • Noise-Making Devices: Participants utilize noise-making devices, such as air horns, baby monitors, or water pumps, to scare away predators.
    • Guns: A few participants mentioned that they have firearms and that they are willing to use them to protect their ducks against larger predators.
  4. Innovative Deterrents:
    • Attracting Corvids: One participant attracts corvids to their property in hopes that they will defend against raptors, demonstrating an innovative approach to predator control.
    • Water Noise: Another participant uses water noise generated by a pump to create a deterrent for predators around the pond.
  5. Climate-Controlled Enclosures:
    • Some participants have climate-controlled enclosures attached to their houses, providing a safe and secure environment for their flock, especially during inclement weather or predator threats.

Overall, the reported protective measures highlight the proactive approaches taken by participants to safeguard their flocks and ensure their security and well-being. By employing a combination of physical barriers, guard animals, technology, and innovative deterrents, participants demonstrate their commitment to providing a safe and secure environment for their feathered companions.

We have several cameras inside our yard, the coop, and the run to monitor what’s happening. We also have one motion-activated light. The run itself has several security features, which are outlined in another post.

Q12: What is your ‘duck pond’ look like? (select all that apply)

Ensuring our feathered friends have access to water is paramount to their well-being and natural behaviors. In this section, we delve into the diverse ways our participants have crafted duck ponds, reflecting their dedication to creating enriching environments for their ducks.

Let’s explore the various pond configurations and innovative solutions adopted by our duck-loving community.

Survey on Duck Care Results

Summary of Duck Pond Configurations:

Participants reported a variety of setups for their duck ponds, showcasing the diverse ways in which they provide water access for their feathered friends:

  1. Water Bowls and Troughs:
    • Many participants use water bowls and troughs to provide water for their ducks, which is a simple and accessible option.
  2. Kiddie Pools:
    • Small kiddie pools are popular among participants, offering a designated area for ducks to swim and splash around.
  3. Large Pet Pools:
    • Several participants opt for larger pet pools, providing ample space for ducks to swim and engage in natural behaviors.
  4. Real Ponds:
    • Some participants are fortunate to have real ponds on their property, albeit varying in size, which serve as natural water sources for their ducks.
  5. Innovative Solutions:
    • A few participants employ innovative solutions, such as sunken aluminum tubs, bathtubs, or 275-gallon plastic fish ponds with waterfalls and filters, showcasing creativity in providing water for their ducks.
    • One participant mentioned using a steam on their property to provide water access for their ducks.
  6. Future Plans:
    • Some participants are in the process of building ponds for their ducks, indicating their commitment to enhancing the living environment for their feathered companions.

Overall, the reported pond configurations demonstrate the thoughtful consideration participants give to meeting their ducks’ water needs, ranging from simple setups like water bowls to more elaborate solutions such as real ponds or customized pond constructions.

We have a combination of bowls, buckets, troughs, and a large pet pool. That way, ducks always have enough water to drink, swim, and play.

Q13: What brand of commercial duck food do you feed your Ducks currently?

Discovering the right nutrition for our beloved ducks is key to their health and vitality. In this segment, we unveil the array of commercial duck food brands favored by our participants.

From trusted names like Mazuri and Nutrena to specialized options like Proline and Kalmbach, let’s delve into the diverse feeding choices embraced by our duck enthusiasts.

Survey on Duck Care Results

The analysis of the data reveals a variety of commercial duck food brands being utilized by duck owners. Some prominent brands mentioned include Mazuri, Nutrena, Purina, Kalmbach, and Dumor, indicating their popularity and trust among duck enthusiasts.

Sure, here’s the breakdown in a table format:

Commercial Duck Food BrandNumber of Mentions
Heygates Duck & Goose food1
Fruit and veg (alternative)1
Layer & pellets1
Feed n Fire (Australian)1
Hi-pro feeds1
Golden yolk by Ridley1
Bar Ale1
Total mentions of commercial duck food brands: 53

Interestingly, alternative feeding methods, such as mixing homemade food, utilizing wild bird seed, or opting for locally sourced options from granaries or feed stores, are also mentioned. This showcases the diversity in feeding approaches and highlights the adaptability of duck owners in catering to their ducks’ nutritional needs.

Interestingly, Mazuri was more popular among those who kept their ducks as pets or emotional support animals, as well as in rescues.

Furthermore, the mention of regional or country-specific brands, like Feed n Fire from Australia or a Swedish brand, reflects the global reach of duck keeping and the varied availability of commercial food options in different regions.

Overall, the data underscores the importance of providing quality nutrition to ducks and the range of choices available to duck owners, allowing them to tailor their feeding regimen to suit their ducks’ requirements and preferences.

