Wanting to check “own a duck” off your bucket list? Well, it’s mandatory to become a duck parent (if you can dedicate a good outdoor space to ducks) not because they are hardier and low-maintenance but inexpensive to raise as well.
As you have decided to raise a duck, it’s important to know this strong, little, hardy creature deeply. So, before we move forward to discuss “How much does a duck cost?”, let’s get to know this aquatic bird differently.
Ducks are the most beloved aquatic birds that usually appear smaller than swans and geese. Due to supernatural resemblance, these aquatic birds are often misunderstood as divers, coots, grebes, and gallinules.
Ducks are normally referred to as “waterfowls” as they are mostly found gathering around ponds, rivers, and streams.
Ducks breed only once a year, their breeding season can be either spring/summer or wet season. The wild ducks are excellent mothers whereas the pet ducks do not care about their eggs, sometimes they neglect their eggs to the point that they need to be hatched artificially.
As per the rough estimate, more than 35 duck breeds are being domesticated for years, and out of all these domestic pet duck breeds, Pekin and Mallard are the most loved and admired ones. Ducks are kept for a variety of reasons but mainly as a pet or for meat, eggs, and feathers.
Now that the worth-sharing information is served, it’s time to get to our today’s subject of discussion. Since you can not keep one male or female duck as they are normally kept in pairs, we would be estimating the cost by keeping “a pair” in mind.
Let’s Find Exact Answer
How Much Does A Duck Cost? The popular pet duck breeds Call duck is being offered between $20 to $50, Pekin $7 to $10, Cayuga $8 to $20, and Indian Runner duck for $5 to $8.
How much does it cost to get one Duck?
Ducks are as inexpensive to get as inexpensive to keep. There are almost a hundred duck breeds so it’s hard to tell how much you would have to pay to bring a duck home.
Generally, ducks, no matter which breed they belong to, are being sold for a price somewhere between $10 to $30.
Ducks are not that expensive. If you are lucky enough to get your favorite duck breed from the local store located nearby you would probably save $5 to $10. As you must at least have to get one male and one female duck. So, expect double of the above-mentioned prices.
The story does not end here, as you have just got the pair that needs to be raised, so not including their monthly upkeep cost would not be fair.
How much do ducks cost to keep?
Their annual and monthly upkeep cost is generally lower than most of the pet animals and birds. If you know how to grab the discounted or cheap deal, the annual upkeep cost may not even go above $300.(Source)
Ducks and other such waterfowl’s natural diet is insects, worms, amphibians, crustaceans, pondweed, seeds, and aquatic vegetation but pet ducks do not get to eat the same food as wild ducks.
The pet ducks normally eat chicken feed, greens, grains, vegetables, mealworms, cracked corn, birdseed, and peas, etc.
So if the duck is given the typical pet duck food, the feeding cost can be expected somewhere between $30 to $40 monthly.
Most of you might think water is free, why are we including it in any way? Well, water is free but the electricity that gives access to water is not. The aspiring duck parents can expect $4 to $5 as water cost.
Veterinarian cost of the duck pets is generally the lowest of all costs related to duck raising. The well-pampered pet ducks seldom get sick, even if they do they hardly need a checkup.
Ducks are not taken to the vet’s as they do not entertain such aquatic birds normally. The special thorough check-up can be expected to make you pay around $20 to $30
Yes, pet ducks do wear diapers indoors, it’s uncommon but quite helpful if you are keeping ducks indoors most of the time. It’s totally up to you, this cost can be successfully avoided by allowing your ducks to roam around outdoors. Duck diapers can cost you around $30 to $40.
Duck babysitting cost
You can not always be there for your ducks, somebody has to cover you when you are gone.
A babysitter is not needed if you have a family to cover you but if for some reason you don’t have anyone to look for your ducks, hiring a part-time babysitter becomes necessary.
A part-time duck babysitting can be $10 to $20 a month.
These were the expenses that you have to bear every month but there are some other costs as well that can be termed as “one-time” costs. Since they can not be neglected at all, so let us highlight those as well.
The one-time costs include the necessities you must have to keep or raise a duck. The one-time expenses would be housing, bedding, feeder, waterer, brooder, and nesting boxes.
