What is so great about ducks you might ask? Well, I am here to tell you all the awesome things about ducks. First thing is they produce really good eggs. They are super rich and contain more protein, calcium, iron, potassium, and pretty much every major mineral than chicken eggs. They are great for baking, making cakes rise high and airy, are divine cooked soft boiled, poached, or over easy and are just as good as chicken eggs for everything else. Plus, many breeds of ducks lay more eggs per year than most breeds of chickens do. Also, some people who have allergies or sensitivities to chicken eggs are able to eat duck eggs with no issues.
Ducks are also known to be low maintenance and they are great for your garden. They don’t take much room and ducks are relentless hunters of pests, including—or, perhaps, especially—slugs and snails, which can destroy your tomato plants. Sic them on the tomato patch and there won’t be a hornworm in sight. Unlike chickens, which love to scratch in the dirt and upend your garden soil, ducks generally won’t disturb garden plants.
Ducks are very entertaining to watch. They love to play in the water and it is so fun to watch them splash around! Ducks do better in a pair, so make sure you have at least 2. There are lots of breeds to choose from. The following is what we carry here at Burns Feed Store and a little description about each of them.
Cayuga- They are a very hardy duck and many of their eggs have varying degrees of gray in the shell color.
Blue, Chocolate and Fawn and White Runner-All Runners were originally bred in Southeast Asia for high egg production and excellent mobility. Flocks of ducks are herded daily from field to field eating waste rice, weed seeds, insects, slugs and other bugs. They are then put in a bamboo pen at night where they lay their eggs and are released the following morning to clean other fields. During the course of their lives the ducks may cover hundreds of miles in their travels. Therefore, a hardy mobile duck is absolutely necessary – you will not find a better foraging duck than the Runner.
Khaki Campbell-The Khaki Campbell is one of the more famous and popular duck breeds due to its excellent egg production.
Rouen-Rouens are probably the second most popular breed in North America. They are very beautiful and closely resemble wild Mallards in coloration. They are second to only Pekins and Muscovy in size and are said to have the most flavorful meat. The Rouen is very calm and has a fairly lean carcass.
Black and Blue Swedish-Swedish are similar in size to the Rouen and are very hardy ducks.
Welsh Harlequin-Welsh Harlequin are becoming a very popular breed due to their multipurpose characteristics. They are calm, inquisitive and excellent foragers.
Pekin-Pekins are the most common domestic duck – the adults are pure white and the ducklings are a cute yellow. You ask someone to picture a duck and they will normally envision a Pekin. They are a large, hardy breed with excellent egg production if managed properly.
Silver Appleyard-Among the heavy weight ducks, Silver Appleyards and the Saxony are considered the most active foragers.