BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Other BackYard Poultry › Ducks › Ducks VS Chickens
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Ducks VS Chickens

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I am deciding whether to get ducks or chickens. How do they compare based on general laying age and how long they lay eggs for? Do ducks need more food than chickens? How can can ducks (Khaki Campbells) fly vs chickens? How much can you sell ducklings and chickens for at a market? How much can you sell chicken eggs and duck eggs for and what is the demand?

 

Thanks for your help I'm really stuck here.

post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShowMeTheDucks View Post

I am deciding whether to get ducks or chickens. How do they compare based on general laying age and how long they lay eggs for? Do ducks need more food than chickens? How can can ducks (Khaki Campbells) fly vs chickens? How much can you sell ducklings and chickens for at a market? How much can you sell chicken eggs and duck eggs for and what is the demand?

 

Thanks for your help I'm really stuck here.

 

I have both chickens and ducks, but I've only had them for about 18 months now, so there will be others who have more experience than I do. I have Ancona ducks and about 14 different breeds of chickens.

 

Age of lay: Chickens- depends on breed. I had some start at 19 weeks, others are more like 24 weeks. Ducks - Somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 weeks. My oldest chickens are in their second year of laying and they are starting to slow down. Most of them will become chicken soup in the next year or so. My understanding is that ducks maintain their rate of lay for a longer time period - 5 years or so, I think. But my oldest ducks are only 13 months old, so I am just repeating what I have heard.

Food: Hard to say. I think my ducks eat slightly more than my chickens, but definitely less than turkeys. My ducks are very active foragers, too.

Flying: Most domestic breeds of ducks do not fly. My Anconas can get about 3' off the ground and fly for 10' or so. I have chickens that are much better at flying than that (Cream Legbars and Lakenvelders). 

Selling Chicks/Ducks: It depends on the breed and the market where you live. I generally sell my prime Ancona ducklings for $6/each. If I am looking to sell them quickly, I price them at $2.50/each and they are gone in a matter of hours. I can sell Cream Legbar chicks for much more than that, but they are very rare. 


Selling Eggs: I sell chicken eggs for $2/dozen and duck eggs for $3/dozen. Farm-fresh eggs are cheap here and there isn't much of a market for duck eggs at all. There are some Filipinos who like them and I also sell them to folks who are allergic to chicken eggs. I'm sure if I lived in an urban area, that would be different. I make more money selling hatching eggs than I do fresh eggs. 

In my opinion, you have to get into raising ducks for the love of it, not based on profit motives. They are so adorable and mine make me laugh daily, but they are more work than chickens. I spend lots of time cleaning pools and filling water tubs. Brooding ducklings is much more labor intensive than brooding chicks, again, due to the water issue. But I do it all with a smile on my face because they are just so much fun.

I love how my ducks consistently outlay my chickens. I love how unfazed they are by snow and enjoy watching them plow through snowdrifts. I even love it when they soak me with their exuberant water play. 

 

Chickens are great, too. I have a much easier time selling their eggs and they are far less work. But ducks have my heart.
 


Edited by harriedhomemaker - 8/22/13 at 2:12pm

Cream Legbars and Ancona ducks are my love! Ancona duck hatching eggs for sale - NPIP certified.

Website: www.gustfrontfarm.webs.com

On Facebook and our blog

 

Central Region Director for the Cream Legbar Club www.creamlegbarclub.com

My Cream Legbar BYC page

Reply

Cream Legbars and Ancona ducks are my love! Ancona duck hatching eggs for sale - NPIP certified.

Website: www.gustfrontfarm.webs.com

On Facebook and our blog

 

Central Region Director for the Cream Legbar Club www.creamlegbarclub.com

My Cream Legbar BYC page

Reply
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

  


Edited by ShowMeTheDucks - 8/22/13 at 2:33pm
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks a bunch, I'm not doing it for the money I love ducks but my parents need to know that I can make up the difference if i replace my sister's chickens with ducks. Also how far will ducks go from the coop?

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShowMeTheDucks View Post

Thanks a bunch, I'm not doing it for the money I love ducks but my parents need to know that I can make up the difference if i replace my sister's chickens with ducks. Also how far will ducks go from the coop?

 

 

That depends on the breed. Anconas generally stay close to home, but others are prone to roaming. They may or may not come home at night. My ducks have a very large pen and when I say, "Ducks, go to bed"  they all go inside their house. Try that maneuver with chickens! ;)
BTW, depending on how your chicken coop is set up (ie. high off the ground with a narrow walk to get to the pop door), it might not work so well for ducks.

 

Cream Legbars and Ancona ducks are my love! Ancona duck hatching eggs for sale - NPIP certified.

