When it comes to popular pets around the globe, it’s not surprising that dogs are the most common, followed closely by cats, then fish and birds. Among the birds people frequently adopt into their families, parakeets, cockatiels, finches, lovebirds and parrots are some favorites. But might I suggest another bird you may have never even considered taking as a pet? The duck.
One Twitter account is determined to convince followers why they should have a duck; in fact, that’s exactly the name of their page. Why You Should Have A Duck has over 440k followers and is famous for sharing adorable photos of ducks that just might make you want to adopt one. We’ve gathered all of our favorite tweets of theirs for you to enjoy, and even spoke to the owners of two of Instagram’s most famous ducks, Ben Afquack and Gertrude of MyPetDucks, to hear what it’s really like to have one as a pet.
Then if you’re interested in even more silly bird photos after finishing this list, we’ve got the perfect CNN News piece for you to check out next right here.
Ducks are simultaneously adorable and hilarious creatures. Have you ever seen ducklings following in a row behind their mother or riding on a parent’s back while swimming upstream? Their quacks sound so silly, but their waddles are too cute. Yet they’re not commonly domesticated. Sure, anyone who’s watched Friends has seen Joey and Chandler keep a pet duck in a small New York City apartment. But in real life, you might not know anyone who’s had the joy of raising one. That’s why we reached out to Instagram famous duck Ben Afquack (Well, I think we were talking to his owner because I’m sure Ben is very busy…) to hear what it’s really like having a pet duck. Ben, who currently has over 90k followers on Instagram, even has a Guinness World Record for being the most followed duck on the app. So who could be better to talk to about why you should have a duck?
First, we wanted to know what the best parts of having a duck are. “My favorite part about having a duck is having an adventure buddy that is different than the dogs,” they told CNN News. “I take him swimming, and he doesn’t stay wet after. Take him hiking, and he doesn’t need a bath! I love hanging out with all of my pets, and love them all for different reasons, the duck just falls into that category and is part of the family!”
Next, we wanted to know if Ben’s owner would recommend that more people start adopting ducks. “People should definitely consider having ducks as pets (if they are able and willing to give them the care and attention they need)! They are a lot of fun, and actually have a lot of personality and are very loving.” Don’t rush into adopting a duck without any forethought though. “Like any pet, they require work and responsibility, so it’s definitely something to think about before you go buy a cute baby duck at the farm store,” they added.
Ben’s owner also told us prospective duck owners should be aware that, “You can’t potty train a duck, so that’s something to consider. They aren’t an indoor pet (although Ben Afquack comes inside when he’s wearing a diaper).”
Ben’s owner also told us that ducks are not like goldfish in the way that you can just feed them then leave them alone for a while. “They require love and attention. They are very social animals and will get sad if they don’t get enough attention,” they told us. “If they have companions, that’s their family, then they don’t need as much attention from their people. But when getting one as a pet, the amount of time you are going to be able to spend with them is something to consider.”
Lastly, Ben’s owner wanted to share that, “Having ducks can be really easy, but it can also be very difficult, depending on how you do it.” They explained that, “There are a lot of people who have ducks on a farm and just have them as farm pets, so there is a lot of information about that out there, and a lot of products meant for doing that.” This is not the route Ben’s owner took, however. “I chose to do it the hard way,” they told us. “There are not many people taking their ducks on moped rides, airplanes, hikes, and kayaks, so… I had to get creative when figuring out how to do these things! I think having ducks can be as easy or as difficult as you choose, depending on what you want that to look like!”
If you’re interested in keeping up with Ben Afquack’s adventures on Instagram, be sure to follow him right here.
We also reached out to MyPetDucks on Instagram to hear the perspective of another duck owner. Clearly, Instagram loves ducks, because this account has over 18k followers at the moment and over 800 posts of adorable photos and videos featuring several different pet ducks. We got in touch with Holly, the owner of Gertrude, one of the most popular ducks on the page, to hear why she loves being a duck owner.
“Ducks are great pets!,” Holly told us. “They each have their own distinct personality and are smarter than most people realize. They are loyal to their owners and bring such joy to our lives.”
Holly went on to tell us how special her beloved duck Gertrude is. “She is a crested Pekin with fabulous ‘hair’. She is a total diva! But, she brings happiness to so many people around the world just by being her. I found that she is therapeutic to those who are feeling down from mental or physical health issues. Our motto is: be the reason someone smiles today!”
When asked if more people should have ducks as pets, Holly says, “I think people who will take the time to learn about owning ducks and how to do it properly should definitely have them as pets!”
Lastly, Holly wanted to add some important things people should know before adopting a duck. “Ducks are a commitment. They can live to be 10+ years old. A domestic duck can NOT survive in the wild, so if you get cute little ducklings and decide you don’t want them once they are grown up, it is not okay to dump them off in a pond. Sadly, this happens often and the rescues (like mine) get overrun quickly each spring.” That is definitely something to consider before impulsively bringing home a duckling on Easter. They’re still pets, so be sure you’re prepared to take care of them before making a purchase.
If you’d like to see photos of Gertrude and her other duck friends, be sure to follow MyPetDucks right here.
While having a duck might not be common, Ben Afquack and Gertrude are perfect examples that it is possible for determined pet owners. To help understand what having a duck as a pet would entail, we consulted The Happy Chicken Coop’s blog post “Can You Keep Ducks As Pets? Everything You Need To Know”. First, they note that even though ducks are much less cuddly than, say, a dog or a cat, they can still appreciate a nice belly rub. Ducks are also much smarter than chickens and will follow their owners around in hopes of receiving treats. They’re very entertaining to watch too, as they enjoy waddling around and playing and splashing in water.
Ducks also have a much nicer temperament than geese and roosters, so they won’t bite out of anger. They might accidentally catch your fingers when you’re petting them or giving them treats, but it shouldn’t hurt. When it comes to what excites ducks, The Happy Chicken Coop says they like shiny and moving objects, like mirrors, strings attached to bells and shimmering objects. You’ll also know when your duck is happy to see you because they’ll make a little sound that almost sounds like a chirp. They might demonstrate their trust by encircling their owners or standing right next to them. Some ducks even enjoy listening to music, so owners can experiment with playing tunes for their little feathery friends once they’ve gotten comfortable in their new environment.
If you’re not convinced that you should have a duck yet, there are still plenty of photos left to persuade you. Enjoy the rest of this list, and if you’re looking for even more adorable photos, be sure to check out Why You Should Have A Duck on Twitter. These silly little creatures are always fun to watch, whether you’re at a pond or chilling in your living room. Be sure to upvote your favorite pics, and let us know in the comments if you would ever have a pet duck!
Note: this post originally had 70 images. It’s been shortened to the top 35 images based on user votes.