5 Reasons Why You Should Get Ducks

5 Reasons Why You Should Get Ducks

We talk a lot about chickens here at eFowl, and for good reason! Chickens are amazing pets that are useful to have. However, more and more people are starting to think about backyard poultry more than just backyard chickens. Raising ducks can be incredibly rewarding, and even may be a better fit for you than chickens! Here’s why:

1. Ducks are hardy

Ducks are generally healthier and have stronger immune systems than chickens. Since they keep their bodies at 107 degrees, they’re inhospitable to parasite and bacteria. Most common chicken diseases, such as Marek’s disease and the avian flu, don’t affect ducks. The fact that they spend a lot of time in the water makes them less susceptible to mites and other parasites.

Depending on the breed, ducks can also incredibly hardy during the winter. Breeds like the Ancona and the Cayuga are specially winter hardy. Some ducks wake up in the middle of the snow waiting for their feet to unfreeze from the ground to start their day.

Ducks really take hardiness to the next level.

2. No eggs like duck eggs

Duck eggs are larger, have a tougher shell than chicken eggs, which gives them a longer shelf life. They have a larger yolk which makes them more nutritional and caloric dense.

Duck eggs don’t taste like any chicken egg you’ve ever had. They have a very intense flavor, but can be used in anything regular eggs are used for. Although some ducks don’t lay as often as some chicken breeds, they lay before sunrise, which will make the job of collecting easy.

Plus, ducks don’t eat their eggs!

3. Quiet and easier to raise

You don’t need a fancy chicken coop for ducks. Any dog house with a predator-proof door, proper ventilation and cheap insulation will do the trick. There’s no need for nesting boxes. And as we mentioned before, they’re quite hardy so you’ll need less trips to the vet.

Plus they’re very reliable when it comes to getting rid of bugs from your yard! There’s a reason why you often see ducks in beautiful, privately owned gardens. Since they’re good foragers, some people keep ducks just for their insecticide capabilities!

4. Profitable

Just as with chickens, you can make a profit selling ducklings during the spring and you can easily hatch your own eggs. However most people would rather go the easier route and sell ducks’ eggs.

As we mentioned, duck eggs are rarer and have a stronger taste than chicken eggs, mostly due to their higher fat content. This makes them very valuable to some people, including some of the top restaurants that are willing to pay top dollar for them, specially when it comes to Asian cuisine and pastry shops. Just take a look at your local farmer’s market to see how expensive these eggs are in comparison to chickens’! That means adding the best and most expensive restaurants of your area to your other ways to sell eggs.

Now you may be thinking “well yes they’re more expensive, but that’s because they lay less eggs”, but that’s not true if you get the right breed. Khaki Campbells for instance, can lay over 300 eggs per year!

5. Easy-going and quiet

Having a pet duck has a lot of perks, and one of them is how quiet they tend to be. Male ducks don’t quack so it’s only the females that will make a noise. And unless they’re scared or excited, they’ll keep it down.

A lot of people may complain about the cackle of a chicken flock or about a rooster waking them up at sunrise, but who doesn’t love some gentle quacking?

Ducks are incredibly adorable, resilient and useful. Is a pet duck the right fit for you? Let us know your experience with ducks in the comments below!

19 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why You Should Get Ducks

  1. Wendy says:

    We have a large yard with a flowing creek that is about 10 feet wide. It does not pool up, but it can be rapid and overflow in heavy rains. Can ducks manage in that or do they need a pond?

    • Dianne says:

      We have a creek tbehind our house that carries head waters. Our ducks want out to go to ditch but once there they seem to know that current is to strong. They wait for it to slow down. I always monitor them when they are out of lot.

  2. Pam Humphrey says:

    We have Indian Runners and people come to our place just to watch them! ( Runners move in lines with military precision.) Since getting the ducks our dogs and cats have virtually no ticks. We get eggs all spring and summer plus the joy of watching duck antics. They have no problem with Virginia winters, unlike some of our chickens. I LOVE DUCKS!

  3. Ric and Julie Shallow says:

    Ducks are much easier and require very little food during Spring & Summer. We have a natural pond and they head to it 1st thing every morning. We have NEVER had a problem keeping away the enemies either.

  4. Anne says:

    We love ducks! Chickens are fine, but do get in trouble faster – squeezing through the wire fencing. Our flock is still young, but the ducks are easier to catch for children to hold. They have more character than most chicken and we plan to use them to seal our pond when they are a little bigger. When we moved to a small farm, my husband wanted us to forget the chicken and just have ducks, but the rest of the family wanted chickens as well. Can’t wait for the eggs of of both in 2 more months.

  5. Penny Harper says:

    Have much water do you need to have ducks. I have a very small kiddie swimming pool. Don’t think that would work.

