How to take care of domesticated pekin ducks

Updated February 21, 2017

Pekin ducks are a species native to China. Because of their large size and pure white colour, they are striking to look at. Although they are prone to leg problems, these ducks are considered a good choice for beginner duck owners. They are known as friendly, easy-to-care-for animals. They enjoy attention from their owners. Pekin ducks are also flightless, making them easier to contain. However, ducks of any type require some specific care needs in order to remain healthy and comfortable as domestic pets.

Designate an area for your ducks to live in. Since these ducks are flightless and usually don't roam far from home, they are often allowed to move freely about their owner's yard. However, in the event that you cannot let your ducks move freely, a pen made from fencing, such as chain link fencing, works well. This pen area should be large enough that the ducks can move about comfortably. Each duck should be given at least 3 square feet of space, although larger enclosures are often better.

Provide a shelter in the area you've designated for your duck. All ducks, whether they are penned or free roaming, require a safe place where they can get out of the sun. This shelter can be made, or a premade shelter, such as a doghouse, can be purchased. The shelter needs to be shady and inaccessible to predator animals, such as dogs. The shelter must be large enough for each duck to fully extend its wings inside.

Place a large water source in the duck's area. Pekin ducks require water to swim and bathe in, as well as to drink and help them swallow their food. A natural or filtered pond is the best choice, but a manmade water container, such as a plastic kid pool, will also work. This water source must be filtered, or cleaned and filled with fresh water whenever it gets dirty. A large, shallow water basin can also be given to provide fresh drinking water. This separate drinking basin will need to be cleaned daily.

Place a ramp or steps near the water container or pond. These steps should allow your duck to move easily in and out of the water. This helps to prevent leg injuries.

Place a soft bedding of sand or straw on the floor of the shelter, and around the water source. Many ducks, including Pekin ducks, can develop foot or leg problems when forced to walk on unsuitable bedding. Other beddings, such as wood chips, can pose choking hazards.

Place a heat source, such as a heat light, near the duck's shelter, if you're going to be keeping your duck in an area where the temperature drops significantly lower in the winter.

Place a large bin feeder in the duck's area. These feeders usually hang, and dispense food. Fill the bin feeder with non-medicated duck pellets or mash. Supplement your duck's diet with treats of insects, such as worms or snails, hard boiled eggs, greenery, tomatoes, or cottage cheese.

Clean the duck's area daily, by hosing away any waste. Remove any dirty bedding, and replace it with clean bedding.

Things You'll Need

  • Shelter
  • Large water source
  • Ramp or steps
  • Soft bedding, such as sand
  • Heat source
  • Bin feeder
  • Various duck foods
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Ann LaPan travels exuberantly in body and mind via planes, trains, automobiles and superb literature. A webmaster, website designer, graphic artist, accountant and musician (Jill of all trades, master of a few), she writes Today’s Horoscope for Shooting Star