Ducks might be inexpensive to get and the cheapest to raise but building a duck-friendly house for your pet ducks is costly.
The duck’s house should be equipped with additional flooring, bedding, nesting box, brooder, and ventilator, etc.
The duck house with additional flooring, bedding, ventilator, enter and exit door can be built up to $100.
Feeding and water pots
Feeders and waterers are mandatory to give ducks a luxurious lifestyle.
The container pots can also be used for these purposes as well but the commercial-build feeders and waterers are handy and easier to eat and drink from.
The average feeders and waterers can be bought for $30 to $40 and $30 to $50.
Brooder Cost for ducks
The brooder is needed to give ducks a balanced environment especially in those crucial years when feathers are not fully developed.
The brooder we need for our pet ducks should be two in one, it must be able to cool down or heat up the environment when needed.
The two-in-one brooders are generally expensive costing aspiring duck parents $120 to $300. The brooder may be a bit expensive but fortunately, it’s a one-time cost.
The nesting boxes are typically installed to give ducks a comfortable place to lay and watch over their eggs. Besides the above-mentioned purpose, the nesting boxes are of no use. You can avoid this cost for some time if it’s not the breeding season yet.
As soon as the breeding season hits, it gets mandatory to get the nesting boxes installed. The nesting box can be bought online in the exchange for a price between $28 to $35.
That’s it, ducks do not demand anything extra than all the above-mentioned basic accessories, food, clean water, and a place to roam around.
There are some other accessories as well, but they can only be categorized as “luxuries”.
Since we are trying our best to help you in becoming a pet duck parent in the most economical way possible, we have decided not to discuss the luxurious items.
It’s important to mention here that only the first month would be heavy on the pocket, the rest of the months might demand you to save $50 to $60 only.
What else do you need to know about raising ducks?
Besides the purchase price and upkeep cost, there are few other things that you need to know before sealing the deal.
Ducks need water
As they are aquatic birds, they need water to sane. It must not always be in the shape of a pond, river, or stream, sometimes having enough water to bury their head in is enough for a day.
Sinks, bathtubs, and kiddie pools can be used to fulfill the domestic duck’s water needs. It must be kept in mind that the domestic ducks can not be trusted with water, they should be supervised.
Their feed must be changed after a certain time and must not be protein-rich
Ducklings and the fully mature duck can be fed the same feeds.
Ducks, no matter which age group they belong to, are hardy so they do fine on chicken feed as well (but the chicken feed must be unmedicated).
It is recommended to feed the chick starter feed for the first few weeks, grower feed with less protein for the next few weeks, and switch to the regular unmedicated chicken feed.
When the ducks reach the age of maturity, look for balanced protein options as too much protein would speed up the aging process and in worse cases, complicated leg issues.
You constantly have to keep a sharp eye on the male duck
Male ducks are exceptionally aggressive around the female duck so they must be kept under strict observation.
It’s hard to identify male and female ducks by their appearance in the early years yet super easy to judge by their behavior and the sound they make. The aggressive quackless ducks are male ducks and they must be kept under observation for the female duck’s safety.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are ducks expensive and hard to keep?
No, they are neither expensive nor hard to keep. Ducks are super hardy and low-maintenance, they normally do not get infected every other day like chickens.
Ducks are cheaper to raise as they do not need anything extra other than duck-friendly housing, balanced food, water, and an area to roam around.
How much can I expect to pay for a duck?
Ducks are quite inexpensive, they can be bought for a price between $10 to $20. The local pet stores generally offer ducks at a much cheaper price, so if you are considering buying a duck from a local store nearby, you can expect to get it for $5 to $10.
What do pet ducks eat?
Pet ducks mostly eat chicken feed as their natural diet is impossible to be arranged. Besides chicken feed, they eat weeds, grains, and some fruits, and vegetables. In treats, they can eat grapes, sunflower, apples and banana. Additional you can feed rice, cheese, cat food and dog food.
In brief, a pair of ducks can cost you around $150 to $200 in the first month whereas for the rest of the months the upkeep would not go above $50 to $60.