“What breed of duck would work best for me?” It is a very good question! Today, I want to take you through some of the most popular breeds and compare them.
Here is a break down of some of our most popular breeds of ducks:
This talkative breed is one of our most popular dual-purpose duck. Dual purpose means it is a duck that is chosen both for its ability to lay eggs as well as for meat production. They are a fast-growing breed that will mature out at around 10-11 LBS for the males and 8-9 LBS for the females. It takes approximately 2 pounds of feed to gain one pound of weight. Their eggs are a nice large white/off-white egg that is excellent for use in baking.
Because of their white coloring, they can be more highly noticed by predators. Another drawback of this breed is, because it is a dual-purpose breed, it has a larger appetite. They are not a good choice if you are looking for self-sustaining ducks as they are not good setters. This means they are not as likely to go broody and if they do, they are not known for keeping with it or their mothering skills that follow.
Khaki Campbells are one of the most abundant egg-layers that are offered. They can lay around 300 eggs a year. Their warm Khaki color is similar in tone to brown military uniforms. They are also more equipped to blend into their surroundings as a means of being able to hide a little better from the watchful eyes of potential predators.
They are a great duck for free-ranging situations with the desire of obtaining lots of delicious eggs. They are known to be good mothers to their cute adorable clutch of baby ducklings. This means they have great potential for a homesteader who is looking for ducks that are along the lines of sustainable.
Their mature weight is between 3 and 5 lbs which means they can be an economical choice for those who need to keep their feed bill reasonable.
Maybe your needs are a little less on meat with a focus on even a greater number of eggs for a duck that works great in foraging to supplement an organic feed? Up for your consideration is the Golden Layer Ducks. Golden Layer ducks are a type of Hybrid and therefore their coloring can change in subsequent hatchings. Overall, they are darker birds that can also be good for free-ranging situations as they can blend in more with their surroundings. Females can lay upwards of 290 eggs a year. Size-wise the drakes only weigh around 6.5 LBS at maturity while the female will weigh about 5 lbs. This can be a great option for someone who wants to feed organic but also needs to keep their feed bill lower while maximizing the egg output.
Runners are usually offered in the color varieties of Chocolate, Blue, Fawn & White. Runners are known as being great egg layers and foragers. They are not known to be good mothers or for going broody. They are a smaller breed of duck and average around 4 lbs when mature.
The interesting part of the Runner duck is that they do not waddle like the typical duck. Their walk is more of a quick step which can be a little amusing for us to watch them move around the yard. They like to move around in a type of “duck herd” which is beyond adorable to watch. They are a great duck if you are looking for breakfast and an entertainment show.
This breed is one of our heavier breeds and is known as one of our best mothers. It is excellent as a foraging dual-purpose breed that offers both meat production and an average of 250 eggs a year. This breed could be a good one when looking for a breed that will be able to be sustainable. It would be a great breed if you have a nice back yard pond that needs some beautiful ducks swimming around with their babies in tow.
The answer to “What breed is best for me?” really depends on what you are looking for. I hope that the summary of these common duck breeds will give you a glimpse into some of the pros and cons of these breeds as you work to decide which breed would work best for you. If you still cannot decide, you can always try out a variety and see which breed you fall most in love with and go from there.
American Farm and Larder offers Modesto Milling organic poultry feeds as well as Scratch & Peck organic poultry feeds which are appropriate for ducks.