Source: University of Georgia - Poultry Science - March 2006 One of the most popular duck breeds is called the Pekin. Runner ducks are non-flying ducks, who act as their name suggests: they choose to run, rather than waddle. However, this might be helpful if you wish to: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/how-to-wash-duck-eggs-for-consumption.416032/. Besides the fact that they are generally 1½-2 times the size of a chicken egg, most chefs will tell you that duck eggs are better for baking. Two breeds of ducks are known for outlaying chickens in the course of a year – Runners and Campbells. Hi! They have a richer taste, especially when served scrambled or fried. One can make use of hens for hatching ducks eggs to save the ducks energy and can lay more eggs. Let’s get to it! If it’s not answered here, contact us. Raising ducks on pasture for eggs and meat is a great way to help supply your family with quality, nutrient-dense meals. So when my husband recently arrived home to find six ducks and a duck house in our yard, he didn’t even look surprised. Note from Kris: One thing I didn’t realize before delving into raising ducks is that they are often up and wandering around at night. I dream of raising ducks. Raising ducks for eggs. Add to Favorites . To raise chickens for eggs, start by purchasing female chicks through the mail or at a local feed store. Duck eggs also have more fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. The increased fat content is what makes duck eggs popular with bakers. A chicken waterer is a good option — they can’t dunk their heads and spill the water everywhere. Ducks usually do just fine on plain old chicken layer feed. Oh you should! Raising ducks for eggs. They are SO much quieter than roosters. Maybe you don’t have any chickens but are considering raising ducks on your farm or homestead or in your backyard? The other scheme for raising ducks is through the confinement system using a duck house (kamalig). Want to learn more about raising ducks for eggs? Usually, chickens don’t produce as many eggs as the days grow shorter, though they still do at times, while ducks don’t. The ducks only cost about $8 per bird from start to finish. It is known that a standard runner duck lays about four eggs per week, eight months of the year. We have a large front pond but the water quality isn’t good. Reply. DIY No Mess Duck … So much has changed since those days of yesteryear. I feed my ducks an all purpose layer feed, the same as our chickens. I have attempted to put them in a coop or something similar, but they just won’t do it like chickens do. I’m not sure what you mean by “poor quality.” My ducks love dirty puddles. Here, what to feed ducks and ducklings, along with some other pertinent information if you’re planning to incorporate these egg layers onto your little farm. During the winter, we have to increase the feed for our chickens, perhaps add supplemental light, and take greater measures to close up their coop during winter storms to protect them. When ducks eat, they take a beakful of food, then a beakful of water to wash it down. Raising Ducks For Beginners Plenty of people raise ducks for profit. Choose the breed based on your primary purpose for raising the ducks. My ducks have thrived on layer feed and all the bugs they can take out of the yard. Ducks WILL, however, dig their bills into the dirt and can leave small holes everywhere. If raising ducks for eggs is something that appeals to you, but you’re not sure where to begin, this list of six egg-producing duck breeds should help “egg you on.” 1. We answer why we have ducks. I have been able to tell the sex of ducks as early as 2 weeks old. Ducks are better at foraging than chickens, and they will chase mosquitoes down to catch and eat them. They are tucked neatly in rows around the edge of the straw nest. We average 3-4 duck eggs from four female ducks daily (an admirable 75-100% rate) year round, contrasted with only 8-10 chicken eggs from 20 laying hens (a mere 40-50% rate) in the winter. My ducks also enjoy getting into the irrigation ditch and floating down it. Thanks for sharing on Farm Fresh Tuesdays! Muscovy Duck Eggs. Like many other poultry, proper nutrition, low stress, and light can affect a duck’s laying. The feed costs for the 50 I raised were extremely high. Raising Ducks is dedicated to the care of the wonderful, beautiful, hilarious, useful birds we call ducks. That’s a pretty good reproduction rate, if you ask me! We let them free-range as soon as they’re big enough to “hold their own”. You can either buy ducklings at your local farm store, mail order from a supply company, or hatch out some fertilized eggs. The information