Are ducks easier to raise than chickens?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jmc, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    The chicken people on the forum will think me an unstable traitor, lol.

    I have read that they are MUCH easier to raise.

    Here's the reasons, plus reasons of my own (I am ignorant of this topic, mind you) why I think ducks may be easier.

    1. Drakes don't crow at 4 am and all day long, even if the hens could be quacky.

    2. Less danger of disease, so I've read.

    3. More tolerant of temp. fluctuations in a brood environment, if you have 'lings', so I've read, also.

    4. Drakes will not rip feathers out of, and/or bloody up, their hens when they mate.

    5. They cannot tear feathers out of, and/or rip the flesh of, one another, like chickens.

    6. A DVM mentioned that ducks are physiologically more capable of enduring real cold than are chickens--he was speaking about ducks being out in snow vs. chickens being in snow, to be specific.

    I'd really appreciate any advice.

    Here at the monastery, we want egg producers. Would K. Campbells be the choice?

    They'd also be sort of pets, but in this sense: We'd rather not have ducks that are going to be terrified of their caregiver or any one of us. It would be nice to be able to like, touch one once in a while. ( I'm a softy)

    We have a few chickens now and may get out of them for ducks. But these chickens are certainly curious sweethearts. Come running up me whenever I approach and follow me around the pen. (Prod. RIR hens)

    But still, I think ducks would be less worry free, and that is VERY important if you life a quite regimented life as I do as a monk.

    We have time for one or the other, but the easier might be better.

  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    I haven't gone through winter yet with my ducks - I have muscovy's.

    They're more messy than chickens, I can't keep the waterer full for longer than a few hours - if it does happen to have any water left, its either full of mud or food.

    Other than that they seem pretty much the same as far as care, as chickens. Mine all sleep together (18 chickens, 6 ducks, 6 guineas) they get on well.

    The ducks are more likely to make a fuss (in my yard) when someone visits or something looks different. They do NOT like my dog.

    I have seen them pull feathers out - they have their little arguments, and then there are tail feathers missing - they chase each other around. Mine are not yet mature, but very close. No eggs yet, but will probably start laying soon - if they don't just wait for next spring.
  3. wyliefarms

    wyliefarms Songster

    Aug 19, 2008
    We have 50+ chickens here and one call duck. We just got the call duck a few weeks ago.

    There are 2 bantam roosters and I cannot hear them very well in the house, with the windows open.

    The duck is a different story. I can hear her after dark, in the house with the windows/doors closed. She is a very happy duck:D

    I don't know much about ducks, so I don't know if it is just the call duck breed. My husband said that I should of paid more attention to the name of the I did find out that it is the girls who are noisey and not the boys.

    If you just want eggs, I would say get pullets and no roosters and things will be quiet at your place.
  4. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    Quote:[​IMG] I heard "CALL" ducks were super loud, I wanted them because they're so cute and little.

    Muscovy was my next choice - no quack here - they hiss only. AND wag their tails which is super cute.
  5. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Quote:1.The noise level depends on the kind of ducks you get. My calls can be VERY noisy.

    2.I agree they don't seem to be suseptable to as much illness.

    3.Duckling need heat for a shorter amount of time than chicks do.

    4. Don't agree with this one. Drakes can be very brutal to the hens. The back of one of my hens head looked like hamberger before I got her seperated this spring.

    5. Also don't agree with this one. They can and will pull feathers out when they're fighting which the drakes do a lot of in the spring.

    6. My call ducks very rarely go in their shelter even in the worst of conditions.

    Campbells are good layers I think. I've never had them tho so I can't say for sure.

    I would like to add ducks are MUCH messier than chickens!!
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008

  6. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    Thanks for such quick replies already.

    And as I said in the OP, I am ignorant of this topic, so hope to learn.
  7. ThreeBoysChicks

    ThreeBoysChicks Songster

    Sep 19, 2007
    Thurmont, MD
    I have not went through with winter here yet either. But it is getting rather cold and they (ducks and geese) hang out in the stalls with the horses and goats. But sometimes, they just go out in the field and do there thing. Right now, it is raining, 40 degrees here and windy as can be. The ducks and geese are out laying in the field.

    I have a Khaki Campbell, a Cayuga and a Magpie. I have been getting two to three eggs a day since they started laying 3 months ago. And they are good eatting. However it is like Easter every day. They move their eggs. One day in the goat house, one day in the horse stall on some hay and some days, they lay them out in the field. So like I said, it is an easter egg hunt every day. However, from what I read, they might stop laying over the winter, but they have not stopped yet.

    I have one drake Muscovey who is with the three listed above and 2 Muscovey hens. So far, he is nice to everyone, but he is only 4 months old. We will see how he behaves when he gets a little older.

    As for the noise, they are pretty loud when they see me walking to the barn, because they know treats are on their way. Other than that, they are not very loud at all.
  8. Bex

    Bex Songster

    Oct 12, 2008
    I have always heard that ducks do really well in the winter.

    We have 14 ducks outside (mallards, a cayuga, and 3 call ducks) and 6 Muscovy ducklings in the brooder with a Pekin and Blue Swedish coming from Ideal this week with our chicks..

    The only duck of ours that is extremely loud and deep is our Cayuga Hen. I hardly ever hear our drakes, since they make more of a "whisper", but our hens are loud. I would say louder than the 20ish Chickens I had last year, though they weren't here at the same time so I can't really "compare".

    Ducks do pick at each other sometimes, that's pretty normal.

    Out of outside ducks.. They are all very wary of new things. They have yet to go into the pond we dug for them a week ago. [​IMG] They were afraid of a tarp that we put up for shade over the summer, so proceeded to sit in the sun instead. It took them forever to go into their houses, etc. I think ducks in general are a bit flighty. [​IMG]

    Ducks are messier IMO than Chickens. But their cuteness makes up for it. To think, before my fiance got his ducks (he's always been obsessed) I was afraid of them, lol.
  9. Bossroo

    Bossroo Songster

    Jun 15, 2008
    Hi Chickenmonk, I have raised ducks for years. Yes they can be messy. Some are friendly , some not so. The really noisy ones make fantastic orange duck. I had Kaki Campbels for eggs, and they outproduce a chicken in that department by a long shot. Each female layed over 300 extra large with very rich almost orange yolk eggs a year. much more than my wife, 3 kids and I could consume, so we sold them like hotcakes to friends. You don't need a drake for them to lay. I also kept 6 Pekin hens and one Pekin drake anually... Between them they layed, hatched their own, and raised up to 100 ducklings per year. We replaced the breeders every 2 years as their productions starts to go way down. Great eating birds year round. For an extra special feast for a HOLY DAY or any very special occation...make a Turduckhen... debone a large turkey whole ( google , how to debone a chicken whole, there are detailed instructions and pictures for this) ( cut skin along back and remove the bones as you aproach them and be careful not to cut any more skin), lay flat with skin down, next debone a duck, lay flat, next debone a chicken lay flat. Place the duck skin down on top of the turkey with it's skin down , then the chicken skin down on top of the duck, roll all together and fasten with a butcher string. Roast as you would a turkey, with all of the trimmings. When done roasting , slice into serving peices ( no bones). FANTASTIC HOLIDAY FEAST.

  10. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    My waterfowl are less work than teh chickens and by an order of magnitude. They take care of themselves and graze the pasture. All the feed for the chickens has to be brought to them, then the eggs brought to us. While at the same time, i can go days on end and not have to deal with the ducks or geese. I put a little food out for them when I feel like it; and if I don't feel like it they feed themselves.

    I do like chickens, but if I had to give anything up I'd keep the waterfowl over the chickens.

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