Would you choose ducks over chickens?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Mistyray_lynn, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. Mistyray_lynn

    Mistyray_lynn In the Brooder

    Jan 16, 2011
    Can you tell me why you would? or why you might have both?

    First it may help to know my situation.

    I had 6 chickens before. Now I'm looking to start over. I want egg layers. I live in the 'burbs. My chickens free ranged in my backyard. I have two small children almost 4 and almost 2. My fenced in yard is about 240 sq ft. I live in Denver, CO. Dry and somewhat mild., although we do have snow (sometimes lots of it) it usually melts fairly quickly. We don't get much rain. I have a garden that's about 16 sq ft.

    Pros for ducks (We're thinking khaki campbells:
    eat ants and slugs without terrorizing garden (I think)
    friendlier (I think)
    no permit needed within the city limits
    better foragers (I think)

    eat more feed
    I don't know about eggs after the first year
    happier with water to play in

    I tried looking through old threads but couldn't find what I was looking for.

    Thanks for the advice.

    ETA: I feel like I have a good base knowledge for chickens now. I'm considering ducks more as a curiousity. But I don't want to feel overwhelmed.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011

  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    From what I have read, ducks are different.

    I am a duck person - after decades since my last Pekin/mallard trio, I now have ten runners.

    It has been a steep learning curve, and I am so happy to have them! I have more space than you do.

    I think healthy ducks will keep laying for years.

    My runners don't need a pond - just a kiddie pool. And in this subfreezing weather, they are getting water just deep enough to splash in and clean their faces, which is critical for their health. Should the weather ever warm up again ( (c; ) they'll have the concrete mixing pan to bathe in.

    Garden terrorizing can happen. Bless them, if they only have one fairly small area, they will keep working at it. So, for example, where we have myrtle (Vinca minor), they don't do much to that, but they will eat many other plants and can trample gardens. It's similar to chickens, I think. If they are left for more than a day or so in a garden, they will have eaten all the bugs and still be looking for more to eat.

    I would put fence around my 16 sf garden.

    I let my ducks forage around the grape arbor. They are allowed in the gardens in the late fall, winter and early spring before much comes up. They can noodle around the hazelnut bushes all they want. But tender lettuce is something they like to eat, so they won't be in with the lettuce, or while the asparagus shoots are coming up.

    The ducks love to eat slugs, Japanese beetles, and squash bugs, among other things. They are super foragers.
  3. KansasKid

    KansasKid Songster

    Feb 7, 2010
    South East Kansas
    pro's constant eggs larger than chickens
    great personality's
    not that difficult to raise
    handle cold weather and hot with ease

    once you get a few you'll always want more
  4. crj

    crj Songster

    Dec 17, 2009
    Rocky Point, NC
    Hi, I have both. They are completely different all together. From what I've read the breed you picked seems to be a good one. I have Indian Runners. They have a pool to play in and free range all day. They are extremely entertaining. They will dabble in anything. They were very messy when young but older they aren't so bad. They never go in there coop other then a female to lay an egg. That's it. No cleaning there. They stay in there pool most of the time or they sleep around the base of a tree. This is when they are in there pen. Outside of that they just go where there feet take them. When they are young and not feathered out yet they are super messy like I said but the cuteness factor makes you keep them.

    Chickens are good. They forage well too. I wouldn't put either in the garden unless it's very late in the afternoon just before they put themselves up. Ducks don't always go in like chickens do but they are easy to run off from a place you don't want them. Chicken coops do get stinky and need to be cleaned. You get fresh eggs everyday and they sing for you when laying.

    I'm glad I have both. Now, if you don't want duck eggs you can have all boy ducks. They are quieter since they don't quack as loud. They do talk a lot though. They don't fight like roosters do. So that's something to think about. Good luck
  5. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    I love them both, but...ducks win...shhhhh(my chicken only friends might see this). [​IMG]

  6. Featherland

    Featherland Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    I have both and chickens are easier but:

    Ducks are more entertaining.
    They are more cold hardy than chickens.
    Mine lay lots of eggs.
    You can keep drakes and hatch out your own ducklings. (no roosters crowing)

    I have Welsh Harlequins and Golden 300's from Metzers.

    Now the downside.
    They eat more.
    They spill and dirty their water constantly.
    They make more mess and need their coop cleaned more often.
    Do NOT let them anywhere the ground is really wet or all they will leave is a large mud puddle.
    I need to check on the ducks more often in case they need more water.
    Their water needs to stay outside in the pen because they are messy with it and that requires checking it often
    to make sure it doesn't freeze and putting the frozen buckets in the garage to thaw out.
  7. StevenW.

    StevenW. Lovin' My Quackers!

    Oct 7, 2010
    Central, Illinois
    sometimes [​IMG]
  8. rooster brandon.

    rooster brandon. Songster

    Sep 10, 2010
    Kodak, by knoxville
    For me there two different animals and it just wouldn't feel right having one without the other!I at least have to have 1 of each! [​IMG] It is like a miracle to raise them from chicks/ducklings to adults laying eggs and having fun!
  9. duckluck

    duckluck Dulcimyrh Ducks

    Oct 22, 2009
    I thought before about having chickens but didn't really want them. However, I did want ducks and am glad I got them! We don't eat duck eggs, mainly because we don't eat many eggs at all and they are cheap to buy when we do...we can either get them at the store or get home grown ones from the neighbor. I wanted ducks just because they are cute and fun. I've tried to look at chickens but they just don't interest me. I like the constant busyness of my Call ducks.

  10. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    I would choose chickens over ducks........like the cons' list. Too messy and not as well liked in the egg department.

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