We’ve been raising ducks in our backyard for a year now, and I’m back and forth daily on whether I love raising ducks or hate raising ducks. Today, I love raising ducks, and just for my own future reference, when I’m scowling at them for tipping over their water again, I’ll look back at this post and remember at least five reasons I love the little buggers.
1. They provide us with big tasty duck eggs
Duck eggs are absolutely more delicious than chicken eggs, and they’re bigger, and the ducks lay more frequently than the chickens do! The first time I found duck eggs in the coop I just assumed they were chicken eggs, but realized as soon as I got them inside these were much different. Our Cayuga duck eggs come in shades of gray, and some of them are spotted! The shell is extremely hard and takes a couple good whacks to break them open.
The best way we’ve found to use duck eggs is when baking. Duck eggs naturally have a higher fat content and larger yolks, which makes for some rich and tasty baked goods!
2. Backyard Ducks are tough and hardy
I never realized how often my chickens get sick and need healthcare, until I started raising ducks. Our ducks have never gotten sick or had any health issues in the year that we’ve had them. Now, I know, a year is not a long time, and they’re bound to be healthiest when they’re young, but this is still remarkable.
In comparison, chicks start having health issues almost immediately after they hatch. They can easily drown in their own water if you don’t take proper precautions and their little butts can get clogged, just from pooping and having it get stuck to their feathers. I love them and all, but it’s a wonder that any can survive to adulthood being that prone to health issues right from day one!
Ducks are very tough, their immune systems are strong and they don’t get sick often. Due to the amount of time they spend in the water, ducks are a lot less likely to be riddled with pests like lice and mites. With that said, our ducklings were extraordinarily clumsy when they were wee ones, if one got knocked over it would struggle to get up for a few seconds, then pretty much just give up and lay there until I came along and righted them. Silly birds.
3. Their needs are minimal
Backyard ducks don’t need fancy roosts or nesting boxes, they don’t care about getting extra nutrients or fancy treats, and they certainly know how to entertain themselves. I love how simple it is to raise ducks. Give them someplace safe and clean to live, food, and water, and they’re set. We
Before we started raising ducks we were concerned that they would try to escape when we let them out to free range, but not these ducks! They must love being fed every day, because they don’t wander more than 20 feet from the coop. I never have to go searching for them in the woods or wonder what they’re gettting into. Ducks are simple and easy-going. At their core all they want is a dry place to sleep, some food in their bellies, and some water to play in.
I sure do like simple.
4. Ducks are super entertaining
There’s almost nothing more fun than watching a flock of ducks. No matter what they’re up to, they always look like they’re having the best time ever. Their joy while swimming is obvious, as they dip below the surface and rise back up quacking like crazy.
One of the funniest things our ducks do is a crazy little happy dance when they’re let out into the run in the mornings. They flap their wings as hard as they can and bounce up and down while quacking like crazy. It makes me smile every time.
5. Ducks are incredibly cute
I mean, they’re the most adorable animals we’ve had on our homestead… and they have a super cute angora rabbit to compete with!
From the moment I met these little guys I fell in love with their precious faces. Ducklings are the epitome of adorable, and watching them play and swim in water for the first time was utterly heart melting. Sometimes I really, truly do not like raising ducks (more on that next week) but even so, their cute faces and adorable personalities pull on my heart strings every day!
Are my five reasons to love backyard ducks not enough for you? Then you should definitely check out 5 Reasons you Need Backyard Ducks on your Homestead for even more duck-loving education!