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Creating outdoor space for pet ducks and geese

As well as indoor shelter, you'll need to give your ducks and geese plenty of space to roam around outside. It's important to manage this outdoor area carefully, especially around water facilities, where the ground is likely to become wet and muddy.

gosling grazing grass © RSPCA

Here are some things to consider:

  • 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.
  • Grazing - geese are grazers and need a particularly good-sized grassy area.
  • Shelter - provide overhead cover, such as small trees or purpose-built shelters, in several areas to protect from the sun, bad weather and wild animals.
  • Food and water - shelter outdoor feed and water to keep it clean and dry and to avoid attracting rodents and wild birds.
  • Fencing - this should be well maintained and provide protection against wild animals, as well as ensuring that the birds cannot escape or become trapped/injured.

Open water facilities

You'll need to give your ducks and geese access to hygienically managed open water sources so that they can carry out their natural water-related behaviours.


  • Clean and refill regularly - clean the open water facility at least once a day before refilling it with clean water.
  • Keep drinking water separate - give your ducks and geese 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 - you can reduce this 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.

If you have ducklings or goslings

Give ducklings and goslings shallow water troughs for their first few weeks of life. Young birds shouldn't have access to deep water for swimming in until they've developed enough waterproofing on their feathers.

Find out more about what to think about regarding diet, company and the health and welfare of pet ducks and geese in our caring for pet ducks and geese page.

Find out more