If you need good excuses to have ducks look no further. I provide 8 reasons you could or should have ducks here at PumpjackPiddlewick

I am sure you woke up this morning contemplating, nay needing, good excuses to have ducks. Well, I am here to help. I have ducks. I know ducks. And I can offer you 8 reasons to have ducks. So let me help you out.

My Favourite Reason

This reason is actually what inspired writing this post. And I can tell you it’s not what most people would even think of if they were trying to decide to have ducks. It is that they get you up and outside in the morning. Okay, early in the morning.

I always wanted to be a morning person. And I became one when I started taking care of ducks. You see, like chickens, they need letting out, and thus in, of their night time habitat each and every day. This requires, getting up each morning to enjoy greeting the dawn with them.

Honestly, there is a pure joy in this aspect of having ducks. Even on those horrible icky mornings, I like the fact they got me up and outside. A daily dose of vitamin D. There have been countless times I have grumbled my way outside, only to end up laughing at their lovely antics. And who doesn’t wish to start their day with a laugh? It is truly a wonderful way to start the day. (Sometimes so much so, I take a cup of coffee with me and simply sit and watch the morning begin with them.)

Start the Day Laughing

So speaking of laughing, my ducks are always making me laugh. Every day. Whether it’s their enthusiasm in greeting me. Or the way they run around the garden. Or simply the quiet simplicity of sitting, beak tucked into feathers and having a nap.

If I ever need a pick me up, they are guaranteed to provide. I just have to go into the garden and grab a shovel or do some weeding, and they are there to help me. They are certain to get right underfoot in their enthusiasm for worm hunting. (Which to them is the only reason I would wish to be in the garden.)

They are More Independent

For some of you this is going to be a really good excuse to have ducks. Their independence. Of all the animals you may wish to have, I think they are the most independent. Sure, as a responsibility this does not mean you can ignore them. (There is that getting up each morning to let them out thing already mentioned.) But beyond supplying food and water, that is all they really need from you.

I have created a large enclosure they live in, so in fact it is not necessary for me to let them out each morning (though I still start each day with them). I set this up so I am able to go away overnight if I wish or need to. A place where they are safe from predators, whilst still being able to roam.

Ducks are not chow down eaters like dogs or cats, so put out enough food and you are good to go. They will also forage for additional bugs, worms and more beyond what you give them. They are flock animals, and as you are part of their flock they want nothing more than you spend all your time with them. But, on the flip side, if you can’t, they are simply happy for the time you do spend with them.

Ease of Care

So following on from the above, ducks are super easy to take care of. As long as they have water to drink and dip their beaks in, they are good. My routine with my ducks is simple First, it’s a routine, so aids in the ease. Duck are exceptionally routine orientated.

I visit each morning to top up their food, change their drinking water. Once a week I change their pond water. (Eventually I plan a circulating pond system, which will negate this once a week chore.) Then I visit each evening for a mealy worm treat and top up drinking water if needed.

So the time I choose to spend with them, is just that. Time chosen to enjoy their company. There are so little chores involved with them, that I am left with all the time I wish or have to simply enjoy their company.

Compared to Chickens

Often when contemplating ‘farm’ animals for the backyard, the mind slides to chickens. And I do love keeping chickens too. But. I am always more cautious and contemplative about chickens than I am about ducks. Chickens require a bit more work than ducks. There is more cleaning, of their nesting boxes and night time habitat.

And for me, the biggest issue to consider, chickens will decimate a garden if left free to roam it. Unlike ducks. Ducks prefer the bugs, slugs, worms, grubs and caterpillars to your vegetables. Saying that, if your ducks have a passion for a particular food, you may have to fence it off.

I am lucky in that my ducks have been brought up to prefer Batavia lettuce, so if I grow other things, they are less likely to eat my produce. However that does not mean they aren’t above a nibble. Ducks like greens. And if you don’t provide something, they will find it elsewhere. So if you don’t want your ducks eating your foliage or grass it’s a matter of making sure you provide plentiful greens.

