Duck Maintenance Tips

Ducks that live domestically do not require clipping of their wings. However, if they do, the feathers need to be clipped properly, otherwise, they could be injured, contract an infection and bleed to death. If their wings need to be clipped, take them to a vet to get professional treatment. 


Like other animals, ducks can get injured. One thing that can prevent this is for you to provide them with enough room so that they can move around. 


Ducks go through a stage called molting. About every six months, they will start to lose a lot of feathers. During the regrowing process, the wings will be sensitive. Avoid making contact with their wings until they have grown back.


In order to prevent ducks from injuring their legs, have a wide ramp so that they can get in and out of the water safely. Also, it is not a good idea to put them in a wire cage because that can cause injury as well.


If the duck's feet or toes are sore, it should be of concern to you. Contact a vet and have the duck checked out.


Prevent your duck from being exposed to toxic items or areas. Copper, lead and zinc are the items that ducks encounter the most. Nails, pesticides, chemicals, coins, screws and other small object can be poisonous if they come in contact with them. If you notice it early enough, the vet can administer treatment. 


The vet would administer injections and laxatives to get rid of the infection. Please do not try to treat your duck at home. This is a very serious matter and should not be taken lightly. It could mean a matter of life of death for your animal.


There are some other foods that ducks should not eat. They can cause harm to their bodies. Any kind of nuts, seeds, chocolate should not be given to them. It could make them sick and possibly die.


Don’t feed your duck too much protein. Too much of it can cause them to develop "Angel Wing" or "Slipped Wing". This is a condition when the main feathers are not growing the right way because of excessive protein in their system. Reduce the levels of protein that you are giving them. The duck's wings will grow back normally.


Mating Issues – You will know when the male and female ducks are mating because the female ducks will have spots on their head or their neck. You may also see these spots around the eyes. 


Also, you may see a crust on top of the female's head that comes from the male spewing mucous. Make sure that you have clean water available for them to swim in. Without it, they will risk injury and infection due to uncomfortable mating. 


Beak discolorations or spotting - If your duck shows signs of discolorations on their beak, contact your vet. There is no cause that has been pinpointed as to why that happens. However, it should still be an issue of concern. If you see bumps on the duck's beak, it usually comes from them digging or pecking. If the bump looks like a blister, have the vet drain the fluid and apply ointment to get rid of the bacteria. Remove any sharp surfaces near the duck. 


Breathing Problems - If you duck has the symptoms of a cold, contact your vet immediately. They can get pneumonia in a change of weather. If they are exposed to cool air or water for a prolonged period of time, they can catch a cold or related illness. They should stay dry and warm after they have gone swimming. If you suspect that they may have a cold or pneumonia, contact your vet or a substitute vet immediately. The quicker you get treatment for your duck, the quicker they can recover.


In order for your duck to stay healthy, the surroundings much always be clean and free of anything that could harm them or make them sick. Keep chemicals and pesticides out of sight. Any bins that are used for food and water should be clean and free of pests. 


For young ducks, change their linen twice a day; for adult ducks, you can change it once a day. If you want to go green, duck droppings can be used as fertilizer for plants and vegetables.


Ducks are like humans in so many ways. They need to be attended to, so make sure to provide them with love. They can also suffer from depression and feel lonely when you ignore them. Spend some time playing with them. They like stuffed animals, balls and toys that float in the water. It's amazing how they connect with the human experience.