Hello everyone, I am brand new here. Although I have been lurking and reading back on posts from years ago... super helpful! A couple years ago, we bought a cabin on 3 acres, and I had planned to eventually keep chickens, but it just was'nt happening. I was a little overwhelmed with building the coop, and several people I follow on instagram seemed to be having problems with their chickens, and I was beginning to worry I wasn't up for the job. 2 months ago, we drastically changed our way of eating to follow the Primal Blueprint. It is pretty much like Paleo but dairy products are allowed. Anyhow, because of this change we have drastically upped our consumption of eggs. We buy 10 dozen eggs every few weeks, and we are a small family of 4! My girls are 10 and 6. We couldnt afford the Free range eggs, and decided we really needed to consider getting the chickens. It would be one step towards providing ourselves with healthier eggs. However, for some reason I began to look into duck eggs, and was surprised to find out that they were much healthier than chicken eggs. Then I began seeing so many blog posts comparing keeping ducks to chickens, and I was sold that ducks were for us. It took a little convincing to get my husband on board, but yesterday he gave his approval. Yay!! Knowing the duck house will not need to be as elaborate as a chicken house was a pretty big motivator for him. Also, every year he proclaims war on the dandelions, and was happy to hear they do enjoy dandelions (I think I read somewhere that ducks eating dandelion will cause a different taste to their eggs, is that true? Or maybe it was goats and their milk I heard that in reference to?) made him pretty happy! So I spent the better part of yesterday thoroughly looking over Metzer Farm's website and after hours of research and reading all the positive threads here I decided to go with Welsh Harlequins!! I'm still wondering if I should have ordered more, but I purchased 6 females and 1 male. I was really debating mixing the flock, but decided to just stick with the Harlequins. If I do sell chicks at some point it would be nice to say they were all WH. Does that matter ever? They are scheduled to ship March 23rd!! This gives us time to brainstorm duck house ideas, but I think we have decided to go the cattle panel hoop house enclosure. We do have bald eagles and hawks that fly over head very regularly. We have a german shepherd and she tends to keep other larger animals away from the house. But, I don't want to rely on that, so I need a completely enclosed structure, and the hoop house seems like the most affordable way to go. I've been looking back on posts in regards to materials for the ground floor as I want to avoid smell and mud as much as possible. I have a couple of questions I hope you lovely people can answer: Metzer farms estimates the WH lays about 150-200 eggs a year. Is this estimate on the low end? Do ducks stay close to their home if free ranging? We live fairly close to the river, and it is a pretty big fast moving river, and I don't want to lose any ducks to it. We don't really have any neighbors that live very close, but I don't want my ducks making enemies of those neighbors. How do you personally think a duck egg tastes compared to chickens? I've never even tried a duck egg, and I guess I will make myself acquire the taste if I don't like it. hah! But I'm curiou as to others opinions. My mom told me she didnt think she could eat a duck egg! I dont know why? Maybe because they are bigger... but my parents tends to think ducks are messier, stinkier and louder than chickens. I'm hoping to maybe put that to rest. I think when giving thought to their placement and enclosure steps can be taken to fix the messier, stinkier issue, am I correct? Any other tips you can offer to someone just starting out with keeping a flock of their own? Anyhow on the other end of things, my sister and cousin were planning to get chickens this year, but I think they have both decided to join the duck side. Chickens are still cute in my opinion! I just think ducks might be better suited for me, especially starting out with keeping a flock. I'm really surprised more people are not keeping ducks. Nice to meet you all, thank you for getting all the way though that novel of a post! If you didn't it's okay- I won't judge!