Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Homestead Tips on Tuesday: Why You Should Consider Backyard Ducks

The popular trend the past few years is to have a few chickens in your backyard for egg production. And don't get me wrong, I love our girls!!! Everyone knows fresh eggs are better then store bought in nutrition and taste. But what about ducks? Most folks think chicken when they think egg, but maybe it is time to consider the duck. The duck? Really?!?! Yup!

When folks ask which type of egg is healthier it is hard to answer that question.... While duck eggs are higher in cholesterol, they are also higher in protein, vitamins, minerals, and omegas. Due to their thicker shell, duck eggs stay fresher longer. Duck eggs are also better for baking! Duck eggs are richer, with more albumen, which makes cakes and other baked goods fluffier. And did you know that some people who cannot eat chicken eggs, due to allergies, can often eat duck eggs!


Yummy pound cake made with duck eggs
But what about the taste? Duck eggs are creamier and richer in taste. The strength of the flavor (as with chickens) depends on their diet. But honestly, to me, overall, there is not much difference in taste. I know gourmet chefs everywhere just did a collective groan, but that is my opinion. As for cooking with duck eggs, I already told you they were great for baking, but they can be scrambled and fried too. Because duck eggs have a lower water content then a chicken egg, you need to watch them closer and not scramble them as much to avoid the so called rubber effect.

While I know most folks can not find duck eggs at their super market, you can at a farmer's market. You will pay a premium for duck eggs as they are not a main stream item. I have seen a dozen duck eggs run over $6 around my neck of the woods. So why not add a duck or two to your backyard flock? Not only are their eggs amazing but they really are great backyard additions.

1.) Ducks are less destructive then chickens when it comes to your yard. While ducks will trample things (like all our corn plants in our garden last year) with their big old webbed feet, they do not scratch like chickens. Ducks will not create barren wallows in your yard like chickens, as they do not take dust baths. They are also just as good if not better at pest control then chickens. Chickens are picky pest eaters at times where ducks will slurp up grubs, slugs, spiders, and much to the oldest country kid's dismay, even frogs!

2.) Ducks are more temperature tolerant. While certain breeds of chickens do better in warmer or colder climates, ducks are hardy at both end of the spectrum. Their extra layer of fat and downy coats protect them in the winter, while their love of water makes it easier to cool off in the summer.



3.) While chickens have a very strict peeking order, that can sometimes turn down right aggressive, ducks are more laid back. While adding new member to a chicken flock can cause major upheaval in the peeking order, ducks accept new members to a flock much quicker and with a lot less drama.

4.) Ducks make less noise then chickens. Chickens talk, a lot, about everything, from bugs, to this is my favorite stump to site on. Not to mention when they sing their egg song when they lay, EVERYONE knows. There is a reason that chatty women are likened to a bunch of old hens! While female ducks tend to be more vocal then males, they usually keep the louder vocalizations for when they are excited (like finding a frog!)

So why not consider adding a few of these comical critters to your backyard egg production! 


**Homestead Tips on Tuesday is a weekly series where we help you learn skills, tips, and trick to help you on your journey of homesteading. Many places post list of things you should/could do as far as homesteading skill, but I feel lists are at times overwhelming and can make people give up before they even start. So every Tuesday I share one thing for you to try or consider. I hope you join us every Tuesday and I would love to hear about your adventures with each weeks topic.**

33 comments:

  1. Growing up our next door neighbor 'kept' ducks in so far as he had them little houses for them to come back to after they migrated. I don't know if he ever ate the eggs or not. I do remember loving to watch the ducks in the afternoon. They were so used to him that he could pick up the babies and snuggle them and the mom's would just lay there. We have a few ducks on our lake but no idea were they nest.

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    1. Ducks are such great comical characters to as to your life.... wild or domesticated... hours of fun to watch.

