In my opinion, they aren't any harder to take care of then chickens. I have both chickens and ducks, of course not as many chickens as you have, but I enjoy both. If you get ducks, you might want to start with duckings so as they can grow and get to know the babies(your youngest children), kind of like growing up together. Food water and yes you can eat the eggs. Duck eggs are good for baking, I've never eaten duck eggs tho. I tried hatching them last year. Right now my girls have quit laying. They laid eggs all winter long.
Maybe someone else will have a better answer for you. My kids are all grown up and don't live at home now, so someone with kids could probably answer metter for you on that question.
We got some ducklings from the feed store this year and so far they are a JOY to have! Mine aren't the tamest yet because I haven't been able to spend much time with them.... but, in spite of that... when I took the oldest one outside today, she followed me around the yard and cried if she couldn't see me
Nonmedicated feed for ducklings if you get some
I am brooding mine with the chickens.. I just bring them out to the sink for a swim once a day and dry them off before putting them back in the brooder. So far everyone is getting along great, though they will have their own housing when grown.
The kids love them! They are so cute and comical
Some breeds can even outlay chickens! 300+ eggs a year!
I have had duck eggs before and I couldn't tell a huge difference.... except that they were bigger with darker yolks.
Our ducks are fine with our kiddos. They are 7, 5 and 1 1/2. We have 4 ducks that are almost a year old. They do not come running up to you or anything. They actually do their best to avoid getting close.
But we've also got a 2 week old duckling that we are handling more and the kids LOOOOOve taking a bath with Daisy. It's dang funny to watch sometimes.
I'm trying to hatch out some duck eggs to see if they'd be any different. Ducks can imprint on humans, I think. As for eating duck eggs, my 5 year old son prefers them to the chicken egg. He likes them scrambled. They are a little harder to mix up but taste the same. The only other notable difference is the consistency of the whites, I haven't tried them fried because of it. We even have more day old coming, 8 next week and 5 after Easter.
Some people prefer them for baking because -they say- they hold moisture better, and will make your cakes and such moister.
Our duck eggs are great! I actually like them better than chicken eggs, which is weird, since I don't even like eggs.
Duck eggs are Alkaline (base) and chicken eggs are acidic.
Cancer patients seek duck eggs because they think by changing their body's 'environment' that the cancer will somehow be less likely to uhh... breed??
DUCKS. WILL. PLAY. IN. THE. MUD!!!
Don't let them have medicated feed and keep doing research! You'll love them if you decide to get a couple. ^-^
They're funny to watch.
Try geese too! They have WAY more personality than ducks, and aren't as stupid. (Too bad I didn't get MY goose a mate! Have to correct that soon.)
Geese will mow your lawn, and ducks are really good pest control.
I am going to get blown out of the water here, but.... I would get muscovy ducks.. (my opinion.):
they are very easy to tame..they actually seem to like humans.. and the drakes show pleasure by wagging their tail, like a dog..
It might just be me,but it seems the drakes are a bit more friendly than the hens..
with your aged kids, I would not recommend geese, yet.. If you get a nasty one it could make a lasting impression on a young child.. wait until they are comfortable with the ducks..