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Caring for pet ducks and geese

Diet

Water

  • Ducks and geese need plentiful access to clean and fresh water at all times.
  • Drinkers should be clean and cleaned regularly.
  • Ducks and geese must be able to access water in icy weather (ice should not be removed using chemicals).
  • Water facilities should prevent young birds from drowning in them, i.e. they should be designed so that the young birds can get out of the water easily.
  • If drinkers are changed, the birds should still be provided with some of the type that they are familiar with until they have got used to the new ones.


Food

  • Feed, suitable for the species and the bird’s age and breed should be provided to give them a balanced diet.
  • Food dispensers should be clean and cleaned out regularly.
  • Ducks spend much of their time feeding in and around water, whereas geese spend far more time grazing and need to be provided with plenty of grass for this reason.


Company

How many ducks or geese to keep?

  • We recommend that people keep at least three birds which get on well together.


Introducing new ducks and geese to the flock

  • Mixing of birds that are unfamiliar with each other should be done carefully. 
  • Mixing birds with very different body sizes should be avoided, as this can result in bullying.


Health and welfare

Always contact a vet as soon as possible if you are concerned about the health and welfare of your ducks or geese and for health check-ups.


Healthy birds are ‘bright-eyed’, alert and interested. Signs of poor health can include:

  • Hunched posture.
  • Erect feathers.
  • Head tucked under the wing. 
  • Reluctance to move. 
  • Hiding in corners or dark areas.


Find out about some important considerations regarding the indoor and outdoor environment for pet ducks and geese.