Besides the fact that ducklings are extremely cute and could make anybody’s day better, they also have many other benefits that can really help out your homestead. See why below…
1. Ducks make great pest control
Not really what most people think of when they picture a duck, but they really do help out with pest control in different ways. They love to hunt in the ground for grubs and larvae, which means less damage to your land from larger animals like moles! Their beak size pecking is nothing compared to a furry animal digging out your entire lawn. They also are known to help keep the fly population down which is a huge bonus on a farm or homestead with other livestock around.
2. Ducks are quiet birds
Have you always wanted fresh eggs in the morning but don’t want to annoy your neighbours with that loud “cock-a-doodle-doo” at the crack of dawn? Ducks are an excellent alternative and are way quieter than chickens. The males (called dukes) hardly ever quack and the females don’t make the same loud noises that hens do after laying an egg. Ducks are a better choice over chickens if you don’t have the large acreage to let your chickens squawk.
3. Ducks are easy to contain
Unlike chickens, ducks need way less fencing because they can’t get the flight that chickens do (except Mallards). Usually a 2ft fence will do to keep them in, but if you want to be extra cautious and you think your birds will get out, provide a 4ft fencing unit for them. To keep them safe from any predators, make sure to have an enclosing for them.
4. Ducks barely do any damage to your yard
Like previously mentioned, ducks will dig their beak into the ground searching for grubs and larvae. Instead of digging up your yard, they are really benefiting it by aerating! They will eat away at greenery that is given to them but they certainly do not scratch up major holes to burrow themselves in like chickens often do.
5. Ducks are hearty birds
Ducks are fairly hearty birds with strong immune systems and not susceptible to as many diseases such as coccidiosis as well as others. Since they are a water fowl, it allows them to be less susceptible to different mites and lice. This helps insure happy and healthy birds!
6. Duck eggs are (debatably) better
There are many arguments around saying that duck eggs are better than chicken eggs. Looking at the differences there are certainly some pros. Ducks prefer to lay their eggs just before the sun comes up, meaning you can always go out first thing in the morning and grab your fresh eggs! This helps prevent them sitting in the coop all day and potentially getting broken or snatched by some other pest. The other main debate is that duck eggs are supposed to be better for baking (I will test this theory and let you know!). Since duck eggs are not as common, there can be more of a profit in selling them since they are more ‘rare’ to the general public.
7. Ducks have low maintenance living conditions
This is a major difference between chickens and ducks. If you have an old shed or coop it can be easily transformed into a lovely new home for your ducks! Ducks do not require any kind of nesting boxes like chickens do. They often require less fencing and just need a latched door and some ventilation windows and you are good to go! Another money saver, is that you can bed the ducks with straw instead of shavings (which is often used for chicken bedding). Often homesteads and farms have extra straw around that can be used, saving a trip into town and saving a few bucks as well!