Domesticated ducks can be kept as pets, in a garden or backyard, and with special accessories, have also been known to be kept in the house. They will often eat insects and slugs. A pond or deep water dish is recommended. Without access to plentiful water, ducks will not thrive. If they are given access to a pond, they will dabble in the mud, dredging out and eating wildlife and frog spawn, and swallow adult frogs and toads up to the size of the British common frog Rana temporaria, as they have been bred to be much bigger than wild ducks, with a “hull length” (base of neck to base of tail) of up to a foot or more; the wild mallard’s “hull length” is about 6 inches (150 mm). A coop should be provided for shelter from predators such as foxes, hawks,coyotes, and raccoons, as many breeds of domestic ducks cannot fly.
Ducks are also kept for their ornamental value. Breeds have been developed with crests and tufts or striking plumage. Exhibition shows are held in which ducks, along with other breeds of poultry, are exhibited in competition. These shows can be “open” (meaning any exhibitor who pays the required entry fee can enter), or “closed” (accessible only to members of a given group)