Having a cute duck follow you around the house or a goose fly along beside your car as you run errands--it's a fun idea, right? After all, it's not every day that to see a duck in a truck or a pet goose on the loose. Wouldn't keeping just one waterfowl like this be fun?
Well, yes...maybe. It's possible to keep just one duck or goose--especially if it has not grown up with other waterfowl--since on some level, it thinks it is human. Because ducks and geese are very social animals that can imprint on anyone that shows them attention when they are young, there are numerous heartwarming stories of single waterfowl and "their human" living together.
But is keeping a single waterfowl a good idea?
In most cases, probably not. Here's why: Ducks and geese bond strongly with their flockmates and almost never leave each other's side, so keeping a single waterfowl means a person must commit to giving the animal a LOT of attention. A single waterfowl won't know to miss members of its own species, but it will certainly miss YOU when you are away, even more so than a dog or cat might. As bonded, sometimes imprinted, flock animals, you will want to avoid leaving your pet duck or goose alone for long periods, as this can cause them to feel loneliness, vulnerability, and anxiety.
We like to be together!
So why not consider keeping at least two waterfowl so that each of them still has a flockmate when you're not around? Even better: keeping at least three will allow the other two to have friends from their own species in case one were to die.
And let's just say it: one duck is cute, but a flock is fabulous! One goose is cool, but a gaggle is glorious!
While keeping just one goose or duck is possible, making sure your pet waterfowl have a strong social life, including members of their own species, is one of the many ways you can ensure that they are happy and healthy.