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Outdoor environment for ducks and geese kept as pets

It is important that the outdoor area is well managed, especially around any water facilities where the ground is likely to become wet and muddy.


Size

  • The outdoor area should be large enough to allow wet, muddy or barren areas to be sectioned off to recover and to minimise the risk of disease, while still allowing enough space for birds to roam on good pasture. 
  • Geese are grazers and need a particularly good-sized grassy area.


Enrichment

  • Provide overhead cover (e.g. small trees, purpose-built shelters) in several areas to protect from the sun, bad weather and wild animals.


Food and water

  • Feed or water provided outside should be sheltered to keep it clean and dry and to avoid attracting rodents and wild birds.


Fencing

  • Well maintained and provide protection against wild animals. 
  • Ensure that the birds cannot escape or become trapped/injured.


Open water facilities

  • Ducks and geese should be provided with access to hygienically managed open water sources that enable them to carry out their water-related behaviours. 
  • The open water facility should be cleaned at least once every day before refilling with clean water.
  • They should also have a separate supply of fresh drinking water, as open water sources can become dirty very quickly. 
  • Prevent the surrounding ground from becoming wet and muddy. This can be reduced by regularly moving the water facilities to allow the area to recover, or by placing the water facilities over a well-drained area, such as a bed of shingle.


Ducklings/goslings

  • Shallow water troughs should be provided for the first few weeks of life.
  • Young birds should not have access to deep water for swimming in until they have developed adequate waterproofing on their feathers. 
  • Ducks and geese should be able to get into the water.


Find out about some important considerations regarding diet, company and health and welfare of pet ducks and geese in our caring for pet ducks and geese page.