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6rant6's avatar

Chickens or ducks?

Asked by 6rant6 (13692points) November 28th, 2011

I’m thinking of getting a half dozen fowl for egg production. Which would you advise and why?

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14 Answers

syz's avatar

Chickens. They’re reliable egg layers, and ducks have nasty, slimy poop.

Kayak8's avatar

Chickens. Although I love duck eggs, most folks are not as familiar with them as they are with the traditional chicken egg. Seems like duck eggs have a higher propensity for double yolks (first-hand experience) when compared to chicken eggs . . .

6rant6's avatar

I’m looking a running ducks – 200 eggs/year. And I don’t mind double yolks.

Neighbors might appreciate not having a rooster next door.

deni's avatar

There is nothing like a farm fresh chicken egg. NOTHING!

@6rant6 no reason to get a rooster :) they are mean and protective of their ladies anyhow

6rant6's avatar

@deni I thought the presence of roosters encouraged egg production. Obviously they are required for a flock to be self sustaining.

marinelife's avatar

Duck eggs have a pretty strong flavor. Unless you know you like it, I would go with chickens.

Coloma's avatar

Ducks are much more work. They need water with their feed and need swimming water for maximum duck happiness. I have geese and they need their pools scrubbed and changed every other day and muck up gallons and gallons of water. lol

I love my geese, but having kept chickens as well, I’d say go for hens only.

Do not even think of keeping chickens housed with waterfowl.

Chickens HATE water and the ducks/geese will mash up all the feed into wet cereal and muck up all the water.

Also, maybe ducks, but especially geese can be aggressive towards the chickens, my gander stripped a rooster of his tail once in a fight. haha

Linda_Owl's avatar

I used to enjoy keeping chickens, but you do need a fairly large, well fenced area for them to run in (& it must be fenced across the top to keep hawks from carrying the chickens off). You need at least one more hen nest box in your hen-house than you have hens, so you don’t have them picking on each other over nest boxes. You only need a rooster if you are planning on raising baby chicks & having a rooster is not recommended if you do not want to be awakened at the crack of dawn every morning! Fresh eggs are the very best tasting & you will love baking with them.

sliceswiththings's avatar

Ducks are just so cute! I ducksat some ducks one summer named Millie, Nellie, Lizzie, and Outside (named by their toddler). They’re unique, get them!

Coloma's avatar

@6rant6

You don’t need a rooster for egg production, makes no dif. unless you want to raise chicks too.
The Runner ducks are cool but, the best layers of all waterfowl are the Chinese geese like my guys.

Ducks and geese also need much more forage, grass, than a chicken.

If you don’t have lawn and grazing areas available you must supplement with plenty of fresh greens, leaf lettuces, dandelion greens etc.

Fresh clean water is an imperative though, as ducks and geese, at the very least, need to be able to dunk their heads and faces to keep their eyes clean and healthy. They can be kept without swimming water but I think it is cruel. They live to swim. :-)

6rant6's avatar

Ducks eat snails – which is a big benefit for me. Do chickens?

Coloma's avatar

True. Ducks love snails, geese do not. Chickens do not either, but they do eat a ton of bugs, moths, crickets, any bug except snails.

If you can split a pen you can do both ducks and chickens.
But you will need shelters too, depending on predators in your area. I lock my geese in their barn every night otherwise bobcats and cougars can jump the 6 foot fence and make off with them.

Dogs, foxes, raccoons and coyotes will nab chickens in a heartbeat.

6rant6's avatar

Definitely planning on locking them up at night. I’m fortified by the advice that ducks shouldn’t be let out too early so that they will lay in the dormitory. That removes early morning care taking from me.

We have a well-trained dog who shares a home with three cats and a parrot. The neighborhood has hawks and turkey vultures. The yard is large, but lots of open spaces for those hawks to swoop into.

I was thinking the fertilizer (and water) from the pen would go into the garden. I can see already that I might have to rethink the __vegetable__ garden angle.

Coloma's avatar

@6rant6

I use the goose poo pool water in the summer to water the trees in their corral and mix it with some water soluable fertilizer for my plants in a wheelbarrow and bale it on my plants. Happy plants they are. :-)

Also, I have only had one hawk try to take a bantam rooster and it couldn’t get the lift to fly off with him. He survived at my intervention.

It could happen, but, the large varieties of chickens and, even more so ducks/geese ( adults, not ducklings, chicks or goslings ) the hawks won’t mess with. They want to haul their prey off for safe eating not eat it on the ground in your yard. Too risky for them, so, don;t be overly paranoid about hawks.

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