highway now helps us understand the benefits ducks bring to the garden and I no longer believe my backyard ducks love me quite like I did when I was young. Of course, I free-range all my ducks. Do you want to try raising ducks of your own? Ducks also need water near their food to help them eat. Sturdy perennials for duck runs. Chicken feed just doesn’t supply enough niacin for them, so it is recommended by the experts to supplement their feed with brewer’s yeast. They also need a longer interval for stock replacement. If raising ducks for eggs is something that appeals to you, but you’re not sure where to begin, this list of six egg-producing duck breeds should help “egg you on.” 1. The ducks free-range amazingly. We feed our ducklings the same food as our chicks, since they often brood together. The Free Range Life has a great article discussing the differences between chicken eggs and duck eggs. Although their temperaments can range widely between “Nervous Nellies” or “Calm Cassies,” they are normally very gentle, especially around kids, and will often quack for a treat of fresh berries or the weeds you just pulled from your garden. The ducks will settle into the straw, and build nests to lay their eggs in. Raising ducks can be an enjoyable and profitable experience. A Quick Guide to Raising Ducks Learn how to plan and care for farm ducks, including information on Muscovy, Indian Running and Perkin duck breeds. Ducks are very good at this. They are excellent food hunters and even have a strong immune system. We live on NW Indiana. I don’t wash my eggs, as it removes the protective bloom. When looking for a sustainable animal to add, it is important to consider how well they reproduce to add more to your homestead. All they ever did was eat. The biggest downside of raising ducks is the mess they leave. A Publishers Weekly top ten pick from National Geographic Books! They are excellent foragers and chase down mosquitoes, slugs, and other insects with great ease. They take baths in any water source (which can be less desirable if you have large animal water troughs), and eat as many bugs as they can find. Hi. Actually, I feel so passionate about them that I’ve written an entire post on why duck eggs rock. tayyab . Since most duck eggs hatch in 28 days and Muscovy duck eggs hatch in 35, when you cross these ducks you get irregular hatch rates. Homesteaders have long raised flocks of chickens for eggs and meat, but now a growing number of folks are adding ducks to their barnyard as well. For those on a high protein diet, the duck egg is better than a chicken egg. We have been getting asked a lot why we raise ducks and what do you use them for. how frequent do ducks lay their eggs, is it the same as chickens? Runner ducks are non-flying ducks, who act as their name suggests: they choose to run, rather than waddle. Aloha! As a bonus, many people who can’t eat chicken eggs due to an allergy are able to consume duck eggs with no problem. Make sure that the tray used in the incubator is large e… One of them hatched out 8 babies, all on her own! So if you prefer eggs than meat, you might want to choose Khaki Campbells instead and vice versa. Thanks. They require no extra light to continue laying. We added four drakes a couple weeks ago. Raising Ducks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Maybe you don’t have any chickens but are considering raising ducks on your farm or homestead or in your backyard? Related: 3 Good Duck Breeds for Beginners 2. Duck eggs have larger yolks, firmer whites, and are wonderful for breakfast dishes or for baking. Duck meat is delicious. If you happen to come across a surprise clutch of eggs, simply float the eggs in cold water. Duck eggs contain more protein than a chicken egg. Living in England we have unreliable weather ☔️☔️ But our gorgeous ducks have no problem with it. Add to that the yummy richness of duck eggs, and you have the top five reasons for adding ducks to your yard or homestead. You’ll also get my free weekly newsletter, complete with recipes, gardening tips, and a little peek at what’s going on around here — both the zany and the mundane. People keep ducks for different reasons. Just like Pekin, Khaki Campbells are excellent foragers and friendly towards other ducks and humans. I have a pond and want to build a floating duck house. [Here’s how duck eggs compare to chicken eggs.]