Best duck breed for a pet and eggs?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by LisaChick1, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. LisaChick1

    LisaChick1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone!
    We really want to add a couple of ducks to our backyard flock.
    We are looking for sweet temperament, good layers, that aren't too loud and won't fly out of the yard..... Am I asking too much? [​IMG]
    I have been told Pekings and calls are adorable and sweet, but not sure if calls are good layers... I really don't know too much.
    Any advice or sharing of your preference in duck breed and why would be very helpful!!
    Thank you!!!!
     
  2. MrsQuack

    MrsQuack Out Of The Brooder

    My one Cayuga duck gave us 60 eggs this spring! She only laid for may, then tried sitting for June but it was too wet outside where she built her nest (refused to have it in her house!) But here, this year, there were no ducklings period:( but she laid a ton of eggs and she's SO friendly.
     
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  3. turtlesprings

    turtlesprings New Egg

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    Sep 8, 2014
    I have Muscovy's, and they are very dependable layers, they only have a faint chirp, and eat mosquitoes as well as other bugs. They don't require a pond, as their oil glands are for the most part under developed, so a small human baby pool with fresh water daily would be perfect. Mine love that! I am spending hours on end with the ducklings trying to hand tame them, however, they were hatched au natrel with the broody hens, so I think that is why the process is slow. I highly recommend them for back yard pets.
     
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  4. JadeComputerGal

    JadeComputerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lisa,

    To address the flying question first, most domestic ducks can't fly far, if at all. Some, like Rouens, are simply too big for their wings to support their weight. Others can fly farther, but they typically don't because they know where their next meal is coming from. I don't know of any that will "fly" as far as taking to the wild blue yonder like a Mallard, but all of our ducks fly to some extent. They like to go to the hill in our backyard and get a running start to fly to the bottom, and some stay in the air longer than others. It's hard for them to get much lift otherwise, and none of ours has every flown out of the yard.

    For the temperament and egg production, you might want to take a look here-->http://www.metzerfarms.com/DuckBreedComparison.cfm. Just keep in mind these are generalizations, and not all domestic ducks are listed in the table. For instance, Khakis are listed as "nervous," but my favorite little girl is a Khaki and anything but nervous. She's my most affectionate duck, and she's also one of the dominant ones in the flock. Buffs are listed as "calm," but two of ours are sort of skittish and one is sometimes agressive, especially when she's broody, which is almost all the time. One of our Anconas is friendly and loves to eat from our hands, while the other will have no part of it regardless what treat we're giving.

    LOL. That was my long way of saying, "It depends," but I wanted to give examples. Typical breed characteristics never apply to any breed 100% of the time. I've known pit bulls that were sweet as pie, chihuahuas that were brave and not at all yappy, persians that hated people and were afraid of their own shadows, etc.

    Part, and only part, of any of this will depend on you. Ducks kept together aren't desperate for human companionship like dogs/puppies. If you get them and just put them in a pen, they're not likely to be what you probably mean by "friendly." You have to work with them, preferably from a very early age. Even that is no guarantee. Our Anconas were hand-raised like our others aside from the Buffs, but they have completely different temperaments. There unfortunately aren't any guarantees no matter what breed you go with, just a better statistical chance with some breeds than others.
     
  5. Homie Ducks

    Homie Ducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    White Pekin "The Best, The Great"
     
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  6. LisaChick1

    LisaChick1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Carmel Valley
    Thank you everyone!
    We are really wanting these ducklings to be part of our family. We have a 7 year old and an almost 2 year old that love animals.
    We have ten chickens that we absolutely adore and have a very large fenced in yard living on 46 acres. :) we have a very large dog that loves our birds and loves to be the bird protector lol!
    The flying was more of a concern cause I didn't typically know how far they would really fly. We would love to watch them flap around and lift off... Just not fly down the street where they're not safe.

    I just found someone who is expanding peckin ducklings on the twentieth that I can pick up [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] I think it's meant to be so we going to go with them.
    Would 2 females be a good choice?
    Thanks so much for all the advice!!!!
     
  7. Tevyes Dad

    Tevyes Dad Leader of the Quack Premium Member

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    Another vote for Pekin! I have several different breeds and they have very different personalities. Our Pekin is definitely one of the sweetest, both with the other ducks and with us. Our Swedish would be the next runners up for sweet (which is funny because they were both the "angry" ducklings - didn't like to be held and bullied all their brooder mates) but according to metzer farms, they lay fewer eggs/yr. Most of our ducks lay an egg every day so I can't comment on quantitly, but the Pekin eggs are huge - 3 oz for a "small" one up to nearly 5 oz. in a freakishly large double-yolker. All the female ducks can be loud, but happy ducks mostly "talk" which isn't nearly as loud as quacking. I wouldn't get a Jumbo Pekin as they are more for show/meat and have more possible problems if they get older, but an normal Pekin is already very large. At 6 months, ours is about 9 lbs. If you are feeding your family, a Pekin egg is nearly two chicken eggs so a Pekin that lays 3/4 the eggs of your best layer will actually be producing about 1-1/2 X the food. As for the number, two is a good start. Only you will know when your yard is full [​IMG] Enjoy!
     
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  8. JadeComputerGal

    JadeComputerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    West Chester, PA, USA
    I think it would be a great choice. They're generally friendly, great egg producers, and they don't fly. They're not typically great mothers, but that's true of several breeds. You shouldn't have a problem if you ever want to hatch some babies since you already have chickens that could sit on the nest.
     
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