Does anyone keep ducks for eggs?

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Does anyone keep ducks for eggs?

Postby George Collins » Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:58 am

For my next Permsteading project, I've started toying around with the idea of adding ducks to the mix. I heard once that ducks are more prolific layers and tend to lay for a larger portion of the year than do chickens.

This prompted a bit of research. Come to find out, ducks seem to beat out chicken eggs in every conceivable category when it comes to producing eggs for the table save one - duck eggs have about twice the cholesterol.

Other than that one potential drawback, it seems that if one were after eggs, ducks might be the better option.

My only experience with ducks is that Youngblood had some when I was a wee toddler but he was made get rid of them by his mother because they developed the habit of relieving themselves on her porch.

Does anyone have any experience keeping ducks? If so, what's your take on how well they fit in on a diversified farm? Is there any downside to having them around? Do they require a pond, etc.?
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Re: Does anyone keep ducks for eggs?

Postby Myrth » Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:59 pm

I kept ducks before I kept chickens. I started with rouens. Later I kept campbells. Ducks are messy. They will get into ANY available water. They don't want to go into their house at night, so you have to herd them into their house. They will strongly resist going inside if it is raining. I had a border collie back then, who took over that job for me. Without him I would probably have given up raising ducks.

Later, at another place I tried keeping them on a pond in a more wild environment. That was a disaster. Coons killed too many, so I had to once again make them come in at night.

In my experience ducks are more seasonal layers than chickens, but I suppose it depends which chickens you compare them to. There is also a need to separate a broody duck from the flock as the drake will often kill the ducklings. I have had less trouble with roosters doing that.

Ducks are cute, though. And the all dark meat is delicious. They are MUCH harder to butcher - MUCH harder. They are waterproof, so you can't scald to make plucking easy. I suppose you could just skin them though - when I cook them I like to have the skin on and to smoke the bird.

I honestly prefer chickens. But like everything else, such things are very individual and personal decisions.
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Re: Does anyone keep ducks for eggs?

Postby mannytheseacow » Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:06 am

I would echo everything Myrth said. I've had them on and off over the years. I've had Rouens, Pekins, Indian Runners, and Ancaunas. The Pekins were about the best in terms of meat, eggs, growth and temperament. They do love their water, the little bastards. You know they are good just because they're such a pain in the butt- seems like that's how it always works. I really love duck meat and their eggs. I prefer it to chicken. The nice big breasts on the pekins also make a great ham.
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