Thinking of trying ducks this year instead of chickens

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by domromer, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. domromer

    domromer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2007
    Flagstaff,AZ
    We just bought a new house and started to plan a chicken coop. I remember reading that ducks are hardier and suffer less diseases than chickens. So I'm toying with the idea of getting ducks instead of chickens.

    I really have no experience with ducks so here are some questions.

    1. How different are duck eggs than chicken eggs? I eat a lot of fried and scrambled eggs, so I wouldn't want anything that tastes wildly different.

    2. Are ducks quileter than chickens? I know I can't have roosters in my neighborhood, and hens really aren't allowed either so the quieter the better.

    3. What breeds are good for first time duck people?

    4. Other then not needing a to perch, how is duck housing different from housing chickens?
     
  2. 1. Duck eggs taste pretty much the same as chicken eggs, most people don't notice a difference, some find them to have a slightly richer flavor. You will want to add a bit of liquid like milk or water while scrambling your egg or it will fry up a little dry.

    2. Ducks do quack at times, the best laying ducks are Khaki Campbells and Welsh Harlequins, they are relatively quiet most of the time, but you definately will have times when they will quack loud enough for neighbors to hear. So they are not quieter than chickens, except for Muscovy ducks which do not quack at all.

    3. Any breed is probably as easy as another, choose what suits your needs best.

    4. Ducks might not need as much insulation from the cold, it's mostly about protecting them from predators. They do make more watery mess, so your floor shouldn't be bare wood under the bedding. Put the nest box down low where they can hop in it easily.
     
  3. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    I started out with chickens and then got ducks. I ended up selling the chickens because the ducks laid so many more eggs than the chickens did.

    I don't notice a difference between duck eggs and chicken eggs. My husband likes duck eggs better, he says they are richer and have more flavor.

    I have Khaki Campbells, and they are little egg laying machines. They do eat a bit more than chickens do, but they lay more eggs. Their eggs are usually jumbo sized.

    One of my favorite things about ducks is that they are so hardy in cold weather. On days that the chickens wouldn't leave the coop my ducks would be outside sleeping on the snowbanks.

    My duck coop doesn't have anything in it except for the litter on the floor. Instead of nesting boxes I pile hay in one corner of the coop and they make their own nest. The feed and water are kept outside at all times because ducks are so messy.
     
  4. headred

    headred Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Lawrence
    Ducks are just awesome. I agree with what everyone else said. They eggs are beautiful, jumbo size, large yolk, more flavor I think. Ducks forage well. They entertain!
     
  5. Brickman House

    Brickman House Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 24, 2009
    I have both ducks and chickens, and adore both, so for me it's not a question of either/or. They're wildly different animals with different personalities and habits.

    1. How different are duck eggs than chicken eggs? I eat a lot of fried and scrambled eggs, so I wouldn't want anything that tastes wildly different.

    Our duck's eggs are larger than our chicken's eggs, have harder shells and paler yolks, and are UNBELIEVABLE in baked goods.

    2. Are ducks quileter than chickens? I know I can't have roosters in my neighborhood, and hens really aren't allowed either so the quieter the better.

    Our ducks definitely aren't quieter than our chickens. Our hens are only loud when they're proclaiming their own maginificence at laying an egg. Our female ducks, however, pitch a #$%& (loudly) whenever they find something to grouse about, which is frequently.

    3. What breeds are good for first time duck people?

    As first timers last year, we started out with Pekins. We found them to be hardy, easy to raise, and a lot of fun. Plus we think they're absolutely beautiful. But we now have a mix of Pekins, Swedish, Khakis, Buffs, and Cayugas, and all seem to be about equal in terms of hardiness and ease of keeping.

    4. Other then not needing a to perch, how is duck housing different from housing chickens?

    Our duck house, fundamentally, isn't much different than our chicken coop. While I would recommend linoleum on a chicken coop floor, I would deem it a necessity on a duck house floor, because of the water issues.
     

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