Which one should I get???


Apr 16, 2019
Hey Y'all!

I started with chickens, and I've had them for a little over 3 years now. Now that I'm used to it, I've caught some sort of homesteading bug and am now wanting ducks, rabbits, herbs, berries, fruit, etc......

So now that I'm considering ducks, what would you advise as far as raising them, and what breed should I get? Specifically Muscovy or Pekin ducks (I'm open to more breeds, but as far as my research goes these seem to be the best for my desired application).

Ideally, I want something that wont be too noisy all the time. I have neighbors, and while I'm in the county and am allowed to have things like roosters and such (which I do), I don't want my yard to be too noisy for my neighbors (They are pretty close, and haven't complained as of yet, but my rooster does crow a lot). I know Muscovy ducks tend to be more quiet because they don't quack, so that's a plus.

The purpose of these ducks would be for meat. I know Pekins grow a lot faster and seem to be more economical for that purpose (that's a plus), but it seems as if they may be too noisy? And It also seems as if Muscovy ducks may taste better, but also take longer to bring up to harvest weight (I hear Pekins taste great too, but I do like the idea of a red meat bird).

Then, I have to consider how I'm going to keep them. I live on about .25 acres, but there are predators (Raccoons, Possums, Cats, Coyotes, Hawks, you name it). I do not have a fenced in yard, and do not want to invest in a whole property fence system for ducks.

Then there is the cost factor. I don't want to pay an arm and a leg to feed them. I hear ducks consume a lot more food. How much should I expect to spend per duck breed to bring up to harvest weight? For my purposes, I would have a male and a few females for breeding purposes so that I can continually have a meat source. So their feed/upkeep would have to be added to the equation as well. In this area from what Ive read, it would seem that the plus goes to Pekins, and the minus to Muscovys, but if its not that expensive either way, I wouldn't mind Muscovy's.

Then, probably one of the biggest concerns I have is smell. My wife really likes the idea of ducks, but she wont be a fan if it stinks (And neither will I, and probably my neighbors). How far does their stench travel? Is it easy to manage? Should I keep them as far from the house as possible? Should I let them free range, or is that too dangerous?

All in all, their is a wealth of information online, and it seems a lot of people do things differently. I want to see what y'all would recommend!

So the questions I have are as follows (not in order of importance)
1. Breed
2. Noise
3. Stench
4. Cost
5. How and where to keep them

Thanks in advance!!
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Also, I could consider keeping them with the chickens. But having a pond I think would be out of the question then. Also, my chickens run from people when the enter the coop (the leghorns start running first cause they are so flighty, then because they start running, all of them do. Wont be getting Leghorns again because of this). I wouldn't want my ducks to do the same. But this may be the most economical option.

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