Ok, so I've never considered ducks because they are just too messy and aside from the cute factor didn't know what they had going for them. After (admittedly a bit foolishly) looking at a few pond threads and venturing into the 101 reasons why we love ducks thread am now considering the possibility of ducks in the future. I already have chickens so plenty of fertilizer for composting once we get that going. Have rabbits already and are starting to harvest droppings for the garden. Our garden is not started this year but will be soon hopefully. Before I really start advocating the benefits of adding another animal to our mini farm to my DH I need more info. I need a quiet breed and saw another thread asking about this and they were told Muscovies (mostly) and Cayuga ducks were the quietest. I don't really like the look of Muscovies (no offense to the muscovy lovers out there!) and doubt I want to have something illegal anyway. Cayugas are absolutely stunning and I'm interested in those. How quiet is quiet? Are they louder than the chickens when they do their egg song? And drakes are actually quieter than hens? Also, does anyone process theirs for meat? Not necessarily going to go that route but if it's an option would like to know more details. Their swimming water is good for gardens right? I'd love to have fish raising going at some point too, this would not work with ducks right? They'd need a separate pond? Could I have a two level pond with the ducks part at the top and the lower level for fish with fencing between the two? Would the fish filter all the good stuff for the plants too much or would the duck poo be bad for the fish? Being in SoCal, water is at a premium so I need to know for those with filters and in ground ponds that use the water for the garden, is there much of a difference in usage versus just watering the garden itself? Thanks for the info guys and my DH is just going to love digging a hole for a pond... ETA I forgot to ask, are there other breeds that would be suitable for a backyard flock that are quiet, dual purpose (just in case), docile, and don't fly? Oh, is three a good number with 1 drake and 2 hens or 2 and 2 better or 1 drake and 3 hens?