Ducks for eggs?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by 6chickens in St. Charles, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. DH asking about it, wonder if he's curious enough.................

    What are the basics of having ducks for eggs? Which duck breeds are best for egglaying? Are duck eggs much different than chicken eggs? Are some ducks better pets than others? Is their care much different than chicken care? Can they live with the chickens? How old will a duck live?

    DS had fallen for a runner duckling last spring at the Rare Breeds Show and sale. What would we need to get started, if DS and DH want to bring home some ducklings this spring?

    Thanks!
     
  2. DuckLover179

    DuckLover179 Waddles & Puddles

    Nov 28, 2010
    California
    6chickens in St. Charles :

    DH asking about it, wonder if he's curious enough.................

    What are the basics of having ducks for eggs? Which duck breeds are best for egglaying? Are duck eggs much different than chicken eggs? Are some ducks better pets than others? Is their care much different than chicken care? Can they live with the chickens? How old will a duck live?

    DS had fallen for a runner duckling last spring at the Rare Breeds Show and sale. What would we need to get started, if DS and DH want to bring home some ducklings this spring?

    Thanks!

    I have 2 pekins for eggs. There aren't really any basics. You raise them like pets from ducklings (you could buy full grown ducks if you want eggs now though), and then when they are about 21 weeks (or so I've heard), they lay their first egg. There are some breeds like Pekins, runners, Khaki Campbell, etc. that lay an egg a day. So you go out, get the egg, wash it off, and eat it. Duck eggs have a thicker yoke than chicken eggs, so some don't like them, but they are GREAT for baking! (This following sentance is MY opinion, not all agree) I think all breeds of ducks can be great pets, if raised properly. Their care is different from chickens. Chickens eat different food (Unless you feed a brand for both, like Purina Layena), and ducks are way messier! They CAN live with chickens, but (I recommend this to everyone) do NOT leave them alone with chickens, until you are sure they are not fighting, this could take multiple visits, for weeks, but if you want to house them together it will be worth it. ducks live 10-15 years. In my brooder I have enclosure, waterer, feeder, brooder lamp, puppy pads as bedding, stuffed animal, feather duster, and thermometer. I bought the starter kit from metzer farms (along with the ducklings!):

    http://www.metzerfarms.com/BooksAndEquipment.cfm?CustID=247568&Category=Equipment

    This is what the brooder looks like:
    [​IMG]

    These are what my ducklings looked like when they arrived:
    [​IMG]

    To me, ducklings are totally worth all the money I have spent on them. They are the most loving, adorable creatures, and I totally recommend them!
    Any other questions? I'd love to be of service! [​IMG]
     
  3. NoseyChickens

    NoseyChickens Feathers On The Ground

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    Southern California
    Runner ducks are great for eggs and have great personalities
     
  4. TLWR

    TLWR Songster

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    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    What are the basics of having ducks for eggs?

    Have duck, feed and house it and care for it and if it is a girl, it will lay eggs. Ducks are easy to care for, but messy little buggers.


    Which duck breeds are best for egglaying?

    Check out metzerfarms.com - they have a list of ducks and gives info about each, including how they are at laying (I think).
    There are quite a few good laying ducks. Runners included.


    Are duck eggs much different than chicken eggs?

    My runner eggs are similar in size. Different in the way they cook, but I only have store chicken eggs to compare to. Duck eggs are great for baking. There is a difference in flavor, but we don't find it to be that different.


    Are some ducks better pets than others?

    If you only want a few, pretty much any duck breed will make a good pet. Runners are 'a little high strung' but mine are friendly girls. I raised 3 and spent time with them each day and they come running to me and hang out with me.


    Is their care much different than chicken care? Can they live with the chickens?

    I don't have chickens, so no clue really.


    How old will a duck live?

    Depends on breed, but if you have done your best with predator proofing, ducks can live for 7+ many years.



    What would we need to get started, if DS and DH want to bring home some ducklings this spring?

    Brooder light
    Something to brood them in until you move them outside full time
    Plan (or a plan to have a plan) of what you will do once they are outside full time
    Food/water dishes/containers
    niacin (to add to the water for the first few weeks)





    Pic from last week of the previous 2 weeks of eggs from my 3 runner girls
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks answers most of your questions. In addition, searching this site will give you a good picture of the range of experience.

    For what it's worth from what I've done the past year with ten runners -

    I think it's the people, not the ducks, that make for good pets. Patience, time, attention, willingness to learn and adapt make a huge difference. My runners have seemed to connect so deeply with me - and I think it's the effort I've put in.

    Safety, safety, safety! Ducklings need to be safe from cold drafts, insufficient nutrition, dehydration, other animals, feet, falling, drowning . . . At first it can seem overwhelming. But we accomplished all that by having the ducklings in a brooder in a room with a door. When humidity became a concern, we opened the door but put a wooden room divider in the doorway. When they needed baths, beginning at two days old, they began with 90 degree F water a couple of inches deep in a cake pan.

    One of the biggest concerns I've seen on the forum is water. They need water 24/7 for at least their first six weeks. They cannot help it, and they cannot help the fact that they splash. Alot. So containing the splash is a challenge, or can be.

    Have a plan for cleanup. I used old towels, which I rinsed out in a big bucket then washed. Some use shavings. My ducklings ate the shavings, and I am allergic to them.

    Ducklings and ducks need to be able to dunk their entire heads in water regularly (all day and all night) to keep clean.

    There's more, but I need to turn in. Search the forum - there's loads of info!
     
  6. aineheartsyou

    aineheartsyou Songster

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    Dixie, WA
    I second Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks! It is a great book to have around!
     

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