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The Biggest Mistake We Made Raising Ducks

Are you wondering if you should add ducks to your backyard homestead? Maybe you are thinking about starting with ducks over Chickens?

Here are a few quick reasons I recommend adding ducks to your flock:

  • They get along with chickens. Our ducks were raised in a smaller chicken coop with four other hens who were three years old, and there weren’t any issues.
  • Ducks are a chatty bunch, but it’s more of a whisper. Although, you know those hens can get pretty mouthy with one another.
  • They are beautiful on the water.
  • They are the cutest things as ducklings- much cuter than chicks!

Read or Pin for Later: 6 Things You Must Know Before Getting Ducks

The Biggest Mistake We Made Raising Ducks

If you are thinking about getting started with ducks, there is one major mistake we made.

We have a half-acre pond and thought, why not get some ducks who can enjoy our beautiful pond.

We even thought about building them a pretty floating little house out there…

Good thing we didn’t get started on that while they were ducklings.

Our Kahki Campbell ducks are terrified of the pond. Several times we have tried to walk them toward the pond, and as soon as they hit the water, they come right back out.

The Biggest Mistake We Made Raising Ducks

They are scared. So I was the sucker that kept filling up those plastic $10 pools from Walmart. Daily because they dirty up the water so quickly, and every other animal wants to take a sip of it.

Some friends suggested not filling the pool, and they will eventually go to the pond.

Then a puddle that is big enough for the ducks became their home. I was disappointed but glad I didn’t have to fill the pool anymore.

It was just a few days past the first day of spring, and the girls and I had been walking up more toward the pond. The ducks have been quite curious waddling behind us.

The Biggest Mistake We Made Raising Ducks

Since first writing this post, we’ve incubated ducks and have had our share of wins and losses. For example, when we cut back a lot of the brush to the pond and gave them easy access to it, they all ended up doing it with no problem now.

The Biggest Mistake We Made Raising Ducks

The biggest tip is if your ducks won’t go in the pond, give them time and be sure they have a nice clear path to get in and out.

I find in the summertime, the ducks want to stay out at the pond, and this is when we lose some. I haven’t found a solution to that one yet. It’s pretty hard to get ducks to return to the barn if they are out in our pond at night.

mistakes raising ducks

I prefer to keep my ducks in a fenced-in area because it seems that as soon as they can pasture range, we lose them at night to foxes and coyotes.

The Biggest Mistake We Made Raising Ducks

Sure enough, after a couple of days of walking around the pond, they were right at the edge with three of them on the actual water! Then, of course, our dog came over and scared them out, and it’s been a couple of days, and they are back to their puddle, but I am confident they will venture back out.

So if you plan on having ducks at your pond, be sure to raise them near the water source you want them at. When I stopped filling the pool, I found the ducks in the water buckets. They will get to the water as long as you provide it.

Move over, Ducks! We like to enjoy our pond too. 🙂

UPDATE: We have had our ducks for a year now, and they finally dipped into the pond. I am pretty sure it was due to the females losing their fight to a predator. Our two drakes, Harry and Jerry, now go into the pond. The first few weeks, they wouldn’t go very far. They were scared of the Koi fish. After a couple of months, they will go from one end to the other now. 

Hey, at least they aren’t destroying the lawn with their beaks in the puddles anymore. 🙂

Please do yourself a favor, and as ducklings, have them near the water source you want them to stay at!

What tips do you have for raising ducks? 

Don’t Forget to Pin It! 


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Friday 16th of September 2022

My pond is not nearly as big as yours, but if you take a loooong rope and attach it to a pole, walk around the pond holding the rope so it blocks their way to swim away further, and when you're done they'll be at the edge of the shore or on land!

Steve Hall

Tuesday 21st of September 2021

Have no idea if doing thus right but just wanted to say have truly enjoyed and appreciate and learn something new every time vist thus site. Yal truly are GG THE GGRREEAATTEESSTT. THANKS Steve Hall


Tuesday 21st of September 2021

Aww I appreciate that Steve! Thanks so much :)


Tuesday 1st of December 2020

I had the same problem. An experienced friend advised me to drag one of my giant dog cages down to the pond, half in half out of the pond. Catch as many as you can and close them in. Only feed them all there—in and around the cage—and hide the kiddy pool and other water. I only caught one female, but it worked. I left the cage there, door open, for 10 days. They hugged the sides for a couple weeks, but now cruise all day long, love it, spend more time on the water than land. And I think they finally regard the pond as a safe place, although I do put them in a coop every night for safety..


Thursday 3rd of December 2020

Awesome! Yes we've had about 15 more ducks since I wrote this and continue to make sure they are locked up at night and early morning.

Jennifer Platts

Sunday 23rd of August 2020

We acquired 13 ducklings and now are about 8 months old! Your story is almost exactly like ours! We raise them in a pan and then to the kitty pool and then to the sprinkler and then we tried to put them on our pond but they were scared of it! They would rather fly over it then land in it! We finally got them close to the ponds edge where they all kind of swim around and then an alligator came to our pond so now we’re back to square one, absent on large gator! Keep my fingers crossed every day that maybe they’ll venture out until the pond but so far we still have all 13! So enjoyed your article!


Wednesday 26th of August 2020

Oh my goodness they have a good reason to be scared! lol. The ducks eventually went into the pond, BUT I'm more hesitant on them going abck to the pond, because the coyotes are too smart for the ducks. We incubated a batch this spring and lost another drake back at the pond. I have now gone back to keeping the ducks in the pig pen with the pigs mud holes and a kiddie pool.


Saturday 28th of July 2018

I have 2 ducks and live on a river the exact thing happened to me. I would put them in the river and they would freak out. One day my duck lost her footing and fell in the river and she liked it, eventually the male followed. They stay close to shore but every morning as soon as I open the pen they head to the river now.


Sunday 29th of July 2018

It is so funny how they naturally are so scared of water. I'm so glad our ducks now go to the pond too. They were still quite hesitant with the fish in it. They are fun to have around the homestead though.

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