FathertoFeathers

Songster
Aug 26, 2019
514
1,221
176
Tennessee
I have a list of duck breeds the I'm interested in getting but I need people who have these breeds to tell me how they do.
1. Cayugas
2. Silver Appleyards
3. Magpies
4. Buff orpington
5. Saxony
6. Welsh Harlequins
7. Crested
What are the pros and cons of these breeds? Which ones are good for laying? Which are good for pest control? What breeds get broody easily and are friendly? Id love to hear everything you know about this breeds! Thank you in advance for your help!
 

Thejperez

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 7, 2014
1,161
3,541
336
Florida
I've had Welsh harlequins and crested mix breed ducks before. I remember them both being okay egg layers and them being loud when they wanted to. If I remember correctly crested ducks aren't technically a breed, they just have a hole in the skull that allows the feathers to grow in the afro shape. They seemed mentally slower than non-crested ducks. Crested ducks shouldn't be kept with non-crested ducks because the afro becomes an easy target for the other ducks.

I have found my duck breed soulmate in Muscovies. They're the quietest duck breed(search on youtube to hear what they sound like), have a large personality to go with their large bodies and are decent layers of large eggs. My four girls give me a good amount of eggs which I like using in baking. My down point is they love going broody and having a free-range flock can lead to missing ducks who come back with 20+ ducklings.

Heres some pictures from today of my flock, a few are of my Muscovies.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/flock-life-journeys-2019.1286370/page-781#post-21705673
 

hmarg06

Songster
Nov 8, 2016
263
724
171
Minnesota
I agree with everything said above Muscovies. I had Buffs and Muscovies and even though I did love the Buffs, the Muscovy won out. The other thing not added about Muscovy is that they are not literally obsessed with water like other ducks. The Buff's would dig to the center of the Earth around the water dish daily and would leave holes all over, and the Muscovy don't do that at all, and would rather go out and forage around after playing in it for a while. Ok, after it rains they do that in the puddles somewhat, but it is much less severe.

The Buffs were great egg layers, but would rather hang out by the water dish all day than go out an explore. Don't get me wrong, they are great too, but pale in comparison in my mind to the Muscovy.

I did eat one of my Buff's and it was very very good if you were looking into doing that with your drakes at all. I haven't eaten any Muscovy yet, but have heard they are even better.
 

FathertoFeathers

Songster
Aug 26, 2019
514
1,221
176
Tennessee
I agree with everything said above Muscovies. I had Buffs and Muscovies and even though I did love the Buffs, the Muscovy won out. The other thing not added about Muscovy is that they are not literally obsessed with water like other ducks. The Buff's would dig to the center of the Earth around the water dish daily and would leave holes all over, and the Muscovy don't do that at all, and would rather go out and forage around after playing in it for a while. Ok, after it rains they do that in the puddles somewhat, but it is much less severe.

The Buffs were great egg layers, but would rather hang out by the water dish all day than go out an explore. Don't get me wrong, they are great too, but pale in comparison in my mind to the Muscovy.

I did eat one of my Buff's and it was very very good if you were looking into doing that with your drakes at all. I haven't eaten any Muscovy yet, but have heard they are even better.
Ive heard that Muscovies get huge and eat alot and they can fly. How true is this in your experience?
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
117,553
139,193
1,962
Mountains of Western N.C.
My Runners eat more than my Muscovy. Probably because they have a high metabolism. Both are great foragers. Muscovy being more laid back. My Buffs don't realize they are Buffs being they were hatched with my Runners and act just like them. Muscovy do fly mainly the females. I clip wings every fall after molt is over.
 

lomine

Crowing
6 Years
Aug 7, 2015
2,899
3,069
386
Peyton, CO
I have WH and Saxony and have had Cayuga.

I didn't like the Cayuga. They were noisy and nervous. I sold them a few months after they started laying. They laid okay, nothing special. I would never get them again.

My WH are great layers, when they lay. Mine (from two different sources) take long breaks during molting and winter. They have great personalities though. They are generally calm and not too noisy. I'm not a 'cuddle my birds' kind of person but some of the WH are friendly enough to eat from my hand if I offer. Had some go broody but they were not able to hatch anything.

My Saxony are also calm. They lay pretty well but not as well as the WH. They also seem to take long breaks. The eggs are huge though. Some of them have also gone broody but couldn't hatch anything. They do eat a lot because they are so big. They are closer to a meat breed though. Some may require extra calcium while growing to help with bone development (mine just take from the free choice oyster shell).

Both the WH and Saxony are good foragers. They will travel further from the coop than my chickens at most times. I will add that if they get in the mood to be loud they will quack for a long while. It's not a constant, all-day kind of thing. There is usually a reason (like me coming with veggie scraps). They get along well with my chickens and turkeys and don't bother chicks/ducklings that are running around. This may be because I raise all of them from hatch in the coop so my whole flock is used to a mixed flock. I would recommend both the WH and Saxony.
 

hmarg06

Songster
Nov 8, 2016
263
724
171
Minnesota
Ive heard that Muscovies get huge and eat alot and they can fly. How true is this in your experience?

The drakes do eat quite a bit, but if you only keep one instead of like 6 at a time like me that won't make much difference. The hens can be quite literally half the size of the drakes., 15 lbs vs 7. Being they love to forage feed consumption changes drastically in the summer for the better. They love to go out and eat if you give them the room.

As far as flying I think I'm unique in the sense that for some reason mine don't seem to know they can? I don't really have anywhere for them to roost so maybe they just haven't figured it out. One of my hens will occasionally sit on top of the chain link, but I just shoo her off. When they get excited they'll fly off down their pen, but then it's like they forget how, and walk back lol. I do think most times they do fly more though. The drakes are too heavy though and don't get very far.
 

springvalley123

Crowing
6 Years
May 22, 2015
1,066
3,686
457
North of Phoenix
Of the above, I can only vouch for the crested. we had gotten a batch of 6 assorted ducklings, two were crested. The extreme "nice" big crest corresponded to lameness and neurologic/balance issues, she tripped and fell into a net that we had failed to make safe, had to cull. The other one, turned out to be a great layer and raised a clutch of ducklings once, but later went sterile. In the meantime, she was very succeptible to all temperature extremes, and in AZ, the temps are always extreme. A few degrees cooler than Phx, we were still giving her corn in winter, and even up north further (half-way to prescott), she needed the wading pool much more than her flock mates.
 

FluffTheDuck

Duck love is recognizable in any language
Nov 26, 2018
2,585
11,088
652
London, UK
My Coop
My Coop
I have a Cayuga male and there my favorite breed.
Pros:
  1. Very quite
  2. Calm and sweet
  3. They are great garden pets.
  4. Can fly but can’t go far, can only be about 3 feet off the ground and only about 40 feet long.
I don’t have any cons I can think of at the moment. I highly recommend cayugas.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom