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How Much Is a Duck? (Cost to Buy, Feed & Raise)

Ducks cost between $5 and $20, depending on the species. On top of the cost of a duckling, there’s also a cost for housing, food, water, brooder, and more.

Ducks are very adorable, and some people like to keep them as pets. But when it comes to raising ducks, there’s a lot of questions to be answered.

How much does a duck cost? What do they eat? How much work is required to keep them?

In this article, we’ll answer some of those questions and provide some helpful tips for anyone considering keeping ducks as pets.

What Does a Duck Cost?

A duck can cost anywhere between $5 to $20, depending on the species and age. But that is just the initial purchase price of the duck, as there are more expenses to be paid.

Ducks are popular pets that come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. The price for raising ducks can vary depending on how many you want to raise at once.

Before you buy a duck, you should think about a couple of things, such as

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Brooder
  • Nesting boxes
  • And more…

It’s not as simple as just buying a duck.

lone duck quacking

Should You Buy More Than One Duck?

Yes, you should buy more than one duck. Ducks are social animals. They need interaction with other beings, hence it’s better to buy two ducks than one.

Ducks need constant companionship, and if they’re left alone for too long they can become depressed or stressed. This can lead to a range of behavioral issues, such as feather picking or even self-mutilation.

Ducks are also social creatures and like to play. If you only have a single duck, it may become bored and start to misbehave. Two ducks will keep each other entertained, and you’ll be less likely to see any problems with your pet ducks.

group of ducks quacking

How Much Does It Cost to Feed a Duck?

It typically costs about $30 to $40 a month in food for ducks, but there are also expenses for a feeder.

Item Recurring cost per month
Food $10 to 50
Water $5 to $10

The answer to that question depends on a few factors. 

The first is what you’re feeding the duck. Ducks primarily feed on grain and seeds, but will also eat fish and insects – but those food options can be much more expensive.

Another factor is their age and size. A duckling is cheaper to feed compared to a fully grown duck.

Lastly, you also need some form of the feeder. There are multiple choices, ranging from $10 to $100.

So, how much does it cost to feed a duck regularly? 

That answer can vary, but it’s typically somewhere between $0.50 and $2 per day, depending on the type of food and the size of the duck.

duck eating bread

Water Cost

Ducks need a lot of water to stay healthy and produce eggs. Providing a good water source is critical to keeping ducks healthy and happy.

There are a few different ways to provide water to ducks. One option is to provide a small, shallow pool that is big enough for the ducks to get in and out of easily. 

This type of pool should be cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria from growing. [1]

Another option is to provide a large wading pool or pond. This type of water source can be used to provide a place for the ducks to swim and play. It is important to keep the water clean and clear.

What Do Ducks Eat?

Ducks eat a varied diet, as they are omnivores. They feed on vegetation, grain, seeds, small insects, and even some fish.

One thing that you should know about ducks is what they eat so that you can provide them with the proper diet. Ducks obtain almost all of their nutrients from plants, but they also enjoy insects and other small animals.

Ducks eat seeds, grains, foliage (which is another word for leaves), and insects. They also love good mealworms. 

duck foraging food on the ground

How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Duck?

Raising ducks isn’t just about food and water, but also veterinarian costs, diapers, and babysitting (for indoor ducks). These expenses vary.

The cost of raising ducks is an important factor to consider when planning your farm, as it plays a large part in how profitable your duck business can be. 

Understanding the expenses you will incur is key to making sure that you are able to make enough money with duck farming to break even or turn a profit.

The expenses will vary depending on how many ducks you choose to raise.

duckling eating

Veterinarian Cost

When it comes to veterinarian costs, ducks are different than other pets. Ducks don’t require annual shots or immunizations unless they’re exposed to specific risks.

Many veterinarians won’t even treat poultry, which makes it difficult to find a vet in the first place.

Costs will vary depending on your location, but a typical vet bill for a duck will be around $50-100.

Diapers

Diapers aren’t a necessary expense when raising indoor ducks, but it’s definitely a good idea unless you want to clean up constantly.

Some people use reusable duck diapers, but you can also use dispensable. These cost about $30 to $40.

The cost of disposable diapers can add up quickly, so some people choose to use cloth diapers. Cloth diapers can be washed and reused, which can save money in the long run. 

However, cloth diapers require more work and may not be as convenient as disposable diapers.

Duck Sitting

When you have ducks as pets, it’s important not to leave them alone – especially if you only have one duck. Hence, you may need to pay for duck sitting.

The price of duck sitters varies from city to city.

wild duck

Duck Equipment

When it comes to keeping ducks, there are a few pieces of equipment you will need. These include housing, feeders, waterers, brooders, and nesting boxes.

Duck equipment is the most expensive starter cost and will cost you about $300 to $1000, depending on what you buy.

Let’s take a closer look at a few essential pieces of equipment.

Housing

Housing is one of the most important aspects of duck keeping. Ducks need a place to live that is dry, draft-free, and well-ventilated. They also need a place to swim and bathe.

There are many different types of housing options available for ducks. 

