Do Ducks Like Rain? (& When To Get Them Out Of It!)

As we know ducks have the luxury of inhabiting land and water. But, swimming and playing in the water is a bit different from water falling from all angles in the form of heavy rain.

Most animals certainly don’t enjoy the rain, often running for shelter and staying there until the rain clouds disappear. 

But have you ever seen ducks in rain? They seem completely unphased, almost as if they actually enjoy it!

As a duck owner, or simply to quench your curiosity, here’s whether ducks like rain, if it’s OK for ducks to get wet, and when you should get your ducks out of the rain. 

Do Ducks Like Rain?

You’ve heard of the old idiom, rain is “lovely weather for ducks”. As it turns out, this couldn’t be more true!

Ducks do like rain!

If you own ducks you can attest to this too, as ducks seem completely happy to stay out in the rain, flutter their wings, and actually seem to enjoy it!

It’s not uncommon to see your ducks expressing their love for the rain by happy quacks, splashing through puddles, and playing with one another. 

Ducks often use the rain as a good opportunity to preen their feathers as well, as the rainwater is often much cleaner than pond water!

Lastly, with rain often comes an increase of insects and invertebrates in the environment. Ducks use this to their advantage and will forage and scavenge for food during this time! 

Is It Ok For My Duck to Get Wet?

Whether your duck’s wet from swimming or from a downpour of rain, you don’t have to worry about it.

You see, ducks have a secret superpower of being waterproof, which means their skin will never be soaked.

This superpower comes from what’s called the preen gland”. 

This gland, located near their tail, creates a waxy oil that they are able to spread throughout their feathers and bodies using their beaks. This oil creates a barrier between the rain and their feathers, effectively preventing their feathers from becoming wet.

That’s why you’ll see rain and water flowing off of their feathers!

However, there is one kryptonite to this superpower, and it’s known as “wet feather

With this condition, the feathers of ducks do become wet and lose their ability to resist water. This condition can be caused by a number of factors, like external parasites or infections in the preen gland. 

However, in normal circumstances, this isn’t a problem, so it’s completely OK for your duck to get wet.

Should I Get My Ducks Out Of The Rain? 

Just because ducks like the rain, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always good for them.

However, if your duck is fully feathered and in good health, then you do not need to usher your duck out of the rain. It was actually concluded by a study on farm animal welfare that ducks prefer to bathe and wash under a shower of water rather than in a pond.

This study discussed how showers are more sanitary for ducks because even clean ponds become dirty over time since ducks do their ‘business’ in them.

Plus, thanks to a duck’s feathers they won’t actually get wet at all, even in heavy rainfall! So generally you don’t need to help get them out of the rain.

Still, it’s worthwhile setting up a shelter for them, just so they have the option, particularly if there’s cold weather!

Backyard chickens enjoy the rain too, but their feathers aren’t as water-resistant as a ducks!

When To Get Ducks Out Of The Rain

The only exception where it’s a good idea to get your ducks into the shelter is when it’s windy and cold. This is because ducks don’t tend to like this weather, and extreme cold and wind can lead to frostbite.

If there’s a storm with extreme rainfall then it’s worthwhile getting them out too, just to be safe.

This is why, although ducks like the rain, it’s important they have a warm and dry shelter for when they need it!

It goes without saying that you shouldn’t expose your ducklings to overly rainy weather though, as they haven’t fully developed their feathers, so the cold and wet impacts them more. This goes for any sick or injured ducks too!

Can Ducks Fly In The Rain?

Because of their natural ability to resist water, ducks rarely have any trouble flying in the rain.

Unless it’s particularly stormy, dark, or there is torrential rainfall, a duck will still choose to fly in the rain when it needs to.

Otherwise, during rainfall, it’s more likely it will be scavenging for food, preening themselves, or playing around!

Putting It All Together

So, if you’ve been watching your ducks having the time of their lives in the rain, or simply wondered if they enjoy it, then we can conclude: yes, ducks do like the rain.

The good news is, thanks to the waxy oil that they produce, you don’t need to worry about a thing, so long as your duck has a full set of healthy feathers and is not unwell or injured.

Still, it’s a good idea to get your ducks out of the rain if it’s particularly stormy, cold, or windy, as ducks are still susceptible to frostbite in extreme cold.

Also, if there is torrential rain, duck feathers won’t be able to resist it all!

But in any normal rainy weather, ducks will be absolutely fine, and it will indeed be “good weather for ducks”.

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