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Ducks vs chickens

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

I've been considering getting ducks, because the consensus seems to be that they are superior to chickens when it comes to ridding the garden of slugs.  (See this thread for more details.)
I would like to ask any duck owners to comment on the virtues and/or drawbacks of duck ownership over chicken ownership.  For example, ease of raising, friendliness (do they bond with their owners?), suitability as pets for small children, etc. etc.
Thanks.
PS This is a repost that I put under a different topic.  I think it belongs here.

post #2 of 33

There are only two things I can say with confidence (being new to chickens, but having had ducks in the past).  Ducks are SUPER friendly and cuddly -- and yeah, more so than chickens. They're also sillier (IMO) and just plain friendly fun.  And they are about a million times messier than any other animal I have ever encountered, because their poop and their food both get slung to the four corners of the world.

Back after a 2 year hiatus from chickens and the forum.  I have one chicken right now - a BO rooster, who just ain't right and likes nothing more than a good cuddle.  No, I don't know, either.
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Back after a 2 year hiatus from chickens and the forum.  I have one chicken right now - a BO rooster, who just ain't right and likes nothing more than a good cuddle.  No, I don't know, either.
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post #3 of 33

Ducks are messier than chickens, but if you design their house well, that can be handled.
Ducks are way more fun to play with in the sprinklers!
Duck eggs are yummier and they poof up gigantic in baking.
Ducks are less prone to illness and parasites.
Ducks are more cold hardy, and therefore save electricity.
Ducks are really good bug catchers, better than even a determined hen.

I will always have both, because they each have many wonderful characteristics! big_smile

Snowy Call Ducks - Black Bantam Frizzle Cochins - White Ameraucanas - Buff Orpingtons - Birchen Modern Game
Let me know if you want hatching eggs!

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Snowy Call Ducks - Black Bantam Frizzle Cochins - White Ameraucanas - Buff Orpingtons - Birchen Modern Game
Let me know if you want hatching eggs!

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post #4 of 33

I love my ducks.  However, they are messy and can be very noisy (depending on sex/breed and how many).  They don't always bond well with people.  Ours come running for feed, but you can't touch them. 

They also are great at reducing mosquito populations.  And, yes, I agree, duck eggs are quite yummy (but they don't always lay in nests).

www.greyhorsegifts.com (great doggy shirts)
www.flagpridet-shirts.com (great flag/country shirts)
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www.greyhorsegifts.com (great doggy shirts)
www.flagpridet-shirts.com (great flag/country shirts)
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post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies.
Could someone give me a link or advise me regarding what needs to be done to manage duck mess?
Also, any guidelines as to which breeds and gender are least noisy and most likely to bond with people?
Thanks

post #6 of 33

Ducks are messier than chickens, but if you design their house well, that can be handled.
Ducks are way more fun to play with in the sprinklers!
Duck eggs are yummier and they poof up gigantic in baking.
Ducks are less prone to illness and parasites.
Ducks are more cold hardy, and therefore save electricity.
Ducks are really good bug catchers, better than even a determined hen.


thumbsup


I have or have had...

A buff : LOUD but lots of personality. Good egg layer.
a khaki hen: did not like people much, but was great at chasing squirrels out of the yard. Great egg layer. (died after a leg injury)
a khaki drake: A good drake, but he was very bonded with my mouthy buff, so I sold them as a pair to be kind to my neighbors. He was not nice to the baby ducks.
a khaki/buff mutt: raised her from an egg. She is cute, funny and likes me...lets me pet her and everything. She is my goofy sprinkler playing baby. (Still have her)
a rouen drake: quiet and reserved, but good to the younger ducks. VERY cute. (still have him)
a runner: smart but afraid of her own shadow. GREAT egg layer. (still have her)
3 welsh harlequins: These 3 little girls are so funny, and so cute...I am hooked on this breed. They are much easier to pick up compared to the other ducks. If I lay in the grass, the treat me like a jungle gym. They love to swim and eat treats out of my hand. They follow me everywhere when I walk around the back yard. They will be good egg layers when they grow up.