The most common type is a simple shed or coop with a sloped roof to allow water to run off. The floor should be covered with a layer of wood shavings to keep the ducks warm and dry. 

A few small holes in the roof will provide ventilation. [2]

The total cost of housing, and a pool, is about $200 to $400.

Duck house

Feeding & Water Pots

Feeders and waterers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can get feeder and water pans for $10, or you can get advanced stations for $100 each.

When it comes to duck equipment, feeding and water pots are two essentials. 

Ducks need a constant supply of clean water to drink and bathe in, and they also need access to food. There is a variety of different feeding and watering pots available on the market, so you can choose the option that best suits your needs.

There are generally three choices when it comes to feeders:

  1. Bucket Feeder: $60
  2. Hanging Poultry Feeder: $40 
  3. Feeding Pans: $10

Here are some examples of waterers to use:

  1. Poultry Drinker: $45
  2. Water Pan: $10
  3. Submersible De-Icer (for ponds or pools): $50
  4. Nipple Waterer: $40
Duck feeding

Brooder Cost

Another important piece of equipment for ducklings is a brooder. This can be an indoor or outdoor pen, and it should be big enough for the ducklings to move around in. 

The cost of a brooder will vary depending on the size and type you need, but will typically be around $50.

duck brooder

Nesting Boxes

While ducks don’t need a nesting box to lay their eggs in, they will do so if available. 

A nesting box should be big enough for the duck to fit inside, and it should be deep enough for her to comfortably stand in. The box should also have a sloped roof so the rain can runoff.

There are several different types of nesting boxes available for ducks. Some are made from wood, while others are made from plastic or metal. The type of nesting box you choose will depend on your budget and the climate where you live.

duck family

Total Cost of Raising Ducks

Item Cost
Duck $10
Housing $150
Brooder/Heating Plate $50
Nesting Box $100
Feeder $40
Waterer $40
Small Pool $50
Heating Lamp $20
Wood Shavings $30
Food and Water (1-year cost) $200
Total Cost $690

What You Need to Know About Raising a Duck

Raising ducks isn’t as simple as it might sound. When keeping ducks, you need to make sure they have company, as they’re very social animals. They need food, water, and proper living conditions.

Ducks can make great pets and provide plenty of enjoyment for their owners, but they need to be taken care of properly.

Here are some things you need to know if you’re planning on raising ducks.

Related: Baby ducks & how to raise them

duck head in detail

Ducks Need Water for Drinking and Swimming

You most likely know that ducks, like any other animal, need water to survive. Without water, ducks quickly become ill and can die.

What you may not know is, that they also need somewhere to swim, if they are to thrive.

Ducks love playing in the water. They will stick their heads under the water, taking small sips throughout the day. 

Make sure your pet duck always has access to fresh drinking water.

If you are raising baby ducks, they must be provided with water for swimming very early in their lives, or else they won’t learn to swim properly. You can use a plastic wading pool for baby ducks to swim in.

duck drinking

Their Diets Must Be Changed Occasionally

Ducks are omnivorous animals, which means that their diet consists of both plant and animal material. While they can live on a vegetarian diet, ducks also enjoy eating insects, small fish, and other animals.

It is important to change the diet of ducks occasionally. If they eat the same thing all the time, they will become sick.

You can also introduce some fruit from time to time, as ducks love both fruits and berries. Just make sure not to overfeed them.

Keep a Sharp Eye on Male Ducks

When raising ducks, it is important to be aware of the different sexes and their behaviors. Male ducks can be aggressive and territorial, and they are known to attack and injure other ducks. 

It is therefore important to keep a close eye on male ducks, especially if there are other ducks in the flock.

Mallard ducks, for example, are very territorial and often become aggressive toward each other.

duck fighting

Conclusion

All in all, you have to pay a small number of running costs for food and water, about $10 to $50 a month, as well as upfront costs for housing, feeders, waterers, and similar, which will cost about $500 to $1000.

Raising ducks can be a great way to produce your own eggs. But the price for raising them will vary depending on how many you want.

There is plenty of equipment you can buy, but you don’t necessarily need all of it. Raising ducks can cost anywhere from $200 to $1000, depending on whether you make some of the equipment yourself.

FAQs

Can You Buy a Duck as a Pet?

While it is legal to own ducks as pets, make sure to check with your landlord if you’re renting a house or an apartment. Besides the legal aspect, then yes, you can have a duck as a pet. Ducks are very social animals, and they love the interaction with other ducks, and humans as well.

Are Ducks Expensive and Hard to Keep?

Ducks can be hard to keep, especially if you don’t know how to do it. However, it doesn’t take long to learn. As for costs, ducks aren’t very expensive. They can eat very low-cost food, and as long as they have food, water, warmth, and shelter, they’re generally happy.

How Much Does a Single Duck Cost?

The average price for a single duck is $10. This price varies depending on the species of the duck. Some ducks can cost up to $20.

About Kaitlin Mullins

Birds are plenty, and they can be hard to keep track of. Thankfully, Katilin Mullins has taken charge of these. With plenty of free time spent bird watching, she’s a true expert on these intriguing animals.