. Here at Attainable Sustainable, I aim to encourage readers — that’s you! Good foragers; Require less food than chickens; Produce eggs through the year; They are gentle birds; They make little noise; Ducks are good pets; Resourceful, easy to raise; Best Duck for Eggs breed. I have heard that ducks can actually suffocate on their food if they don’t have water to wash it down with. Some ducks are best suited for meat while others prolific egg layers. Cakes, quick bread, and muffins made with duck eggs are fluffier and more moist and rich in flavor! Generally, a duck will lay 5-6 eggs a week and we use that guideline to know if the hunt is on or not. However, there are other duck breeds that you can choose from. We had 2 ducks sitting on eggs this spring. Ducklings needs pretty much mimic baby chicks when it comes to brooding. They happily clean up any cabbage worms for us while they’re there. Ducks are easy! Some ducks start laying eggs earlier in their lives than chickens. Limit their time in one single area. We haven’t had this problem, so we haven’t messed with it. Raising ducks can be so simple and rewarding. From a preparedness standpoint, I love learning about new livestock to bring onto the homestead. If you want to sell eggs for cash, raising ducks for eggs are the way to go. Plus, I just *might love duckling more than chicks in the extended fluffiness and sweetest, itty bitty, webbed feet! Its day 4 since we butchered. I’ll definitely do a post and a video of butchering and cleaning, as soon as my daughter lets me butcher one of “her” ducks! Available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and at bookstores nationwide. So housing is debatable if you can free-range your ducks. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Choose the breed based on your primary purpose for raising the ducks. (saw your site on pinterest) We are going to be moving soon to a place with a few acres so I can get some animals. Ducks quack and can be very noisy. 6 Duck Breeds To Raise For Eggs. If you can free-range, I would strongly suggest it. wow, I never knew this, and it’s good to know. Another thing to keep in mind is that while backyard ducks eat more than other birds such as chickens, their eggs can be sold for more, which can offset the cost of extra feed. If not can you tell me a bit about it? There are several ways to begin with ducks: buy day-old ducklings or hatch duck eggs! I read for chickens they need to sit in the fridge for 2-5 days for the meat to “tenderize”. Our goal is to have an abundance of FREE knowledge and information concerning duck care: housing, feeding, breeds, hatching, record-keeping, profiting, managing, preventing problems, and more. Required fields are marked *. Relatively few people in the Americas realize that, on the whole, ducks are more proficient layers than chickens. How Many Drakes Can I Have In My Flock? Ducks are also pretty sustainable in that you don’t have to give them a lot of feed. Available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and at bookstores nationwide. Their large eggs are great in wonderfully flavorful baked goods, aioli, and more. Duck eggs have a higher content of the much-needed Omega-3 fatty acid compound. Now, for the downsides of raising ducks. Reply. Ducks are easy to raise, require little effort beyond clean water and food, and are winter-hardy animals. Some ideal for egg, meat production. And when you add a sauce, like orange or plum sauce, it’s out of this world! Ducks living in a natural environment, where they have access to sunlight and can eat grasses and greens and insects, produce meat (and eggs) with a natural balance of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids. Despite all the attention chickens received, it’s unusual for a commercial flock of Leghorns to average over 250 to 280 egg… Raising ducks for eggs. Our ducks live with the chickens in the same barn and run. Compared to chicken eggs, duck eggs are about 50 per cent bigger, they are more nutritious, they last longer in the fridge thanks to their thicker shells and they will make your cakes rise like a dream. 5. Both chickens and ducks should be raised in a flock and not alone. In fact, ducks may be the better answer to getting fresh eggs every single day of the year and for up to five years, compared to chickens. I have raised Cornish Cross meat chickens, and I have raised Pekin ducks for meat. Clean and change the water at least daily. Ah yes, we are absolutely loving our Muscovy ducks! Raising Ducks in the Garden for Eggs. Your email address will not be published. This makes them similar to Cornish Cross meat chickens in terms of growout time. Getting started with ducks on the urban homestead is easy, really. The feed costs are cut drastically by letting them free-range. So it could be up to 2 weeks less of growout time for the ducks! Old Paths to New Homesteading & Self-Reliant Living. I’m glad that it turned out okay! Finally, ducks need space. Better safe than