Do Ducks Need Bodies of Water?

Ducks are cute and fun fowl to keep on your homestead. They lay big, delicious duck eggs that are perfect for baking, they are funny, and cute! They’re also very, very, very messy. A common question when it comes to raising ducks, is do ducks need a body of water? Here’s what you need to know about ducks when it comes to water!


All fowl need clean, fresh water to drink. Ducks need a lot of water though – and they make a huge mess with it. Be prepared for soaked bedding minutes after giving them clean water! It’s one of the more frustrating aspects of keeping ducks. After I learned to always keep water outside the coop instead of it, my frustration levels improved greatly, and I enjoy our ducks much more than I used to!


When it comes to water and ducks, it’s important to know that ducks drink water a little bit differently than chickens. Whereas chickens can get by just fine with a nipple water system, ducks cannot. Ducks need to be able to dip their beak, nostrils, and eyes under water to maintain optimum health and keep themselves clean. And that is why they make such a big mess with water! They’re always dipping their heads in and sloshing it all over everywhere.

The million-dollar question when it comes to raising ducks though, is must they have access to a body of water. And that answer is no. While having access to a pond will make your ducks very happy, they do not need it to survive. They would appreciate a little kiddie pool if you don’t have a pond. Just be prepared for the water to be dirty again as soon as you fill it!


If you do have a kiddie pool for your ducks, make sure to keep ducklings away from it until they are big enough to get out on their own. We found out the hard way that even though the ducklings are strong swimmers, if they can’t get out of the pool they will drown. That was a very sad lesson.


Now that you’ve been given permission to own ducks even if you don’t have a pond – what type of ducklings are you going to get first!?

Published by Michelle Marine

I'm a semi-crunchy Eastern Iowa mom of 4 crazy kids on a quest to stay sane and healthy. We try to live a sustainable lifestyle on 5 acres with chickens, dogs, rabbits & more! Grab some coffee or wine and hang out for a bit!