Waterfowl

Waterfowl

Many different species of bird fall into the category classified as waterfowl. Birds that belong to this group are members of the order Anseriformes and include ducks, geese and swans. Similar to chickens these birds have historically been kept for their meat and eggs but have also turned into pets or have been used for ornamental reasons. Ducks and geese have been domesticated and there are many different breeds.

Keeping a duck or goose as a pet typically requires an individual to have a lot of space, preferably outdoors for the birds. It is best to have a secure enclosure to keep the birds in, especially at night when predators may be lurking. A house within the enclosure should be provided for nesting. Substrate is very important as waterfowl are prone to bumblefoot (pododermatits). This is a condition where abnormal pressure on the foot surface can lead to the development of sores. The issue tends to occur more with hard surfaces like concrete; therefore, grass or dirt surfaces are recommended. A water source for swimming is a necessity. For smaller size species, a kiddy pool could suffice but the larger birds need a pond. This should be constructed in such a way that it can be drained and cleaned on a regular basis. A filtration system for the pond is useful to maintain better water quality.

Having a good diet is a necessity. Waterfowl should be fed a formulated waterfowl pellet. Assess to foraging items like grass and plants is needed as well. Treats can consist of things like oats, cracked corn, leafy greens, earthworm or mealworms, and mixed vegetables.