sorry! https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/how-to-wash-duck-eggs-for-consumption.416032/, Edible Nasturtium Leaves: Foraging for Your Dinner, The Environmentally Friendly Kitchen: Painless Changes You Can Make Today. To keep your older ducks happy and healthy, you will need some supplies. Which is nice, because ducks make a horrible mess of the brooders! Duck eggs typically have higher nutrition values than chicken eggs. We have 3 ducks, but wasn’t sure about the eggs. When raising ducks for eggs, you really need to think about the habitat in which they live; remember, ducks aren’t chickens. Raising Ducklings. We have also put a lot of duck eggs in our incubator with pretty good results. Eggs are great, but that’s just one of many reasons to add ducks to your little homestead. Still need to be convinced that ducks are the right egg layer for you? It’s high enough that the ducks don’t get in it, though. I personally think about a foot deep is plenty to avoid this. In my area, chicken eggs go for $1.50-$3.00 per dozen, but duck eggs can go for upwards of $5-$10 per dozen. I don’t have a post on the butchering and cooking process. Get a free excerpt from my book, Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living! Take this into consideration when you determine placement of your ducks. Duck eggs are generally larger than chicken eggs and they provide more protein. Know what duck breeds will suit your needs, how to feed, house and take care of your duck. They do benefit from higher protein, so when they are little, we feed them higher protein chick starter. We haven’t had many health issues with our ducks. DIY Kiddie Pool Duck Brooder. Join their (mis)adventures at The Homesteading Hippy or laugh with them on their new YouTube series . They lay lots of eggs, and most do a good job at incubating their own young. While with other birds, we have had a few deaths from unknown health reasons, the only duckling we have lost is one that got trampled in the brooder box. They require little attention, good feed, clean, fresh … Please see my, cracked eggshells can be used in the garden, Your Winter Duck Coop: 5 Tips for Keeping Ducks in Cold Weather. Ducks are very fast growing, and don’t need heat and light nearly as long as chicks do. Ducks have a lot to offer the small scale producer wanting to raise meat and eggs and, in some instances, will perform better than a chicken! Of course, having more protein and minerals than chicken eggs isn’t a bad thing either. Raising ducks for eggs. Never keep the new duckling in water and do not let them to water till two weeks from the birth, since they can be caught by cold in the water. They are waterfowl and are happiest when they can dunk their head under water. Why are my ducks NOT laying eggs? Most of the time, they won’t even go into a coop! They don’t take the winters “off” like chickens typically do. . We answer why we have ducks. In this scheme, ducks are provided with a balanced diet that includes formulated feeds and clean drinking water, proper floor space, feeding spaces, and other requirements needed for maintenance, growth, and development, and for egg production. Ducks are among four poultry species that are commonly raised for eggs. I don’t have any experience with such a system, but I can tell you that ducks will nest where they nest, no matter how many comfy boxes you make for them! In the US, however, lots of people raise ducks only for their incredibly rich, high mineral content eggs. Check your local farmers market or get in touch with a 4H club that might have members raising ducks and selling eggs. Ducks are great conversation starter! age of eggs la.ying. Check out this video by Iowa Ingredient: As you can see, learning how to raise ducks is easy even for beginners. Duck housing is… In fact, duck eggs are the newest, coolest, foodie fashion. Want to learn more about raising ducks for eggs? We just feed ours chicken layer feed. You might want to consider raising ducks in your backyard. A female is called a duck. Ducks are very vocal; Ducks lay eggs where they feel like it; Ducks eat more than chickens; Ducks eggs are an acquired taste; Fattier and possibly less meat than from a chicken; Ducks need more space than chickens; Messy Ducks. The Cayuga duck breed has the ability to lay various shades of grey to charcoal colored eggs. Duck eggs are generally larger than chicken eggs and they provide more protein. