Ducks are becoming more and more popular because they are so versatile. They lay delicious eggs, eat kitchen scraps, consume garden pests and are generally good pets. They are naturally very resistant to disease and don't require much looking after either. This is a list of things to consider to help you decide whether ducks are for you.
How many should I keep?
You should never keep just one duck as it will get lonely. You can keep just females or just males. However if you want to keep both you should only have one male to every 4-6 females as during the breeding season the male will be very active and a single female will suffer.
Do I need water?
The ideal way to keep ducks is with access to running water such as a stream or river. However, if this isn't possible then you can provide them with a paddling pool. This should be deep enough for them to submerge themselves and wide enough so that they can exercise. You will need to refresh the water once every two weeks. A still pond isn't good as their droppings will quickly turn the water green and you will need to pump the water out to clean it. It is worth covering the area under and around the pond with shingle so that they don\'t make the area muddy.
What size garden to I need?
For a couple of small ducks, 7m x 8m (20ft x 25ft) and for a couple of larger ducks you should have at least 12m x 12m(36ft x 36ft).
Will they be noisy?
If you keep ducks then you might not be able to keep it a secret from your neighbours. Although many people will find the sound of ducks pleasant it's worth informing your neighbours of your intentions. Ducks don't quack all the time but can be vocal if something surprises them. Generally though they talk to each other throughout the day. The amount of noise a duck makes depends on the breeds. Call ducks are the loudest, hence their use as decoys to catch other ducks. Pekins come in a close second on the quack scale. If noise levels are important, the Muscovy duck is the quietest of the ducks and if you aren't so fussed about eggs then male ducks are also much quieter than their female counterparts.