Getting started with kids - Chickens or ducks?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by ocipio, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. ocipio

    ocipio New Egg

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    Jul 29, 2014
    My kids (young) spent 3 weeks with their grandparents on a farm helping feed, water, clean chickens, peacocks, dogs, horses, etc. They never turned down the opportunity to help. They were even waking grandpa up at 6:30am to go cleanup the farm.

    Something I've always wanted to do for myself is to raise chickens or ducks, mainly for eggs. But now that I have kids, I have a good excuse to do it :)

    I have an area all ready to put in a new coop. The question is: Chickens or Ducks? My only options right now are ISA Brown chickens or White Pekin ducks.

    Which would be "easier" and more "fun" for the kids? I have heard ducks are much more messy and eat much more feed, but produce better eggs and are heartier in the winter (Michigan).

    Can someone with ducks, or who has raised both ducks and chickens compare the two regarding their messiness and odor and how often I'd need to clean out the coop. With chickens, I planned on every 2-3 days. Which are more apt to stay in the yard and come back to the coop when "asked"? :)

    Thanks for your responses.
     
  2. Frindizzle

    Frindizzle Guitar Girl <3 Premium Member

    Hello and….



    [​IMG] from Washington! BYC is the best fowl website you can find.[​IMG] I hope you feel glad you signed up! In our flock we have great people and it is always great to have a new member:) In our flock, we have no pecking order!

    [​IMG]

    By the way, not saying that you will do anything bad, but no fowl play[​IMG]


    You might want to ask the duck and chicken experts:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/42/ducks

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/18/chicken-behaviors-and-egglaying




    I would go with chickens. I have both and the chickens are all very sweet. My ducks are much messier...
     
  3. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Good luck with your planning.

    I've never raised ducks but I happen to know a bit about them. Since the only chicken breed you can get is a ISA brown chicken then I suggest you go with the pekin ducks as they are much more calm and kid friendly. All ducks are messy and the pekin is no exception. Chickens are much cleaner. Both are great foragers and depending on breed both are friendly and good layers.

    If you do end up being able to get other chicken breeds, then I recommend the buff Orpington and black Australorp. They are docile, very affectionate, great layers and curious.

    Feel free to ask any questions along the way and glad you joined.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Mountain Peeps X2 She has given you some great advice, so I will just welcome you to our flock! Good luck with which ever bird you chose to keep!
     
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. I've had both chickens, including Isa Browns, ducks, including White Pekins, although I've had a lot more chickens for a lot longer period of time and in no way do I consider myself anything close to a duck expert. These are just my observations. Ducklings are cuter than chicks (not only my opinion, but my wife and childen's as well). Having said that, my children liked the chickens much better as the birds got older as the ducks were horribly messy and my children helped clean up the messes (several times a day). It was impossible to keep the ducks from getting their water into their feed, and scattering wet feed all over the place. Chickens are Mr. Clean by comparison. In fact, the extreme messiness of ducks is why we stopped raising them. In addition, ducks eat an awful lot of feed, especially large breeds like Pekins (not to mention what is wasted for the previous reasons I mentioned). It will cost you twice as much to feed the Pekins as the Isa Browns, and you'll get only about half as many eggs. If you do decide to get ducks, I would recommend Khaki Campbells instead of Pekins. They're just as messy, but they eat less and will give you more eggs. As for chicken breeds, Mountain Peeps recommendations of Black Australorps and Buff Orpingtons are really good ones for children. Both breeds are good layers (Australorps are exceptional), both are very calm and gentle birds, and my children, and now my granddaughter, made lap pets out of them. Feel free to ask any more questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Whatever direction you decide to go, good luck with your flock.
     
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You've gotten some good links& suggestions above. Vote #4 that ducks are Much messier than chickens. Water being the biggest problem, balancing their needs with trying to keep at least part of the coop reasonably dry and clean. I've actually found them much more of a problem in the winter because of the water. As Michael mentioned, there are some duck breeds that are raised for egg production, Metzer Farms has a comparison list, some breeds are listed at 200-290 eggs a year, which would be good even for a chicken http://www.metzerfarms.com/DuckBreedComparison.cfm?CustID=2734260
     
  7. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

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    Water fowl are much easier to take care of but do eat and make a mess ......




    [​IMG]
    But are fun to watch in the morning ......





    [​IMG]
    Bob & Aflack [​IMG]




    [​IMG]
    Alright I have one gander who likes to come in during the winter to watch the T.V. [​IMG]











    Enjoy your poultry [​IMG]























    gander007 [​IMG]
     
  8. Frindizzle

    Frindizzle Guitar Girl <3 Premium Member

    What does the goose watch? :)
     
  9. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

     
  10. Frindizzle

    Frindizzle Guitar Girl <3 Premium Member

    That is so funny! :)
     

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