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Aim for larger pellets if you can, as ducks tend to waste a lot of crumble style feed. As you can see, learning how to raise ducks and keeping them for meat or eggs can be a fun and simple part of your path to self-sufficiency. Related: Your Winter Duck Coop: 5 Tips for Keeping Ducks in Cold Weather, Besides the fact that they are generally 1½-2 times the size of a chicken egg, most chefs will tell you that duck eggs are better for baking. Starting with ducklings offers instant gratification, and may be best for first-timers. Some modifications need to be addressed when raising ducks, and they add a new dimension to your barnyard. Ducks are resistant to diseases and thrive in harsh conditions. My 10 Favorite Ways to Use Extra Eggs . If you live in a climate that is better-suited to ducks, such as the northwestern portions of the United States, you are actually going to find that ducks are better adapted to the climate. Getting started with ducks on the homestead is easy, really. Of course they make great pets too, but this is what makes ducks useful to humans. We have put our ducklings outside as early as 2 weeks, if the weather … I have an estimate of the cost of the ducks we raised for butcher, in contrast with the Cornish Cross chickens we raised. In this way of raising ducks, you will be not able to get fertile eggs means you cant hatch these ducks eggs for having more ducklings. How Many Chicks Or Ducks Do You Need To Raise For Eggs? If you’d like to read more about our challenges with raising Cornish Cross, you can go here, here, and here. Keep in mind that ducks are very messy in their water, so don’t think you can use the same pool that they do!! T his makes it much easier to find their eggs instead of the daily hunt, too. Keeping Ducks for Egg Production Worldwide, egg production is second to meat production in reasons for raising ducks. Are you still considering whether to … Roast duck tastes very similar to roast beef. Glad I was able to share! One question. You can watch the video below on EGG LAYING DUCKS! Some people opt to use a special duck feed. Raising ducks for eggs. When ducks get just a little older, the drakes will have a curl at the tip of their tail, hens won’t. Many times the questions involve raising ducks. We also bought a bunch at the end of Tractor Supply’s chick days for 50 cents per duckling, so those will be way cheaper to raise. I recommend boiling it, then pairing it with vinegar and salt. We had some Pekins that grew so fast, they were ready for butcher in 6 weeks. For the Pekins, my feed costs are very minimal. Thakur Janakinath. Backyard system of duck raising: Under this type of rearing system, inexpensive bamboo baskets are used and after egg collection the ducks, the birds are allowed to feed on an open field and play around any water source. Please make a post/video of butchering and cleaning it! They have been known to munch on a tomato or two, but they usually only eat the ones that have fallen from the vine. Ducks are very fast growing, and don’t need heat and light nearly as long as chicks do. — to embrace a more self-reliant lifestyle, one small step at a time. I will fence off one end of the pond and a large area of dry ground for foraging for the first two weeks then let them roam more and coop them at night. This is quite impressive, considering some of the ducklings we bought were $5 each! A very small one. Ducks need a place to forage. We have a bit of a lot of different kinds! The stress of being raised along will significantly and negatively impact egg production. In the wild, the mother duck will add an oil to her ducklings to keep them afloat in the water. by Alina J., and with many thanks to Tara Dodrill for contributing to this guide. They pretty much take care of themselves after about 4-6 weeks. We’re thinking about switching our “breeding” poultry over to ducks for that reason. Is this the same for ducks? Chickens usually don’t lay until they are about 6 months old. Eggs and meat: two of the main reasons we have ducks in the first place. If you would like to learn more about hatching duck eggs, please visit this link: Hatching Duck Eggs. Lots and lots of water. While not nearly as popular as chickens, domestic ducks offer the same benefits, as far as their skills in providing eggs and/or meat, as well as insect control for their owners. Usually, chickens don’t produce as many eggs as the days grow shorter, though they still do at times, while ducks don’t. (During the summer, we do it more often as they dunk their heads more to cool off.). Ducks’ personalities are unique, quirky, and lovable. Should you delve into raising ducks for eggs? I wrote down a few o… It’s a daily egg hunt since they don’t nest like chickens do. They’re fantastic to bake with! To do so, we dip a bucket into the pool and carry it over. As long as you give them proper housing, food, and water, they are good go. Got a question? Here, what to feed ducks and ducklings, along with some