Keeping chickens has undoubtedly become extremely popular in recent years but that isn’t the only option if you want some feathered friends to share your garden…have you thought about ducks?
Here are our top reasons why keeping ducks could be the best thing you ever do:
Delicious eggs all year around
As tasty as chicken eggs are, duck eggs are usually richer and creamier, which is why they’re so popular with bakers. Plus, their eggs are bigger, containing even more nutrients and goodness than chicken eggs.
Ducks also lay all year around, unlike chickens that stop in the winter, so you won’t need to buy eggs even in December.
They’re cheap to keep
Once you’ve had the initial outlay of a suitable duck house and other equipment you’ll need, ducks are incredibly cheap to keep.
Depending on how many birds you have, one bag of feed could last you for weeks and they’re experts at finding their own food in the garden.
In fact, if you’re looking for free pest control, then a couple of ducks could be the answer.
Ducks are made of tough stuff
For some reason, and I’m not enough of an expert to know why, ducks are generally less susceptible to disease and infection than chickens. They cope well in extreme weather conditions and if they do become ill, they usually recover fairly quickly with minimal human assistance.
Your neighbours won’t notice you have them!
Although most female ducks do make the classic “quack” noise they only do this when startled or frightened. The majority of the time ducks are silent or make quiet noises.
If you’re worried your neighbours won’t like the cackles and squawking that hens make, then duck might be a better choice.
They don’t need that much water
Many people think you need a lake, or at least a large pond, in order to keep ducks but depending on which breed you keep that isn’t always the case. In fact, Indian Runner ducks are reportedly happy as long as they have enough water to dunk their heads in, although we’d recommend giving them more.
A child’s paddling pool, a sawn in half barrel or an old bath tub can all make suitable “ponds” for backyard ducks. As long as the water is deep enough for them to get their whole head under then your ducks will be happy.
Ducks make friends more quickly
Many poultry keepers can’t resist adding to their flock after a while and this can cause disruptions to the pecking order. However, ducks seem to accept new additions to their group more calmly than chickens so if you think you’re likely to expand your brood, ducks are a more tranquil option.
Ducks have great personalities
If you talk to anyone who keeps ducks, they’ll tell you all about their ducks individual personalities. Different breeds also have different personality traits, so it’s worth doing your research before starting your flock.
They make loyal friends
Dogs might be mans’ best friend but ducks come in at a close second. Sometimes it can take them a while to trust you, but once they’ve imprinted on you and see you as part of the flock, you’ll have a friend for life.
If you’ve been convinced that ducks are a great idea then it’s time to get shopping for the duck house of your dreams!
Photo credit: Ziwani Poultry, Pinterest, Wikipedia