    • Anne says:

      We have done that is the past and it worked fine as long as all of your ducks can fit in the pool and have room to move freely. We have a new color in our family: it is “dirty duck water green”. Be prepared to clean the pool once in a while

      • Patrick says:

        Love my ducks. Lost all my hens in hurricane Michael. Happily received replacements this week. Love to eat the eggs, but most go to people who bake a lot of cakes. The high fat content of the duck eggs makes the cakes much richer and more moist.

    • Bob says:

      I have two kiddy pools for mine and the grandkids love the ducks. I started with 6 and now have 27 popping out eggs. I also let them sit on the eggs until they hatch. Now that is a great time for the kids and pretty good for me too. Springtime is a great time to sell ducks and most oriental food suppliers will take all you have.. At present, I have 72 chicks running around the yard and my dog has a ball with them. She likes to heard them around and she keeps the predators at bay. She thinks the flock is her’s and is very protective of them.

    • Glenn says:

      Got a small plastic kiddie pool at Target for my three ducks. It holds about 20 gallons. They have a great time splashing in the pool. It seems to be more than enough for them.

    • Brian Thorp says:

      We just have some kiddie pools that they splash and play in. Works great. Easy to dump out and clean as you can do that pretty often. Have fun!

    • Karen says:

      A kiddie pool is fine but plan on changing out the water every day. Ducks must have access to fresh water, but mine seemed to take pride in how fast they could turn a nice clear tub of water into mud. It’s amazing how fast they can muck up even a kiddie pool. I would dump the pool each night to let the water seep into the ground and refill it every morning, just make sure they have access to drinking water for clearing their bills if food. Plan on changing the pools location around to avoid developing a mud spot on your property.

      • Ozark City Slicker says:

        I currently have 4 Silver Appleyard duck hens + 1 Silver Appleyard drake (and 6 ducklings ready to join the flock the end of July). I began with 7 Ameraucana chickens in 2016 & added ducklings & guinea keats July 2017. Since guineas can be agressive, we only kept 1 guinea hen but, since she was raised alongside with the ducks, she THINKS she’s a duck. When I let the ducks, chickens & guinea out of the run to free range almost daily, they all come pouring OUT of the run but, when it’s time to go BACK into the run, the guinea usually leads the flocks back into the run.

        We have a small kiddie pool (about 50 gallons – we move around on a grassy area to keep the muck down) for the ducks who gleefully splash & mate while the guinea runs around the outside of the pool. Depending on how much or little rainfall we get, we usually only fill the pool once a week – at the most – emptying the water when it becomes too dirty – for US (from what we’ve witnessed, they could probably care less HOW dirty the water is).

        The Ameraucanas are SWEET chickens. The rooster, being a fierce protector of his ‘women’, has flogged me really good a few times (before I learned how to give him the “bucket” treatment). I will never cook or get rid of my rooster. Reading “The Psychology of A Rooster” really opened my eyes to help me realize he is doing exactly what he was created to do. Now I have a lot of respect for him. Since hatching, he was always my “baby” but he matured into a fierce protector of the flock & guarded them with his life on several occasions. He’s learned to respect me as well but, if he ever does show me aggression, I usually have a 5-gallon bucket handy & I quickly cover him in it, bang on the outside of it several times then lift the edge just enough for him to stick his head out then I close the bucket over his head & bang on the bucket some more. Then I lift the bucket enough so that I can grab his body with both hands, hold him down to the ground until he doesn’t try to move when I take my hands away. Once I can take my hands away without him trying to take off, he’s in submission. It doesn’t “break his spirit” of being “cock of the walk” but does remind him who’s the REAL boss. (Repeat the above procedure as necessary. They eventually learn, though.)

        Pools aren’t a necessity for ducks. Duck hatcheries don’t have kiddie pools but do provide enough water for the ducks to wash their eyes, nostrils and groom their feathers.

        Ducks are a LOT easier to keep than chickens. The guinea is the “alarm” when danger is lurking but having a dog or two – doesn’t have to be real large – is an EXCELLENT deterrent. The guinea will sound the alarm & the dogs immediately “investigate” – we do, too. So far, thankfully, we haven’t lost any to predators.

    • Jamie Craft says:

      We have several ducks and we use 3 of the largest kiddie pools and they do great. We change the water every other day

    • Lydia Van Landingham says:

      I have two kiddie pools and I like it better because I can easily empty and refill the pools weekly. They swim and clean themselves just fine!

  6. Eva Wild says:

    We regale friends with our free range duck stories more often than the grandkid tales. We had chickens and found the 3 dimensional pooping and window side crowing just too much. Ducks mutter and murmur, like complaining diners while they nibble on all sorts of crawling pests. We Iove our ducks.

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