Why Your Ducks Dislike Water and How to Change That

Ducks By Pond

Like fish in the water, we’re almost as certain that ducks too highly enjoy waddling and bathing in ponds. After all, there must have been a reason for the saying, “Like a duck to water.”

But have you ever encountered a situation where your ducks may dislike water and wonder why they won’t go to the pond?

One primary reason why some ducks will not swim in their pond is fear of the water. Other living creatures like turtles or catfish may also be bothering your brood, causing them to stary out of the pond. Or your ducks may be rejecting the pond because it’s too dirty to swim in.

Although this may seem like an odd phenomenon, it’s not rare for a duck to reject the waters. So, what can you do to change this odd habit in your duck? Let’s look through some possible ways to help your ducks.

3 Reasons Why Your Ducks Refuse to Go to the Pond

Before we talk about ways to help your ducks enjoy the water, it may be a better idea to understand why they’re refusing to enter the pond. These are 3 common reasons why your ducks are refusing to go to the pond:

Your Ducks Are Afraid of the Water

Odd as it may seem, one of the reasons your ducks are refusing the pond is that they’re afraid of the water. It is common for ducks who are used to smaller spaces to waddle about having to move to big spaces. Subsequently, it may have a lot to do with the upbringing of your ducks. If your ducks have previously encountered a traumatic incident by the pond, then there may be a chance that they still remember it, thus rejecting the idea of visiting the pond.

The Pond May Be Dirty

Despite earning the reputation of being dirty, your ducks may be avoiding the pond because it’s dirty. Although ducks are known to occasionally feed on algae, having a pond that is overrun with algae may deter your ducks’ movements in the water, making it difficult for them to swim about. When this happens, your ducks would naturally choose not to enter the pond.  

Other Animals Are Making It Difficult for Your Ducks to Enjoy the Pond

If there are other animals like large turtles or catfishes living in the pond, it may be difficult for your ducks to enjoy the water. Bad experiences such as being nipped may deter your ducks from wanting to go into the water, especially as it makes them feel like they are in danger.

When your ducks don’t go to the pond, it may be a good idea to find out what other animals are in the water, so you’ll know if it’s safe for them to swim in it.

What to Do If Your Ducks Won’t Go to the Pond?

Now that you know what could cause their dislike for water, we’ll look at some ways to help your ducks break out of this odd character.

Give Them a Small Pool to Swim In

Imagine the time you were afraid to pop into the pool because you didn’t know how to swim and now do the same for your ducks.

In some cases, your ducks may not like the pond because the waters seem too vast for them. Instead, why not ease them into swimming by providing them with a small pool to dip their feet in?

An inflatable children’s pool would work great because you could deflate and keep it tucked away once your ducks are more accustomed to the waters and have returned to the pond.

Don’t Rush It

While it may seem odd that your ducks didn’t enjoy the water as much as you expected it to, the last thing you’ll want to do is to scare them away.

Allow your ducks some time to get used to the water, and they’ll eventually sprint away to the pond. If your duck naturally dislikes the water, the best thing you can do is to respect its preference of staying away from the pond.

Scatter Food along the Shoreline

Separately, you may also try to lure your ducks into the waters by scattering food along the shores of the pond. Over time, you may also throw the food into the middle of the pond. This will encourage your ducks to slip right into the ponds to fetch the feed.

When your duck feels more confident and safer around the pond, they will eventually enter the waters and enjoy it the way you’ve meant for them to, even if it’s without the food. Don’t try to put them right into the pond because that may make them dislike the water even more.

Bring in Some Water Plants to Help Clean the Pond

If you want to combat the issue of having a dirty pond, it may be wise to plant some water plants by the shores. This will help purify the water of any unwanted dirt that is throwing your ducks off.

Some effective plant species include water lilies, watercress, and hornwort, or water thyme. Some water plants may also help deter the growth of algae, keeping the body of the water cleaner for longer.

Do Ducks Need to Be in a Pond?

So, what if you’ve tried every trick in the book, and your ducks are still refusing to be near the pond? Could it be harmful to your ducks if they refuse to go to the pond?

Well, the good news is that it isn’t always necessary for your ducks to go to the pond. While it may be good for your ducks’ feathers, eyes, bills, and feet to be in contact with water, it doesn’t mean they need to be submerged in a pond all the time. Instead, you could prepare a shallow pool so they can occasionally pop in and out to splash around the water and leave after.

When picking a pool, be sure to pick one where it’s easy for your ducks to get out after they’ve jumped in. Despite being naturally good with water – even if they don’t like it – ducks can become waterlogged on certain occasions and drown. If you’re aware that your ducks aren’t good with water, it may be a good idea to keep an eye on them when you bring out the pool.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, it may be odd to see your ducks dislike water, but it’s also heartening to know that it isn’t due to a medical condition.

When you notice your ducks refusing to go to the pond, the last thing you’ll want to do is to force them into it. Instead, it may be more beneficial for you and the ducks to take a slow approach to the water. By identifying the reason behind why they won’t go to the pond, it’s also likelier that you will know how to rectify the issue on hand.

While it may take a longer time for you ducks to feel comfortable and safe in the pond, you’ll probably see higher chances for them taking to the water when you take the process slow.


Hi, My name is Rasmus. I am a hobby "polytarian" and a backyard farmer. Ever since I was a baby, I have been surrounded by poultry of all kinds. This blog is my way of sharing what I have learned from my bird-crazy family, books, and my personal experience.

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