Website: www.gustfrontfarm.webs.com

On Facebook and our blog

 

Central Region Director for the Cream Legbar Club www.creamlegbarclub.com

My Cream Legbar BYC page

Reply

Cream Legbars and Ancona ducks are my love! Ancona duck hatching eggs for sale - NPIP certified.

Website: www.gustfrontfarm.webs.com

On Facebook and our blog

 

Central Region Director for the Cream Legbar Club www.creamlegbarclub.com

My Cream Legbar BYC page

Reply
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Ok thanks how wide does the walk way have to be for it to work for ducks?
And what is a good ration for ducks to drakes?


Edited by ShowMeTheDucks - 8/22/13 at 4:03pm
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShowMeTheDucks View Post

Ok thanks how wide does the walk way have to be for it to work for ducks?
And what is a good ration for ducks to drakes?

 

Hmm... My main duck house has a walk way that is about 9" wide. One of my subsidiary duck houses has a walkway that is maybe about 5" wide, but it is also very close to the ground; the ducks could get in and out without the ramp if it wasn't there. I'm pretty sure they would struggle to get up my chicken ramp, though. That ramp is about 4-5" wide, but is very long and steep as the chicken coop is raised 3' off the ground.

 

They say 3 ducks per drake is ideal. I had 3 drakes running with 6 ducks this spring and a couple of the ducks got to looking ragged because they were over-mated. I am in the process of deciding which ducks I am keeping for next year's breeding stock, but I think I will have 2 drakes with 7 or 8 ducks for 2014.   

Cream Legbars and Ancona ducks are my love! Ancona duck hatching eggs for sale - NPIP certified.

Website: www.gustfrontfarm.webs.com

On Facebook and our blog

 

Central Region Director for the Cream Legbar Club www.creamlegbarclub.com

My Cream Legbar BYC page

Reply

Cream Legbars and Ancona ducks are my love! Ancona duck hatching eggs for sale - NPIP certified.

Website: www.gustfrontfarm.webs.com

On Facebook and our blog

 

Central Region Director for the Cream Legbar Club www.creamlegbarclub.com

My Cream Legbar BYC page

Reply
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks alot :)
 

post #9 of 10

If you prefer a more controlled, less messy environment ducks are likely not going to appeal, ducks NEED water and with that comes mess, mud, wet and many refills of bathing tubs and water drinkers.

 

On the whole ducks are more hardy, less disease prone than chickens and do a better job of foraging BUT again mess comes right along with that, laying depends on the breed, some  actually compare with chickens and some even exceed.

 

I think chickens are real simple, ducks definitely require more space, more work. I have both here but the ducks exceed the chickens, they are mainly here for pest control(my calls are pets) and wander the farm daily, my chickens some are running in a large yard, others are not(the bantams) now chickens do win the prize for digging they could rival dogs lol but they don't make the mud mess and require the copious amounts of water my ducks do. For all my ducks there are two 50GAL troughs, one 40GAL, one kid pool and several small pans for all the ducks to bathe in that doesn't even get into the water drinkers.

 

The chickens? HA.. one 3GAL waterer and one pop bottle waterer are their outside choices, yes, we have less chickens but still it's a huge contrast. I enjoy both and will continue to keep both but i think most underestimate the time, work and mess ducks bring forth and i really want people to understand that before entering into the commitment.

 

Ducks are great fun and have terrific benefits to your property even when combined with chickens but you must be prepared for the basics that are involved. smile.png

~ Firefly Farms home to

 

Ducks-      

                                                     

Muscovy, Calls, Buff orpington & Pekin  

 

Chickens-

 

 Ameraucana, Ameraucana x(ie Easter Eggers), Silkies, Malines, Bielefelder & Bantam Cochin

 

As well as Miniature horses, Sheep & lionhead rabbits, Plus fish, dogs, cats & parrots.

Reply

~ Firefly Farms home to

 

Ducks-      

                                                     

Muscovy, Calls, Buff orpington & Pekin  

 

Chickens-

 

 Ameraucana, Ameraucana x(ie Easter Eggers), Silkies, Malines, Bielefelder & Bantam Cochin

 

As well as Miniature horses, Sheep & lionhead rabbits, Plus fish, dogs, cats & parrots.

Reply
post #10 of 10

I've only had my ducks for about 14-ish weeks, and I've never had chickens, but just from the little time I've had my ducks, I definitely agree that they require A LOT of time and dedication. You really do have to actually *want* ducks in order to enjoy them because of all the work they require.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ducks
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Other BackYard Poultry › Ducks › Ducks VS Chickens