other pertinent information about how to raise ducks — and five reasons you might want to. Northern Indiana! A re you thinking about adding ducks to your existing chicken flock? As I write this article on raising Pekin ducks, there are twelve eggs inside: the same amount that our neighbor’s duck had when hers were eaten so many years ago. The females, or ducks, are the ones that do all the quacking. You can email me at [email protected]. We keep track of how many duck eggs we collect in the morning to know if we need to keep looking or not. I did end up roasting it and it did come out good. Meat birds should weigh at least 4 kg at time of slaughter. Some experts suggest adding brewer’s yeast to their food to give them an added bump in Niacin, but none of my ducks have had an issue without it. Overall, I think our ducks have given us at least 15 new ducklings this year. However, as wonderful as the Muscovy duck is, this isn’t the breed to get if you are after an egg-laying machine. Ducks need a place to lay their eggs. Each year, during winter, they go on hiatus. Providing a protective breeding environment and attention to egg production and handling can increase one’s success with raising ducks. You can read more here about what ducks eat. Raising Ducks for Eggs. Is it sour? Either way is wonderful but there is a special wonderful when hatching your own critters. It was just an odd smell! Ducks can be raised for eggs, meat or both. Most Cornish Cross chickens are butchered at 8. You need to make sure that your incubator is prepared in advance before you purchase duck eggs and attempt to hatch them. Your email address will not be published. Some modifications need to be addressed when raising ducks… We often put their pool under a trellised squash bed, with the plants hanging down for shade. Heather and her family live in Northern Indiana where they work hard at raising 80% of their own food each year, including chickens, turkeys, ducks, quail, rabbits and a large garden. They constantly play in their water, so everything gets wet and soggy. I really wanted to be able to have eggs but was not liking the idea of chickens. Keep plenty of water in your brooder, but NOT in the form of a pool. Im getting some ducks from a friend. Ducks haven’t had their wild instincts bred out of them like lots of chickens have. Perfect! We keep a small kiddie pool filled with water, and they love it. Information on raising ducks for either meat, eggs or just as backyard pets. Hm. If you don’t have room for a pool or pond, a bucket or a dish tub can work. Keeping ducks is brand new to us and their independence is greatly appreciated with everything else happening around here! But when they are out free-ranging, the bugs they find give them enough protein to grow really well. This is a great read! We want to get ducks for the eggs, the garden, and mostly for our son. Ready to add some ducks (or ducklings) to your little homestead? Lisa Steele, a 5th generation chicken keeper and Master Gardener, and author of the popular books Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens Naturally and Gardening with Chickens lives with her husband on a small hobby farm in Maine where she raises a mixed flock of chickens and ducks, grows herbs and enjoys cooking using fresh vegetables from her garden and fresh eggs from her coop. I have heard that there is sometimes an issue with ducks needing higher niacin. Raising ducks is different than raising chickens, although you can be successful raising ducks and chickens together. The other one didn’t do so well, I think an animal got to her eggs so she gave up. We’ve raised all kinds of birds here, but have found that ducks are by far the most efficient. A ducks egg is cook here very deliciously. Duck eggs are larger than chicken eggs, so many chicken egg incubators will not accommodate duck eggs. If you are raising ducks for eggs then you are after you can't go wrong with the Indian Runners which are probably the best egg-laying ducks around. Ducks can be raised for eggs, meat or both. (Note from Kris: I use an all-purpose, molasses coated mix for my drakes. We have had ducks for quite some time, and we love watching them waddle around the farm. Up five months of the year eggs daily is a special wonderful when hatching own! Several ways to begin with ducks on the butchering and cooking process re you thinking about raising ducks live the! To, as it removes the protective bloom some keep ducks for eggs. ] oil her! Of them hatched out 8 babies, all on her own how duck eggs, please visit link... Though they can be an enjoyable and profitable experience any cabbage worms for us they! 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