My Experience with peking ducks
4 things I did not expect
There are some things I expected with having ducks and some things I had no idea would happen having duck.
- They are extremely messy! They have been messy and smelly since day one. I got them when they were a couple day old. So I chose to keep them in the house in a plastic tub, as opposed to buying a heat lamp and keeping them outside. (I only have two by the way) Now they are outside and they still smell really bad. I live in the country so it's not a huge deal where I am, but if you live in some place with close neighbors its probably not the best idea. I know you're thinking that it's their poop that stinks. WRONG! They have to have a swimming pool and they splash and get water and mud everywhere mixed with their poop and heat in the summer and its enough to make you want to throw up!
- They are not easy to tame. I have been handling them since the day I got them holding them and stroking them gently. They have never attached to me, I have had them for almost 7 months now and they still run from me when I go into their pen.
- They are very loud. My ducks are a boy and girl. For those of you who don't know the boys can only make a very faint peep like sound. Whereas the girls can make a sound that you can hear from a ways away. In my experience she only does it when she wants something and when she's happy she's quiet.
- Male ducks are extremely protective. He is on lookout all the time and if he sees anyone come near his girl he gets up and goes after it. I have had him chase my dogs and my chickens.
Pen or Free Range?
So my intention with my ducks, by the way their names are cheese and quacker. I was going to keep them in the pen that I made them until they were grown and then I was going to introduce them to my chickens. That worked for a while until my (cheese) started to become aggressive towards the chickens. Then it was time for them to have their own space. If you're wondering how to set a duck pen up it is very simple. I had a very nice wooden insulated dog house made for them, which is their shelter and they love it. They have lots of room to roam although I have found that they don't really like to. The only other things they have is a kiddie pool and a large metal food dish. Ducks don't need much, they don't really like to forage for things like my chickens do. All they need is a kiddie pool and they are quite happy!
Would I recommend peking ducks as a pet?
Its hard to say because if i had a lot of land and a nice big pond I would love to have ducks. But they are a lot harder than I anticipated, they require quite a bit of labor. They are so fun to watch but I think I would prefer to watch them at a park and not in my backyard. If you want some kind of backyard bird I would definitely go with chickens.