This is for the farm folks who are deciding between ducks or chickens for their farm. Here are 10 reasons why you should consider replacing raising chickens with ducks.
1. Ducks are almost always healthier
Compared to chickens, ducks enjoy the water more and can actually swim and float in ponds and lakes. As a result, they are less prone to getting infections from mites. Any parasites which attempt to latch themselves onto the ducks will find themselves perishing the moment the ducks dip their webbed feet into the water. Furthermore, ducks have immune systems that are more resilient than chickens. Hence, ducks are generally healthier and they are less vulnerable to contracting diseases.
2. Ducks have better protection against the cold
As opposed to chickens, ducks have an additional layer of fat that insulates them from the cold. Their feathers are waterproof and do not absorb water, which helps them to keep dry. Not only that, but they also have a thick down undercoat that keeps them warm and dry even when they are in the water. Hence, ducks are capable of braving through colder temperatures than chickens are.
3. Ducks have a better heat tolerance
Aside from bearing through the loss of heat, they are also better at dealing with heat. While chickens tend to stand around panting due to the increased atmospheric temperature, ducks solve it simply and at no additional costs to you. You would have to buy fans to keep your chickens cool, but for ducks, all they have to do is take a dip in the pool to cool off. Hence, not only are ducks better at handling the warming temperatures, but they also help you save on additional costs.
4. Ducks don’t keep you up at night
Contrary to popular beliefs, ducks make way less noise than chickens do. While chickens cackle at any given opportunity, ducks are generally more peace-loving. Chickens can and will make noise wherever and whenever, be it before laying an egg, or after laying an egg. This is not only restricted to hens. Roosters also make unnecessary noise especially when there is another rooster around. Roosters seem to have more masculinity issues than drakes, or male ducks and have to exhibit that masculinity through a series of crows. So, if you want peaceful nights, get ducks.
5. Duck eggs are more nutritious and taste better
Compared to chicken eggs, duck eggs contain higher fat and lower water content making them the better option for bakers’ needs. In fact, duck eggs are the baker’s go-to because of the larger amount of proteins in the egg white. This is also the reason why they are often tastier than chicken eggs. Some of you might think that the higher fat content sounds unpleasant but duck eggs contain more nutrients than chicken eggs. Furthermore, duck eggs are hardier because they have thicker shells and membranes. They can be stored longer and are less fragile.
6. Ducks have more eggs in a shorter time
Apart from having higher quality in terms of taste, ducks are also able to produce a higher quantity of duck eggs. Ducks can even outperform chickens during unfavorable seasons like winter. On average, four ducks are able to lay around 3-4 eggs in a day, giving them a success rate of 75 to 100 percent. Chickens, on the other hand, do not fare as well, with a success rate of 40 to 50 percent. Furthermore, ducks have less tendency to go broody which will affect the supply of eggs.
7. Ducks do not have an aggressive pecking order
Ducks are less hostile to newcomers, and often find it easier to accept them into the coop. They do not discriminate based on the species of the bird as well, and they generally accept everyone. Chickens seem to like to teach newcomers about the existing rules and orders, and try to keep the newcomers in line so as to maintain the pecking order. This of course results in some disruptions and temporal chaos. So, if you want peace and quiet, get ducks, they are less rowdy.
8. Ducks don’t ruin your lawn as badly
Most animals tend to eat anything and everything that they can get their hands on, including ducks. However, this problem can be easily solved by planting trees or bushes that are tall enough to be beyond the duck’s reach. This would be futile on chickens though because they also dig troughs into the earth in attempts to take their dust baths or get cooler in cases of higher temperature. So, compared to ducks, chickens can and will ruin your whole lawn whereas ducks only love to take a nibble or two of your greens.
9. Ducks are good for your greens
Ducks may love nibbling on your greens but they also love nibbling on the pests that infest your greens. This can be any pest from slugs, worm, spider, grasshopper, cricket, fly or any grub that is within their sight. Chickens, on the other hand, are pickier about the pests that they consume, even going so far as to completely neglect one that is right in front of them if it does not suit their tastes. Ducks, though, they go crazy over these pests and stop at nothing to make sure they get these pests.
10. Ducks are endearing as babies
You have seen baby chickens but have you seen baby ducks? These ducklings are adorable with their disproportionate body. They have those webbed feet that make them look like they are waddling all the time, dark eyes that portray their beautiful souls, and those rounded bills that look so fresh and tiny. This is not to say that chicks are not adorable, it just means that ducklings are more adorable.
In conclusion, ducks are just a better choice if you’re on the fence about getting ducks or chickens. Not only are they hardier, but their eggs are also tastier and more nutritious. But if you don’t have a pond or other water body on your property, then it may be better to get chickens instead.