An Introduction to Keeping Ducks In Your Garden

Domestic duck (khaki campbell)


you are completely new to keeping poultry then it might be the best

idea to begin by keeping some chickens, as these are generally

considered to be a slightly easier place to start. If, however, you

have already got some chickens and are considering adding to your

menagerie, then ducks could be a wonderful addition to your

productive garden. You might have imaged of a large pond or a

floating duck house in the grand grounds of a country estate. But you

do not actually need enormous amounts of space to keep ducks and it

is possible even for those with a medium sized suburban garden.

Duck houseWhat you need:

DucksKeeping ducks is a big responsibility and before you purchase your ducks, it is important to do your homework. You will need to decide which types you would like to rear and how many to get. You will also need to consider whether or not you are interested in breeding your ducks.

  • A duck house – large enough to accommodate the number of ducks you have chosen. Ducks to not perch and will lay on the ground.
  • A run or secure area for your ducks. Again, this must be large enough for the number you have chosen. Ducks should have enough space to roam but will need to be kept from vegetable growing areas, which they can quickly destroy.
  • If you plan to breed, a brooder for the chicks. This must be warm, dry and secure.
  • Food and something to put it in.
  • Water for drinking and bathing. An old trough or sink, a plastic pond or child's paddling pool is fine. Water must be changed on a regular basis with a smaller water area.

Duck eggsWhy keep ducks in your garden?

  • Eggs – larger and richer than hens eggs. Ducks can be more reliable and productive layers.
  • Entertainment – ducks can be truly hilarious.
  • Fertiliser for your garden.
  • For pest control - ducks will eat slugs and other pests.

Ducks are generally kept in separate housing to chickens but can share the same area when allowed to range free. Keeping ducks can be a great next step for those who already know the benefits of keeping chickens in the garden.