Acquired: Worked with animal (didn’t own)
Posted Aug 21, 2015
I am lucky to be looking after two Aylesbury ducks. They are such cheerful creatures, and always give me a great welcome. There is much honking and tail wagging every time I go to feed them. They look like they are smiling, which is very cute. It's hard not to smile back at them. They are also very talkative to each other and to me, and we have good chats together.
They eat a lot of green stuff in addition to the corn mix that is their main diet. Grass, clover and dandelion leaves go down very well - and they make a sweet little 'chattering' noise as they eat. They drink large amounts of water and must always have access to this.
They are quite large and need plenty of space. An enclosed pen in the garden is ideal. They need a secure place to sleep, which is fox-proof as well as providing some shelter. Shade from the sun is also necessary.
They can be quite messy, smelly and noisy. They play with their water, getting it all over the floor and mixing it with food and diluted duck poo - a very mucky combination. It is quite easy to hose away as their house is on a solid concrete base. Their happy enthusiasm and sheer exuberance outweigh any of the mess they make, in my opinion. These sociable, engaging creatures are a joy. I imagine that children would love them.
They have just started to lay large, delicious eggs. They put themselves to bed at night, similar to chickens, but usually quite a bit later. They seem to be real party girls.