Ducks are very friendly, intelligent, and compassionate pets. If we make a side-by-side comparison with other domestic fowls, ducks are more useful and versatile than most because they serve multiple purposes. For example, ducks lay eggs, provide meat, nutritious fertilizers, and act as a form of pest control.
One of the most amazing things about ducks is that, in addition to providing you with a constant supply of omega-3-rich eggs, they make excellent pets. If you are reading this, it probably means that you are interested in raising ducks.
As we have seen, ducks are very versatile and useful birds to have around. Although there are many reasons why you would want to have ducks as pets.
Let me outline some of the reasons why your decision to start raising ducks is a good choice.
1. Ducks Produce Tastier Eggs
Do you like chicken eggs? If yes, then you are really going to love duck eggs. They are richer and contain more calcium, potassium, protein, iron, vitamin A, folate, and almost all the important minerals compared to many other eggs.
A duck egg contains a large yolk, which means more protein. Also, because a duck egg is twice the size of a chicken egg, it has more egg whites. Duck eggs are some of the best eggs to use for baking because when you bake with them, the large amount of egg whites makes baked foods, such as cakes, rise airy and high; cakes also tend to have a fluffy texture.
Cookies baked with duck eggs are moister and tend to be chewier. The egg whites (albumin) of ducks are much firmer than those of chicken: therefore, this property helps to bind ingredients in food and improves the texture of baked foods.
Duck eggs are also higher in good fat content. This is actually a very good thing because the fats in duck eggs are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are healthy fats that your body needs to stay healthy and fit.
It also contains a higher concentration of Omega 3 fatty acids (around 72 mg per egg). Omega 3 is a very important nutrient because:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lowers triglycerides in your body
- Reduces the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes
- Reduces or treats depression and anxiety
- Improves eye and brain health,
- Helps prevent cancer
Raising ducks will help you save some of the money you could use to get Omega 3 supplements.
One of the many advantages of this lies in the fact that ducks can lay more eggs per year (approximately 200 to approximately 250 eggs) every time until they reach old age (that is, around 7 or 8 years).
Seasonal changes (such as winter) do not affect their egg production tendencies; therefore, this makes them better egg producers than any other domesticated fowl.
2. Ducks Are Low Maintenance
Ducks thrive on the same foods like many other domestic fowls such as corn, wheat, oats, rice, etc. Surprisingly, being versatile ducks graze and forage a higher percentage of their own food.
This translates into less work for you and lower expenses when raising them. Ducks will obtain most of their food for themselves through foraging; You will probably only feed commercial feeders at night when they return to their pen for the night.
Also, ducks take up less space. In fact, three to four square feet per hen is enough for their housing. Their tendency to forage a lot throughout the day makes it easier to keep their habitat clean; therefore, you don’t need to change straw bedding as often as you would do for chicken.
3. Ducks Are Hardier
Ducks are literally the hardiest type of poultry. They have a stronger immune system and are always healthy. They can go their entire lives without getting sick or affected in any way.
They have an internal temperature of 41.7° C (107°F), making their bodies inhospitable to most bacteria, viruses, or any other internal parasites.
They also don’t need vaccinations or annual medical drug injections. They do not get sick easily and are not susceptible to most chicken diseases such as coccidiosis, Marek’s diseases, etc.
Ducks can get bird flu but are not affected. They can only be carriers of bird flu when they contract it.
And what is more; their tendency to spend most of their time in water makes them less susceptible to external parasites such as lice, mites, ticks, fleas, etc.
4. Ducks Are Good For Your Garden
Did you know that ducks are relentless pest hunters? They are. Ducks love pests. They especially love slugs and snails. Slugs and snails are tomato plants or any alluring plant killer.
If you release ducks in your shady garden, they will leave the place slug-free. If you have a tomato patch and you let your ducks go there, there will be no hornworm insight. Fortunately, ducks are a bit smarter than chickens. In fact, ducks will not disturb your garden plants by scratching the ground like chickens.
In addition to insects, ducks will also eat weeds and grass in your garden. After harvest, let your ducks forage in your garden and they will do the work of cleaning your garden before the next planting season.
Furthermore, the water in the duck pond is very nutritious for your plants. You can use it to water your plants and provide them with a cleaner one. This is literally the perfect example of a good symbiotic relationship.
5. Ducks Provide a Good Fertilizer For Your Garden Soil
While cleaning your garden of insects and weeds, the ducks will also provide compost for your garden soil while they graze. Ducks poop a lot and continuously. They do not have the lower sphincter muscles in the intestine; therefore, they cannot control their bowel movements.
Their poop is liquid in nature, which makes it easy to spread on the ground. Duck droppings are high in nutrients. They have the most nutritious feces compared to other pets. The ratio of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium is higher, almost like the NPK fertilizer you would buy in a store. This basically means that raising ducks as pets is very beneficial when you also have a farm around your home.
6. Ducks Are Quieter And Have a Phlegmatic Temperament
Drakes (male ducks), unlike roosters, do not make any loud sounds. They basically just make something like a soft, raspy, or hissing sound that is much quieter and more enjoyable to listen to.
They do not crow in the morning as roosters do. Drakes are very calm and peaceful. Female ducks, on the other hand, are louder than drakes; their squawks are much louder, but not compared to chicken. When they lay eggs, they don’t yell it out to the world as chickens do.
Ducks are the most recommended to raise in a closer neighborhood because they will not disturb the peace of your neighbors. They will remain only in your garden as long as you have a fence around your house.
Ducks are social birds; They are calm, intelligent, and peaceful pets. They feel lonely and depressed when caged or left alone; therefore it is advisable to keep a flock.
Ducks get along well with people and are safe with children as they do not peck at people. Get them used to you as their owner, to facilitate their handling.
Ducks readily accept a new flock when introduced. They are friendly and welcoming to their fellow ducks. In simple terms, for ducks, “the more the merrier”. They are also much easier to breed.
7. Ducks Do Not Require Unique Housing Facilities
Ducks do not need roosting perches or nest boxes or a continuous lighting system; just a simple shade that can protect against predators is enough for them.
The cost and simplicity of building a duck shelter are much less compared to building a chicken coop or any other pets or livestock. Just make sure you have a well-ventilated area and good bedding for your ducks, and they will be comfortable enough to stay.
Most people will turn their dog house into a duck house. And the ducks will be comfortable in that area. Ducks don’t demand much; therefore they are more advantageous than other poultry.
8. Ducks Are Good For Business
Ducks grow faster compared to chicken, they are heavier, and their meat is leaner and more delicious. Duck eggs are bigger and more nutritious. One drake can easily fertilize about 6 female ducks.
Most importantly, they are much cheaper to raise. Duck eggs and meat are sold at a higher price compared to chicken. They live longer and are not affected by different conditions. They will ensure that your clients get their weekly supply of eggs throughout the year.
9. Ducks Are Fun To Watch
Many of us love bird watching. We think it’s fun. When it comes to ducks, watching them is immensely entertaining. They love to swim and will have fun in anything from a kiddy pool to a dishpan.
In fact, contrary to popular belief, the only thing all ducks need to be happy in a pool deep enough to allow them to dip their entire head. Ducks love to dip their heads in the water and do so with great enthusiasm and frequency.
If you get an ornamental duck like the Wood Duck, the Eurasian Duck, the Mandarin Duck, or the Mallard Duck: you will become addicted to their beauty and the way they behave.
Also, it’s fun to watch the ducks mingle with each other, the courtship of male and female ducks, or how mother ducks take care of and guide their ducklings.