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    2. There are about 15-20 ducks on a pond near my house. Maybe I'll go make friends with them. Would it be rude to ask for an egg or two from said ducks? I'll happily trade with them....my tasty snacks for their tasty eggs. Hahah nah, I dont know if they even nest at the pond or just chill at the pond.

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    3. I wouldn't ask them LOL Good way to get an angry duck after you!

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  2. There are ducks a few houses down from us and I am always telling the kids, "We need to get some ducks!" :) You make some good arguments for them.

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    1. They are a neat critter to have in your life :)

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  3. We had a pair of white geese as pets years ago. We kept a plastic kiddie pool for them. On 2 different ocasions we had wild ducks adopt us. The geese were mostly grazers (never let a dandilion go if it was within reach of their neck), and the duck would follow behind slurping up the bugs the geese disturbed as they walked. We noticed way fewer ticks on the dog,too.

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    1. I have never had geese.... I hear mixed reviews on their temperament! LOL

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  4. What a neat idea! Duck eggs were easy to come by in Asia, and I enjoyed them.

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    1. I love mine. So great for baking :) and I love to bake!

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  5. We have our flock of chickens and also three ducks, two pekins and a rouen. The chickens are far calmer, friendlier, and way less messy. It can be difficult to keep the ducks happy with enough water...they drink what seems like 10 gallons a day. They poop...a l8t!! They are also incredibly loud...to the point that one of my hens has learned to mimick them and walks around quacking like a duck. I dont where I went wrong with the ducks but they appear to hate my guts even though I bring them fresh salad every day!

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    1. Oh my! While our ducks aren't cuddlers they are friendly. And yes, they do poo and drink a lot but our Rouens have never been overly loud.

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    2. BHarbison, thanks for your input on ducks. I have considered getting a few to add to our chickens one day but heard from our feed store that they are very messy, even compared to chickens! You just confirmed what I heard. Thanks!

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  6. We have a swimming pool in our garden (not my idea, we bought it like that) and I've always been fantasizing about turning it into a pond and have some ducks. I'll have to keep the egg-argument in mind!

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    1. When I was little we hatched a few ducks. We had an above ground pool and would take them in their with us. My poor father would run around the pool with a net trying to catch all the duck poo LOL

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  7. I'm visiting from Green Thumb Thursdays. Loved your post -you've made me curious. Do you know if ducks eat ticks?

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    1. They may eat a few but if your looking for tick control I would go with guineas. Personally I do not like guineas as I find them too loud and shame on me, unattractive LOL

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  8. I've had a couple of ducks along with chickens, and yes, I really like the ducks better. Unfortunately I lost them all to predators, but they were so much fun to watch as they swam in their little pool and waddled around the yard. Thank you for sharing this at the HomeAcre Hop; I hope you'll share with us again this Thursday.
    Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead

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  9. I wish my city would allow backyard chickens and ducks!
    Thank you for sharing at Tuesdays with a Twist! Hope to see you again this week!
    Mary @ Back to the Basics

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    1. I wish mine would allow bees and maybe, just maybe goats LOL

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  10. I'm intrigued... Any tips on just HOW to have ducks?

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    1. Go buy two ducks, then swing over and pick up a kiddy pool. Get a heavy bread duck and they don't fly away. Put them in your yard, sit back and enjoy. They really are easy though messy at times.

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  11. Thank you for sharing this on Green Thumb Thursday - come back today! We had ducks for a time and will do again when we have a pond - which we will soon! Love those little, loud, poopy buggers!

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    1. Don't you just love how you clean their pool, they jump in all excited and then poo!?!?! What the heck! LOL

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  12. Thanks for sharing on Mostly Homemade Mondays! Be sure to stop over tomorrow and link up a few more posts :)

    Kelli @ The Sustainable Couple

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  13. We got 4 ducklings this year (hopefully of the female variety), can't wait for them to start laying!

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    1. You are gonna have so much fun watching this little clowns! LOL Ducks are too funny!

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