Best Pet Duck Breeds

Ducks could make surprisingly good pets…with a few caveats. They are robust, usually affordable, and easy to tame. At the same time, they are not great indoor pets, as most duck breeds need to go outside and forage over a large space. It is also important to keep more than one duck as they are social birds and become anxious if left alone.

If you have a decently sized backyard, preferably with a pond as ducks love to swim, these birds can be a wonderful addition to the family.

Best Pet Duck Breeds

Characteristics of a Good Pet Duck

While a duck can make a great pet, a few things must be considered before getting one.

  • Friendly Temperament – It helps immensely if the breed has a generally friendly temperament. However, though they can be affectionate, ducks generally won’t be as friendly as dogs, cats, or other birds like budgies.
  • Flying Ability – Some ducks are great fliers and may fly away or into potential danger. In that case, you might be better off choosing a breed less capable or completely incapable of flight.
  • Egg-laying Tendency – This one depends a lot on what you prefer. If you aren’t looking to care for baby ducklings, it might be great to have a duck that doesn’t lay eggs frequently. But if that isn’t a problem for you, you might want a duck that lays eggs regularly.
  • Noise – Ducks aren’t normally as loud as chickens. But some ducks, like the Call Duck, can start quacking loudly for attention or if they feel threatened. It would be best to be mindful of where you live as well, as a loud duck will lead to angry complaints from your neighbors.

List of the Best Ducks for Pets

With the above points in mind, here are a few duck breeds widely considered decent to great pets.

Duck BreedTemperamentCan it Fly?Is it Noisy?Egg-laying Tendency (per week)
Welsh HarlequinCalm and friendlyNoNo5-6
PekinCalm but personableNoYes4-5
Australian Spotted DuckExtremely friendly, personable, and mostly calmYesYes14-21
Call DuckDocile, easy to tame, and great around peopleYesYesVery low; 2 at maximum
Crested DuckDocile and calmPoorlyNo2-4
Black East Indian DuckCalm and affable, however, personalities can range from shy to outgoingYesNo1-2
Magpie DuckDocile and calmPoorlyNo3-4
Abacot RangerCalm, friendly, and peacefulPoorlyNo3-4
Ancona DuckCalm but active, also friendlyNoOnly occasionally4-5
Blue Swedish DuckCalm and heartyNoNo10-12
Buff OrpingtonCalm but alertNoNo12-20
Cayuga DuckDocile, tame, and friendlyNoNo2-3
Indian Runner DuckVery active and likes to run about, skittish and easily startledNoYes4-6
Khaki CampbellGentle but prefers to stay by itselfNoNo4-6
MallardTame and socialYesNo1-2
MuscovyUsually slow-moving and docile, but can become aggressive if startledPoorlyNo3-4
RouenCalm and docileNoYesVery low; 2 at maximum
Silver Appleyard DuckCalm but activeYesYes3-5


1. How long do pet ducks live?

If well cared for, a pet duck can live for about 10-15 years.

2. Can a duck be trained as a house pet?

While ducks can be tamed easily, training them is a separate matter entirely. Ducks cannot control their bladders due to a lack of sphincter muscles so they might need diapers if you want to avoid a mess. In addition to that, these birds love splashing about in water, so expect muddy and wet footprints as they walk on your carpet.

3. Do ducks need to be vaccinated or de-wormed?

Ducks are less likely to need vaccines or de-worming as their time in water makes them less susceptible to external parasites.

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