When we first had ducks, we started with Kalmbach feed, but at some point, we switched to Purina because it was better available and a bit cheaper. We felt like it met the nutritional requirements, and the ducks also liked it better. However, we have recently also bought Mazuri maintenance feed. We heard from many pet duck parents that they prefer it (even if it is considerably more expensive) because it has better quality and nutrition and is better balanced for pet ducks. Our ducks are not the biggest fans (yet), so we are mixing both feeds to get them used to the new one. Ducks are creatures of habit and do not like new things. We found it interesting that this feeding preference is also reflected in this poll.

Q14: Have you always used the same brand? 

The responses indicate a mixed pattern regarding the consistency of using the same brand of duck food. While some participants have remained loyal to a single brand throughout their duck-keeping journey, others have opted for variety, occasionally switching brands.

Survey on Duck Care Results

Out of the respondents, 29 indicated that they have not always used the same brand of duck food, while 26 mentioned sticking with a consistent brand. This suggests that a significant portion of duck owners are open to trying different brands based on various factors such as availability, nutritional content, or personal preferences.

Q15: If your answer was no, please tell us why you have switched.

In our quest to understand the diverse experiences of duck owners, we were intrigued to uncover the reasons behind brand switches in commercial duck food.
Respondents’ reasons for switching brands of duck food vary, and several factors influence their decision. These reasons include concerns about egg production, dissatisfaction with the quality or texture of the food, the availability of the preferred brand, cost considerations, and issues with specific health conditions such as angel wing.

  • Desire to Try Something New: Some respondents switched brands out of curiosity or a desire to explore different options.
  • Egg Production: Concerns about egg production influenced some respondents to switch brands, with Mazuri being perceived as providing better nutrition in this regard.
  • Texture and Quality: Dissatisfaction with the texture or quality of the food, such as dustiness or the presence of powder instead of pellets, prompted several respondents to seek alternatives.
  • Availability and Convenience: Factors such as availability at local stores and ease of procurement influenced brand switches, especially when the preferred brand was not readily accessible.
  • Cost Considerations: Cost played a role in some decisions to switch brands, with respondents opting for alternatives that offered cost savings.
  • Health Concerns: Issues such as angel wing or feather quality prompted switches to brands believed to offer better nutritional content or address specific health conditions.
  • Preference of Ducks: Some respondents switched brands based on the preferences of their ducks, choosing options that their flock seemed to enjoy more.
  • Availability During COVID-19: Challenges in sourcing food during the COVID-19 pandemic led some respondents to switch brands for practical reasons.
  • External Factors: Factors such as the availability of organic or specialty feeds, local farm store options, and the presence of birds and squirrels around the food storage influenced brand switches.

Overall, the reasons for switching reflect the diverse needs and priorities of duck owners in ensuring the health and well-being of their flock.

Q16: What category of commercial duck food are you feeding?

It’s interesting to see the variety of commercial duck food being used by duck owners.

Survey on Duck Care Results

While maintenance feed appears to be the most common choice, a significant number of respondents also opt for layer feed, especially considering the emphasis on egg production.

It’s notable that some owners tailor their feeding regimen based on specific needs, such as providing maintenance and layer feed mixtures or incorporating starter feed for younger ducks.

CategoryNumber of Respondents
Wild bird seed1
Males get Maintenance; females get Breeder1
Finisher pellets1
Maintenance, breeder, and starter as appropriate1
Maintenance, layer mix2
Maintenance and layer mix due to laying issues1
Both maintenance and layer feed1

This diversity highlights the importance of understanding individual nutritional requirements and preferences when it comes to caring for ducks.

We feed maintenance feed to our mixed flock. We do not prioritize egg laying and are interested in a balanced, low-protein diet for our ducks. We want them to be happy and healthy and do not want to risk them becoming overweight or exhausted too much by egg laying. Meanwhile, layer feed has a higher calcium content and a higher protein content than maintenance feed. To provide sufficient calcium, we provide oyster shells to our hens.

We recently conducted a very deep dive into duck nutrition and invite you to read more about it when you are interested in it.

Q17: How often do you feed your ducks commercial duck food?

In exploring the feeding habits of duck owners, we delved into their practices regarding commercial duck food provision. Understanding how duck enthusiasts nourish their feathered companions sheds light on the diverse strategies employed to maintain the health and well-being of their flocks.

Let’s dive into the data to uncover the various feeding routines and preferences among duck owners.

Survey on Duck Care Results

The data reveals that most duck owners prefer to feed their ducks throughout the day, with options ranging from 24/7 availability to daytime access only.

