A lot of people think that because their small backyard farm doesn’t have a pond, or because ducks can fly, they shouldn’t have ducks on the homestead. I got my first ducks when we lived on just over an acre. We did our research first and bought the right breeds, then we made them want to stay around. Like chickens for the backyard farm, ducks can be multipurpose animals. They can provide companionship, eggs, meat and fertilizer, but that’s not all!
Benefits of Raising Ducks in Your Backyard…
Ducks are More Friendly than Chickens and Make Less Mess
With the exception of one or two sassy drakes, ours were always pets. They would follow us around like puppies and had such great personalities. They don’t crow or squawk and they don’t scratch up the yard like chickens do. They will eat small ripe fruits from your garden, but they also love snails and slugs and you may find a berry or two stolen here and there can be overlooked when you see what great pest control the ducks provide! Ducks also play well with others. Our friends at Timber Creek Farm raise their ducks and turkeys together and we always kept ours with the chickens.
Ducks Are Natural Mosquito Assassins
It’s no secret that mosquitoes breed in standing water. Guess who else loves water? Ducks. One of the first things we would buy after moving to a new place was a box of ducklings because we realized early on that they love eating the mosquito larvae from the ponds and puddles. Even when we had scads of frogs and tadpoles, the ducks were an amazing help.
Ducks Lay as Many Eggs as Chickens
Provided you get a medium to light breed, you can expect a duck to lay around 5-6 eggs a week. The heavier meat breeds won’t lay this many of course, but the same goes for chickens. So, if you’re looking for a pet that eats bugs and carries her own weight? Get a duck. In addition to being great layers, ducks make wonderful protective mothers and rarely need any assistance bringing up their young. We had several batches of ducklings hatch and always enjoyed watching them follow their mother.
Ducks can be a Good Source of Meat
We never ate our ducks. Partly because we had plenty of chicken and lamb, and partly because they were more valuable to us alive and eating bugs. And maybe because they were sweet pets and all named things like Brownie and Cocoa… Nevertheless, duck meat is good. And, while not quite as big as a full grown meat bird (unless you’re raising meat ducks) there’s still plenty of meat to make a good meal.