Edited by Wifezilla - 5/18/09 at 5:23pm
7 quacking ducks, 5 spazzy quail, 3 lazy cats, 2 grown sons, 1 goofy husband... and no partridge, but I have a pear tree!
My micro-farm blog - www.bluefeatherfarm.blogspot.com
Duck pond and biofilter information- http://tinyurl.com/lfgeg9
The Double-Decker Brooder Thread- http://tinyurl.com/nf8zm5
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7 quacking ducks, 5 spazzy quail, 3 lazy cats, 2 grown sons, 1 goofy husband... and no partridge, but I have a pear tree!
My micro-farm blog - www.bluefeatherfarm.blogspot.com
Duck pond and biofilter information- http://tinyurl.com/lfgeg9
The Double-Decker Brooder Thread- http://tinyurl.com/nf8zm5
Reply
post #7 of 33

A male duck will be quieter.  A female duck will quack, but the male has a raspy or whispery voice in comparison.  There is a type of domestic duck called a Muscovy which is not descended from the Mallard duck so it doesn't quack.  The females are supposedly relatively friendly.  But they have more of an ability to scratch people like a very large chicken, they can fly and like to roost in trees, which most of the Mallard derived ducks can't do except for the bantam breeds.  In general male ducks are friendlier and more interactive with people than females, but how friendly any particular duck is depends a lot on how much handling it got from you while it was a duckling. 
There are many different breeds of ducks with lots of pros and cons you will want to research.

post #8 of 33

They are nasty, nasty, nasty. But so darn cute and funny. I love mine. weeweeweeweewee

Living on my little 2 acre spread with 15 chickens, 3 cats, 2 dogs, and a miniature horse.
The ten most dangerous words in the English language are "Hi, I'm from the government, and I'm here to help." Ronald Reagan.
If I mis-spell something, just act like I didn't.

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Living on my little 2 acre spread with 15 chickens, 3 cats, 2 dogs, and a miniature horse.
The ten most dangerous words in the English language are "Hi, I'm from the government, and I'm here to help." Ronald Reagan.
If I mis-spell something, just act like I didn't.

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post #9 of 33

We love our ducks.  We have Khaki Campbells, 1 Pekin, 1 Cayuga, Anconas, Chinese Mandarins and white calls.  We eat and sell the eggs from our larger ducks. 

Ducks are VERY messy - but - for me  in my situation, not as messy as chickens.  This is because the chickens roost in the rafters of my barn and poop all over my stuff!  I hate it!  I can let my ducks out for the day and they wander the farm foraging and eating millions of bugs.  Even if they come in the barn for an afternoon nap ( so cute!), their poop is on the dirt floor.  At dusk, they are back in the duck pen waiting for a wee bit of grain.  So the only mess we have is IN the duck pen.  Who cares if the duck pen is messy, it's a duck pen!

The chickens, on the other hand, will NOT return to their coop if I let them out.  Instead, they hop up into my barn rafters and on top of the rabbit cages and poop all over everything!  So I have bannished them to their coop forever which means I have more poop to clean up from inside the coop since they are in it 24/7, I have to use more bedding and also that I have to feed them more since they are not forageing on free stuff.

So....FOR ME.....ducks are cheeper to feed, LESS messy, LESS work, give me more and larger eggs and to top it all off, they are cuter and fun to watch!  I love my ducks!

Christ follower,  Wife of 28 years, Stay at home, homeschooling, mom to 4, ages 26, 25, 20, and 11, Farmer of 160 acres where we raise beef cattle, meat goats, Nubian dairy goats, ducks and also care for 8 horses, 1 mini donkey, 1 sheep, 11 chickens, 5 dogs and 2 barn cats.

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Christ follower,  Wife of 28 years, Stay at home, homeschooling, mom to 4, ages 26, 25, 20, and 11, Farmer of 160 acres where we raise beef cattle, meat goats, Nubian dairy goats, ducks and also care for 8 horses, 1 mini donkey, 1 sheep, 11 chickens, 5 dogs and 2 barn cats.

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post #10 of 33

katemary63, which of your ducks do you think is friendlier the khaki campbell or the cayuga. I too am also thinking about getting some ducks:tongue

"Life is like a box of terrible analogies"
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"Life is like a box of terrible analogies"
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