The Best Duck Breeds For Egg ProductionAuthor: MapleValleyAcresPoultry Date: 09/29/2021
Ducks are wonderful animals to have around. Despite the thought that duck must have water, they don't. Actually, if you give them access to water, they will lay their eggs in the water.
Ducks are just funny, quirky, wonderful and just all around great birds to have around! They're lower maintenance than chickens, believe it or not!
Ducks are used for many purposes: egg production, meat, pets, or foragers.
Before we get into the breeds, here's a quick intro on why duck eggs are better then chicken eggs
It is such a shame that many more individuals do not consume duck eggs. Duck eggs have a much larger, richer yolk, a higher concentration of nutrients, and more protein than chicken eggs. When it comes to the flavor, duck eggs are much more flavorful than chicken eggs. In comparison to chicken eggs, duck eggs are larger, and the shell is also much thicker. Duck eggs have a similar nutritional profile to chicken eggs; however, there are a few additional benefits to consuming duck eggs. The eggs from ducks are significantly higher in cholesterol and fat, but they are also higher in protein. Individuals who consume a paleo diet appreciate duck eggs due to the higher concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. Duck eggs are incredible to cook with, especially when it comes to baked goods. The whites of duck eggs have more protein than chicken eggs, which causes the eggs to whip up higher when beaten, creating a lighter and higher baked good. Typically, recipes calling for eggs are written using chicken eggs in mind; the egg ratio is different with duck eggs. When substituting duck eggs for chicken, the ratio is one duck egg for every two large chicken egg.
Note: The below picture is of a duck egg (front) with a chicken egg (back). See the difference?
Best Duck Breeds For Egg Production
There are hundreds of breeds of ducks out there, but these mentioned here are among the best of the egg laying duck breeds.
Regardless of the duck breed you select, there is one thing for sure, you will enjoy the daily antics and the eggs they lay.
Here's the list:
This breed originates from Malaysia, a great garden helper, and a duck breed filled with personality. Their unique posture differentiates them from other duck breeds due to their ability to stand tall. Runner ducks are capable of laying close to 300 eggs per year.
This breed originates from England and is known to be a peaceful and docile breed, making this breed ideal for children or those new to raising ducks. Campbell ducks will lay between 250 to 340 eggs per year.
Another calm breed that originates from England. Buffs are also known as Orpingtons, though they should not be confused with the Buff Orpington chicken breed. Buff ducks will lay between 150 to 220 eggs per year.
WELSH HARLIQUIN –
This majestic and docile breed originates from Wales and has a similar feather pattern as the Silver Appleyards. Of all the breeds we have raised, I find that Welsh Harlequin ducks will consume 80% of their diet through their ability to free-range. They will lay between 240 to 330 eggs per year.
The Magpie’s history has this breed originating from Wales. Individuals who raise Magpies have stated this duck breed has a sweet disposition making it an excellent breed for novice duck keepers and those who seek to raise ducks with children. Magpies lay eggs in multiple hues and can lay between 240 to 290 eggs per year.
The Ancona duck breed originates from England and is an excellent breed to raise alongside children. Their desire to free-range produces an incredibly flavorful yolk due to the amounts of greens and bugs they consume daily. Ancona ducks will lay between 210 to 280 colorful eggs per year.
SILVER APLLEYARD –
A larger dual-purpose, docile breed that originates from England. Because of their gentle, independent nature, they are an ideal duck breed for novice duck keepers or those with children. The Silver Appleyard duck breed lays between 220 to 265 eggs per year.
Originating from Germany, Saxony ducks are one of the largest dual-purpose breeds. Much like the Welsh Harlequin and Ancona, this breed prefers to forage before consuming a commercial feed. The Saxony duck breed lays roughly 190 to 240 eggs per year, with the shell color ranging between cream and shades of blue/grey.
This ancient breed originates from China and has been documented for being around for over 2,000 years. Because of its white feather and size, the Pekin is a dual-purpose breed and is often raised as a broiler breed for industrial purposes. Pekin ducks will lay up to 200 extra-large eggs per year.
Cayuga ducks are famous for the possibility of receiving a charcoal colored egg. However, the color of this breed’s eggs range in various shades of grey. In truth, it is unknown as to what allows the duck hen to produce a charcoal colored egg. The origin of this breed is unclear. Some argue it originated in the USA, while others state the UK. Cayugas are docile and do great with young children. Because of their laid back personalities this breed is an average forager, and prefers being offered feed to looking for its food.
This is another breed which tolerates hot and cold climates quite well. The amount of duck eggs received yearly ranges between 100 to 150 large eggs.
In addition to the breeds listed here, many hatcheries offer what is known as a hybrid breed. This breed is created through crossbreeding various breeds which are prolific layers.
If you are looking to purchase some of these breeds of ducks for yourself, make sure you always check out the Animals In Need Of Rehome page here at BYC:
If you are unable to find any ducklings of those breeds here, then here are other sources:
Pekins, Runners, Buffs, Cayugas, Campbells, Welsh Harlequins, Saxonys, & Silver Appleyards can all be found and purchased from McMurray Murray Hatchery
Ancona ducklings can be found and purchased from Cackle Hatchery
And lastly Magpie ducklings can be found and purchased from Purely Poultry
Hope this quick article on duck breeds for egg production helped you!
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