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Chickens or ducks

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I would like to know all of the advantages and disadvantages of ducks and what breeds of ducks are the best and the same with chickens thanks in advance

post #2 of 6
Chickens are personally my favorite to own, I'm not very experienced with ducks but I am with chickens and geese. I'd recommend the breeds, Welsummer (they lay beautiful dark brown eggs and are very sweet and cute), Black Sex Links (they are easy to sex at a young age and are very sweet in general, they also lay a good amount of eggs and are very beautiful.)
Sicilian Buttercups (very goofy looking but adorable), smaller than the average chicken but well worth it, they lay more eggs than most (smaller white eggs) and are very curious and active.
I also would recommend Easter Eggers, my rooster is beautiful (he's a firey red bird and is just gorgeous!) A pro of having Easter Egger hens are that they are very sweet and lay beautiful blue/green eggs. Good luck! (:
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

thx

post #4 of 6
We have English Orpingtons, Silkies, Easter Eggers, Australian Spotted ducks, and Call ducks. The Spots are our favorites and we like ducks more than chickens.

Ducks do more good and less harm to your yard if they free range like ours do. If you want to breed and hatch, thete are no ordinances against drakes while many areas have banned roosters. The duck eggs are more expensive and more "rich" than chicken eggs. Both ducks and chickens are seasonal layers but our chickens lay year round while the ducks take a break from December to February. Duck eggs store easily for 3 months in the fridge so only hatching is effected by the seasons and I like taking a break from hatching and raising ducklings. Since we have bantam ducks we get chicken sized eggs from our 2-pound ducks so there are no conversions to make when baking with duck eggs. The feed to egg ratio is much better because ducks forage more and eat less feed. We keep feed out at all times but we rarely see the ducks near the feeders.

Duck poop is ideal for gardeners because it does not have to be aged like chicken poop. It is easily liquified and turned into instant fertilizer while chicken poop is harder to break down and it is too hot to use straight from the bird. The ducks weed the lawn and mow the grass very nicely without scratching or digging dust bath pits. They love water so if you put their water containers on dirt it can get muddy but if you move it around on the grass it waters your lawn. Our ducks need far less shelter and they love the rain, which is ideal in the Pacific Northwest. They also eat slugs and snails, plus they eat mosquito larvae from standing water. Chickens will eat bugs too but the ducks are more invested in cleaning the yard of pests.

We find ducks to be so much more social and entertaining. They are definately smarter than chickens. They will lay their eggs in a nest on the ground and then move their nest when their eggs keep disappearing while chickens will use the same nest box over and over. Ducks are good mamas but so are some breeds of chickens. The ducklings can be sexed at a much earlier age (before they are 2 weeks old in our case) and they start laying at 4 months old. They live longer than chickens and are reproductive longer.

We have been tempted to get rid of the chickens and just keep the ducks but our chickens and ducks are both grandfathered with code changes being more restrictive so we need to hold onto the birds we worked so hard to keep. We do like having both chickens and ducks but if we had to choose one or the other we would give up the chickens and keep the ducks.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicken Bff View Post
 

I would like to know all of the advantages and disadvantages of ducks and what breeds of ducks are the best and the same with chickens thanks in advance


You could write an entire book on this question.  What do you want from your birds?  eggs?  Meat?  Both?  Colored eggs? 

     We have both.  Our ducks lay a lot, but most are seasonal layers and if you want eggs, a chicken will outlay a duck.  However there are super egg laying duck breeds.

   Chickens will scratch and peck, but ducks can do serious damage to your yard.  They can dig it up and make divets everywhere. Give them water and they can make mud puddles.  If you have a pond or pool for them, it helps.

   Since you're Mississippi, heat tolerant birds may be more important to you than cold hardy which is something to consider.

     You can go to www.mypetchicken.com and answer a short questionnaire about what you want from chickens and they can give you suggestions on which breed might be the most appropriate.

   As I stated I do find chickens much less messy, buy the sex of the ducks doesn't matter as much.  If you get an accidental drake it won't crow.

    But I do find chickens more interesting and there seems to be many more breed choices.

post #6 of 6
I have three different chicken breeds at this time; Rhode Island Reds, Barred Plymouth Rock and Black Australorp. They are excellent layers of lovely large brown eggs, smart and friendly, weather tolerant. They enjoy people company and will happily sit on a lap and be petted. They get along well with each other. I am very pleased with all of them.
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