I've always wondered - why do people raise ducks? I've seen repeated how messy they are, especially when over-wintering. I don't mean to offend any duck lovers; they are very cute (ducks, that is). Is it the meat, eggs or entertainment....?
I like the eggs (best for baking) and the slug control has been really good too. I only have a few, but would like to get more. They are really mess with the water so that takes some planning and I won't be getting more until I have a better system for that. I used to have a huge nightly slug migration from the field to the gardens, but the slugs would head back to the field in the morning after I let the birds out. The result was a massive slug slaughter by the ducks which has resulted in me not needing to use as much slug bait.
I have 10 ducks that I use primarily for eggs and pest control, although I do not hesitate to eat some as well. They are a disaster, but they are also worth their weight in gold for their entertainment value. Ducks are the most ridiculous of all birds. Their antics will keep you in stitches and stocked with entertaining stories forever. I house my waterfowl separately from my chickens so they can be a mess without being a danger to my other birds. This makes them more tolerable to have around. I don't know how people can house waterfowl and ground birds in the same space. My chickens would divorce me if I made them share the same space with my ducks. The chickens frequently eye the ducks with palpable disgust and seem to be saying to each other, "What is WRONG with those creatures?"
Because they are friendly, entertaining, beautiful little creatures.
How can you NOT adore an animal that is thrilled right down to the bottom of their little webbed feet when it's pouring rain outside and everyone else is running for cover?
I would agree with the mess- as I am trying to figure out the best way to do things while keeping in mind their great enjoyment in dumping out all the water as well as getting everything so messy.
Reason we got them is DH was asking all summer for them on a whim I bought them for his birthday and now I am dealing with what I have done
I have heard of the great eggs I should soon be getting from them, Since I don't like duck meat (at least up till now) I am in search of a great recipe to try ours. We will be eating the excess drakes. The biggest reason for me is that they will eat all the bugs (I hope).
And lastly they have won me over by the entertainment factor- I have enjoyed the chicken trouble but the Ducks are very good at getting me to stay and "play" for more time when I am doing the bird chores. Hopefully I will still like them this time next year. (I am guessing that I will)
Of course the real question is why do we keep -_______ (chickens, dogs, cats *kids)? As far as I am concerned all pets and children are messy and time consuming but I think we all have reasons we take the time and commitment for caring for them.