Caring for pet ducks and geese

three geese and a gosling walking on road © RSPCA

Food and water

Ducks and geese need feed that's suitable for their species, age and breed. Ducks spend much of their time feeding in and around water, whereas geese spend far more time grazing, so you'll need to give them plenty of grass. 

Ducks and geese also need plentiful access to clean and fresh water at all times. Water facilities should be designed to allow young birds to get out of the water easily to stop them from drowning. In winter, you'll need to make sure you remove ice from the water - don't use chemicals to do this.

Don't forget to clean their food dispensers and drinkers regularly. If you change their drinkers, make sure you still provide them with some of the type that they're familiar with until they've got used to the new ones.

Introducing new ducks and geese to the flock

We recommend that you keep at least three birds that get on well together. You'll need to be careful about introducing new ducks and geese to the flock when they don't know each other. It's best not to mix birds with very different body sizes, as this can lead to bullying.

Health care for ducks and geese

Healthy ducks and geese 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

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

For more advice, read our guidance on creating the best indoor and outdoor environment for pet ducks and geese.

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