Esoteric Excuses to Have Ducks

Need more excuses to have ducks? Well, they are very intelligent. Very. They know to come get you if there is danger and they need your help. Truly. I have experienced this. And not just me. Have a search on the internet and you will find various incidences of ducks asking for help. Particularly mother ducks if something has happened to their babies.

They recognise and remember things, for a long time. Again, experience has shown me that my ducks remember people who have visited, at least up to 5 years later. They recognise that certain tools mean certain things. My ducks know that if I pick up the shovel, this means digging in the garden, and thus worms. So great excitement is shown in body language and voice when I pick up a spade.

Empathy

This one was truly a surprise to me when I first discovered it. Many of us have stories of pets that have supported us through some emotional times. But did you know ducks are amazingly empathic? Yup. To my mind certainly more than cats, and I would even argue more than dogs.

And not just empathic towards humans, but particularly other ducks. I have seen this most clearly when one of my ducks dies. When my little Beepbeep died, we had a wake and the other ducks came around and sat quietly. Sir Studly, her mate, sat in vigilance over her. They took the time to mourn, and to mourn together.

The level of empathy does seem to be heightened by imprinting. If the duck is imprinted on you, or another duck or animal, they are more in-tuned to their emotions. Which I guess sort of makes sense, in that imprinting is about an emotional link or bond to another.

Eggs

It would be remiss of me if I didn’t include eggs as one of the excuses. When we think of eggs, or provision of eggs, we always think of chickens. It’s natural. But ducks too lay eggs. And like chicken eggs, they can be eaten.

Is there a difference in taste? Nope. In fact, unless you did a side by side blind tasting you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Duck eggs have a higher fat content, so do taste a little richer. They are wonderful for baking due to this. (Here are some egg recipes.)

Now ducks are not like chickens in that they don’t produce eggs as readily. They are seasonal layers. Truly laying to procreate. So anticipate eggs as the weather warms after winter, and until early summer. Indoor ducks, or ducks that live in warmer climates may lay more. It is the warmer temperatures that triggers the need to lay eggs and thus brood.

Nothing’s Perfect

But nothing in this world is perfect. And if there is a downside to ducks it is their level of mess. You can have ducks as pets, but ideally they lead more of their life outdoors. And honestly, your floors will thank you for this. Ducks poop. A lot. So if you wish to save yourself a lot of cleaning, then it is in your interest to create a wonderful home for them outside.

And be aware, that if you let a duck imprint on you, this will open a whole host of other areas you will need to deal with. Less independence for certain. They effectively think of you as Mom, so like a baby/toddler/child/teenager they will require you to take the time to look after them. I equate it to a 24/7 year of your life before you will see them graduate and leave your nest.

PS: Loving Ducks?

You will find more of my duck tails (get it?), insights and tips in my Duck 101 writings. If you find them useful, or simply enjoy their stories, please consider nourishing my writings by joining me on Patreon.

I also have a selection of duck gifts available for you, or those you know, who love ducks. Some vintage, some my own designs, all unique.

Simply click on a photo to see more…

2024-02-13

5 Comments

  1. I love this. I’ll admit I know very little about ducks other than the ducklings are adorable. I saw that video of the mom duck asking for human help, too. I’m here via Threads so know that at least in one case someone found your blog.

    1. Author

      Thank you and thank you. I have (way too) many posts on ducks, but also on life here in France. I hope to ‘see’ you again here.

      1. You betcha and stop by my blog for tales about suburban midwest life + a little more.

  2. Hello Alyeca! I also found your blog from your Threads post, and I’m glad I did. Ever since I took French in high school and college, I’ve been fascinated with all things French, so I’ll definitely be checking out some of your Life in France posts. The duck information was entertaining as well, so thanks for that. Here’s to a wonderful day!

    Cheers!
    Christie

    1. Author

      Thanks Christie. Hope you enjoy the French posts. I enjoy discovering life here in France. And sharing the quirkier aspects I find fun or unusual.

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