Choosing a backyard duck breed
People are often captivated by wild ducks as the birds coast and play on a local lake or pond. Adding a few ducks to your backyard poultry flock can provide the same unique entertainment in your very own backyard. Ducks make excellent pets and are also often raised for eggs or meat. However, some duck breeds are more high maintenance than others. Learning which duck breeds are best for beginners can make the start-up process easier and more enjoyable.
The best backyard duck breeds are those that do well in smaller spaces, are friendly and docile, and match your utilitarian purposes where applicable. For example, Khaki Campbell ducks are great for eggs but would make terrible meat birds.
The best duck breed for duck eggs are typically smaller, leaner birds. The right breed will convert feed energy into egg production instead of gaining weight. Many of the best duck breeds for eggs have also had the broody trait bred out of them, meaning they are less inclined to stop laying in order to incubate their eggs. Examples include the Khaki Campbell duck and the Runner duck breed. Both lay eggs at a rate that challenges the laying rate of chickens!
The best duck breed for hobbyists raising ducks for meat are breeds that efficiently convert feed energy into rapid weight gains. The sooner a meat bird is ready for slaughter, the more economical it is for the farmer. These ducks also have the body frame to support a larger size. Two duck breeds that make excellent meat birds are the Rouens and the Pekins. In fact, the Pekin duck is typically the breed found on commercial duck farms.
Choosing the perfect duck breed can have an impact on your hobby. However, ducks of any breed can be enjoyed just for fun. They will quickly bond with you, and you may find them waddling after you as you stroll around your backyard.
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