People are obsessed with duck poop. Well, okay, maybe more in my world than yours. But believe me in the pet duck world it is constantly, and I mean constantly, discussed. But, and here’s the thing, more by others than duck owners.
I follow a lot of duck owners/parents/pet perspective instagram accounts. And if their ducks live inside, are seen inside, seen sitting on someone, sitting on a sofa or chair (even outside garden furniture), running on a patio…. you get the idea, there is always (always!) a question about duck poop. (ie. ‘Don’t they….?’ Answer: ‘Do bears…?’)
The main worry for non-duck (or maybe new to duck) owners is this fear that my duck is going to sh*t. Somewhere. Merde. Now if it is a new or potential duck owner, I get it. You want to know what to expect.
Expect lots of poop. They have no ability to control their ‘movements’ so go when the need arises. You can’t train them. What you can do is diaper them, which involves a harness and a period pad. And changing. You can also put down towels or incontinence pads everywhere they like to be. And, you can watch what they eat.
Uh, oh. And while I am typing this I have just heard Maggie fly up onto the dining table in the kitchen. I have deliberately moved the cat and dog crunchies up on to the table, away from Maggie. She is addicted to cat crunchies. But duck poop after cat crunchies is not a pleasant thing. If duck poop ever is that is. Back in a minute…
Now, there is poop, and there is poop. What they eat certainly affects this. I won’t go into graphic detail. You simply have to look at your own diet and poop and you’ll get the idea. Or better yet, if you have/had a baby, remember when they moved from milk to solids and you were changing diapers? Yup, what anyone eats makes a difference, and that includes ducks.
When I get asked ‘don’t I mind cleaning up duck poop’? Well, duh, yes of course I do. But it is like this, again the baby analogy, if you have/had a baby you have to take care of it, this means changing it’s diaper. Of course, you don’t enjoy doing it. Maybe even dread doing it, but you do it. It’s part of the deal of parenting. Same goes for ducks (and other animals). And like baby diapers you sort of gain an immunity to the whole poop thing. That is why you may find or feel that house duck owners are sometimes a little blasé about duck poop in their responses.
But unlike a baby, ducks can’t be toilet trained. And they can live up to 12 years. Yup, didn’t know that did ya? (This is where you really want to think about having a house duck and/or not having your duck imprint on you. Non-imprinted ducks can happily, preferably live outside.)
Ducks can be sort of trained to hang out in certain places (where you have conveniently, strategically left a towel or pad. Though inevitably…). And also you simply get used to cleaning up after them. That’s the deal with having a house duck.
It was something we researched and knew when Maggie was hatching. And as an imprinted baby duckling, we also knew she would have to live with us in our home. We chose to go ahead with having Maggie, and although I can get through a lot of toilet tissue and always have a mop and bucket to hand, she has been worth every moment.
So as for #petducks on Instragram comments. I will never hesitate to answer them, as it means people are looking for knowledge and understanding. Even if it does always seem to be about duck poop.
Any questions? Feel free to ask below in the comments.
Or ask us at Pumpjack & Piddlewick on Instagram (whilst looking at cute pet pictures)
Or, for More About Maggie, our Pet Duck
And a few Pet Duck Facts