Some owners opt for specific feeding times, such as once or twice a day. Additionally, there are variations in feeding practices, with some owners offering pellets in the morning and evening while others allow ducks to forage freely in the yard.

Here’s a breakdown of the feeding frequency based on the responses:

  • My Ducks have food available 24/7: 25 responses.
  • My Ducks have food available all day long (but not during the night): 16 responses
  • 2 times a day: 14 responses
  • 1 time a day: 9 responses
  • Pellets in the morning and evening and then whatever else they forage from the yard: 1 response
  • We fill them up in a big pan or bowl, and sometimes, they last all day. Other times, they finish it quickly: 1 response.

Overall, the findings highlight the diverse approaches to feeding ducks among owners. We used to have food available for our flock 24/7, but we changed that a few months ago. Now, they only get food throughout the day and only a specific amount. When the food is empty, we won’t refill it, but most days, they leave some.

The intent here is to keep them healthy and minimize the risk of becoming overweight. Ducks would probably eat all the time, mainly out of boredom or convenience, when the food is always there. This shift was inspired by Susan and Aaron from Tyrant Farms’ interview with Dr. Scott Echols on Duck nutrition and healthcare. I highly recommend watching this interview!

Q18: What else do you feed your ducks? Check all that applies.

It’s fascinating to explore the varied diet of ducks, isn’t it? Ducks enjoy diverse foods beyond their commercial feed, from garden greens to protein-packed grubs. Let’s delve into the supplemental treats and nourishing delights that duck enthusiasts provide for their feathered friends.

Survey on Duck Care Results

Summary of Additional Duck Feed:

From this data, it’s clear that duck owners supplement their ducks’ diets with a variety of items, including vegetables, fruits, protein sources like mealworms or grubs, and additional calcium sources like oyster shells or eggshells.

Almost everyone supplements their diet with fresh veggies, which is very healthy for ducks as it supplies them with important minerals, vitamins, and fiber.

Some also offer grains, pasta, and even occasional treats like cheese or fast food.

Our ducks get veggies for breakfast and for dinner. They also get treats like mealworms and grubs, sometimes fruits, and fish. As mentioned earlier, we also give them a free choice of oyster shells.

Duck Names

We Asked to share the names of the ducks. Not everyone did, but looking at the names provided, there are some interesting patterns that emerge:

  1. Food and Drinks: Several names are inspired by food and drinks, such as Cheese, Mocha, Espresso, Cappuccino, Mimosa, Tiramisu, Nutmeg, Flat White, Pickles, Clam, Oreo, Honey, Cinnamon, Quackery-Daiquiri, Waffles, Maple, Peach, and Cocoa. This suggests that owners might have a fondness for these items or find inspiration from their ducks’ behavior or appearance.
  2. Nature and Plants: Names like Ivy, Willow, Oak, Petunia, Poppy, Tulip, Daisy, Rosie, Iris, and Lily indicate a connection to nature and flora. This could reflect the owners’ appreciation for the natural world or the ducks’ habitat.
  3. Cartoons and Characters: Some names seem to be inspired by cartoons, characters, or popular culture, such as Daffy, Hulk, Reba, Bobby, Dolly, Yoshi, Harley, Lady Macbeth, Bowser, Rosalina, and Peach. This suggests that owners might have drawn inspiration from their favorite shows, games, or movies.
  4. Traditional or Human Names: Many ducks are given traditional or human names like George, Millie, Ralph, Dennis, Lily, Chloe, Jake, Ellie, Wanda, Steve, Betsy, Emma, Junior, Aggie, Marv, Philip, Zeke, Mary, Grace, Kelly, Louie, and Paige. This could indicate a desire to personalize the ducks as members of the family or to reflect their unique personalities.
  5. Creative and Unique Names: Some names are more creative or unique, such as Fidget, Margartweeter, Mr. Quackers, Whoop Whoop, Andre 3000, Ms Peek, and Freckles. These names showcase the owners’ imagination and sense of humor, adding a playful element to their pets’ identities.

These patterns highlight the diverse sources of inspiration behind naming ducks, ranging from personal preferences to cultural influences and creativity.

