Sure they are cute and adorable but are homestead ducks right for YOUR homestead? The pros and cons of raising ducks on your homestead or in your backyard.
You know what I’m pretty bad at?
Saying no to homestead animals.
I’m pretty certain I have an addiction.
I can honestly say I want a few of just about everything.
However, that doesn’t often fly with Mr. Upcycled Family…
He is all logical. I get the 20 question drill like…
- Realistically, what is the purpose for us to have an (alpaca, llama, mini-pig Etc) you get the point right?
- What are we going to do with it?
- What does it even eat?
- Where will it live in this nearly full-blown petting zoo we have?
Well that where ducks started, but then I won. Homestead ducks we have (score)!
Homestead ducks vs chickens
Let’s say you are not quite as much of a “we need all the cute animals” person as I am and you want to know all the logical reasons or pros and cons of having homestead ducks at your little slice of heaven. Then this is the bit for you.
Homestead ducks can be a real addition on your homestead or in your backyard flock as well as a great bird in general as their own flock. Ducks have been raised forever (or pretty close), for both meat and eggs.
- Ducks can be great egg layers and in some instances produce more eggs in a year than chickens, this, of course, all depends on the breed.
- Many breeds of ducks are a little more cold hardy and make reliable egg layers in the dead of winter when chickens egg laying starts to slump.
- Duck eggs make for great baking, in fact, bakers will often prefer them to chicken eggs. The higher fat content adds to the volume of a recipe making baked goods richer and fluffier.
- Many ducks forage for a variety of pests that chickens do not, making free-range mixed flocks more versatile and better at pest control.
- Ducks have wonderful tasting eggs.
- Ducks lay eggs with a thicker shell making them harder to accidentally crack.
- Kitchen or garden scraps (like potato peels) that chickens are not super fond of, ducks love!
Ducks like any animal are not right for every situation, backyard or homestead. Yes, homestead ducks can be wildly successful, but they also do have some drawbacks.
- Ducks like water, if not given the water they like (a kiddie pool may do fine) will make a muddy mess of the low spot in the yard if given the chance on a rainy day.
- Ducks can be a little more territorial and bossy around chickens, especially males. Running chickens around and removing feathers.
- Ducks like water, that being said they need resources chickens don’t need. If a shortage of space is an issue, ducks and a wading pool might not be as feasible as the needs of chickens.
- Ducks often don’t survive well against predators. Their loud noises and heavier bodies can be easy prey (we have learned this one first hand)!
Good Homestead Duck Breeds
There are many different types of good duck breeds for a homestead. Choosing a breed of duck might have factors like what kind of egg production are you looking for, what is your space, what other birds might be in a flock etc. Pekin, Muscovy, and runners all make for popular homestead ducks, but there are many more options as well.
Ducks are adorable and they still have a very practical value, are they right for your situation? That’s, of course, is not up to me. I, as you can clearly see, am a sucker for homestead ducks. Not only were they just adorable as ducklings at the local farm supply store, but they forage for bugs I don’t want and prefer kitchen scraps that the chickens don’t like. Do they have drawbacks? Certainly, but they also add quite a value to a homestead or a backyard flock ♡♡♡
Comment Shar and Enjoy
From our family to yours, thanks for stopping by
P.S. Loving the homestead goodness? Subscribe and join The Upcycled Family community for weekly homestead inspiration, recipes DIY’s and more!
Beth is a mother of 5 living on a handful of acres in an old farmhouse in central Kansas. Beth has a background in the military and health and fitness however her passions come from her homestead life. Beth is an enthusiastic homeschooling mom, avid organic gardener, chicken & goat wrangler, who is obsessed with herbs and natural remedies and maintaining an all-around Do-It-Yourself lifestyle. Beth loves to share all she has learned about and sustainable living. While striving for a healthy, natural life, family-centered life.