Here are all the names that were provided:

13, 26, Aflac, Aggie, Annabelle, Andre 3000, Apricot, Barney, Barron, Bean, Belle, Betsy, Blackbeard, Bobby, Bowser, Brownie (multiple mentions), Bubba, Bubbles, Buttercup, Callum, Cappuccino (multiple mentions), Cayenne, Chester Sugarmont, Cheesecake (Cheese), Chloe, Cinnamon, Cleo, Coco, Cora, Cookie, Daffy, Daphne (multiple mentions), Darkwing, Dennis, Dewey, Disco, Dolly, Donald, Drake, Ducati, Earl, Effie, Ellie, Emily, Emma, Eric, Erica, Ernie, Esmi, Eydie, Fawn, Feisty, Fidget, Frankie (multiple mentions), George, Gertie, Ginger, Ginni, Goldie, Gosalyn, Grace, Grandma, Gunther, Harley, Hazel, Heather, Hermione, Hopper, Hulk, Indigo, Iris, Ivy (multiple mentions), Jake, Jemima (multiple mentions), Jim Bo, Loofah, Junior, Kelly, Kentucky, Kirby, Lancelot, Lavender, Libby, Lily (multiple mentions), Little Fluffs, Little Quack, Louie (multiple mentions), Lumpy Duck Princess, Luna, Lola, Lovey, Louise (multiple mentions), Lucy, Luma, MacKenzie, Mallory, Malachi, Maple (multiple mentions), Margaretweeter, Marv, Mary, Melinda, Millie, Mimosa (multiple mentions), Ming Ming, Molly, Mr. Quackers, Mocha (multiple mentions), Morty (If considering cute names), Ms Peek, Munchkin, Myrtle, Needy, Nibbles, Nikki (Pumpernickel), Noodle, Nutmeg, Oak, Oreo (multiple mentions), Paige, Peace, Peanut, Pedro, Philip, Pickles (multiple mentions), Pip (multiple mentions), Pops, Poppy, Puddles (multiple mentions), Quackers (multiple mentions), Quackery-Daiquiri, Quasi, Ralph, Reggie, Reba, Reggie, Remy, RonRon, Rosalie (multiple mentions), Rosie (multiple mentions), Ruby, Ruthie, Sage, Sakura, Sandy, Sammy, Seamus, Shella, Sonny, Sontucky, Spice, Splash, Squirt, Steve, Sugar, Sunny, Sweet P., Takoda, Tilly (multiple mentions), Tiramisu, Tulip, Turtle, Vanderquack (Webbigail), Venus, Violet, Waddles, Wanda, Willow, Winnie, Yoshi (multiple mentions), Zeke.

Concluding Remarks on our Survey on Duck Care Results

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated in the duck survey! Your contributions have provided valuable insights into duck ownership practices and have strengthened our duck community. Sharing your experiences, feeding habits, and flock compositions helped us better understand how we care for our feathered friends. Together, we continue to learn and grow, fostering a supportive community dedicated to the well-being of our beloved ducks.

The key findings of the duck survey reveal a diverse range of practices among duck owners:

  1. Feeding Habits: Ducks are fed a variety of commercial duck foods, with maintenance and layer feeds being the most common. Many owners also supplement their ducks’ diets with fresh fruits, vegetables, mealworms, and other treats.
  2. Feeding Frequency: Ducks have food available throughout the day, with some owners offering pellets in the morning and evening. Others feed their ducks once or twice a day, while a few provide food 24/7.
  3. Hen to Drake Ratio: The ratio of hens to drakes in mixed flocks varies, with 2:1 and 4:1 being the most common ratios reported. Some owners separate their male and female ducks, while others maintain an even balance within the flock.
  4. Naming Practices: Ducks are given a wide array of names, ranging from food and drink-inspired names like Cheese and Cappuccino to more traditional names like Rosie and Jake. Some owners have named their ducks based on themes or personal preferences.
  5. Community Engagement: The survey underscores the strong sense of community among duck owners, with participants eagerly sharing their experiences and insights to support one another in the care of their ducks.

Overall, the survey provides a comprehensive snapshot of duck ownership practices, highlighting the dedication and care that duck enthusiasts invest in their feathered companions.

How do you participate in the survey on Duck Care?

Our Duck survey is still open! If you have ducks yourself and have not participated yet, you are invited to answer the questions we discussed above to give us an even bigger picture. The more participants we can reach, our results will be more representative. Once we reach 100 participants, I will update the statistics on this post.

Thanks again, everyone! Let us know if you have any additional questions or suggestions for this page. We want to continue to be a valuable resource for fellow duck parents.

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Melanie (Duck Mom)
Melanie (Duck Mom)

Introducing Melanie, the passionate soul behind Ducks of Providence, your ultimate duck haven. With her flock of feathered friends by her side - Emma, Hertha, Schnatterinchen, Penny, Simon, Ronja, and Krümel - she leads readers on a quacking adventure like no other. Dive into the wonders of duck keeping with Melanie as your guide, from practical tips to heartwarming tales. Whether you're a seasoned pro or dipping your toes into the duck pond for the first time, Melanie is here to make your journey as delightful as a sunny day at the pond. Let's quack together and celebrate the joy of duck keeping!

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