So have you finally solved the riddle of what came first—the egg or the chicken? Well, who cares anyways, when you have the choice of rearing ducks instead of chickens. Raising ducks is any day a better option than raising chickens for a whole lot of attractive reasons which you wouldn’t want to miss out on. From being a great source of eggs and meat to keeping your lawn or garden well-maintained and nurtured, ducks are great animals to have around. They are a peaceful sort, who won’t disturb your peaceful life with unnecessary quacking or in-fighting. These adorable looking creatures are a treat to the eye and a healthy source of nutrition too. There’s actually a long list of reasons for rearing ducks in your backyard or homestead, but we’ve listed here 10 of the most beautiful of these. So read on to find out why you should opt for raising ducks rather than going for chickens.
They have a better body resistance
Yes, that’s true. You’ll find ducks much better at adapting to the cold than chickens. That’s because of the additional layer of fat on their bodies, which also have the advantage of a waterproof layer on their feathers. Coupled with a thick undercoat, ducks are able to keep themselves well protected from rain and cold and don’t seem to mind roughing it out even in snow.
Their strong body resistance also helps ducks cope better with heat. So while you’ll find chickens panting heavily in hot and humid weather, ducks are much better off as they can keep themselves cool by taking a dip in the pool.
This kind of weather hardiness and resistance to all weather conditions is not something you’ll find in chickens, whose body constitutions are not built to adapt themselves to either excessive cold or heat.
They don’t make too much noise
If you’ve ever lived around chickens you’d know how much noise they can make, and how irritating that can get. They simply have to make noise before laying an egg and even after laying an egg, and at other times too. Just try putting a baby to sleep in a house with chickens around and you’ll soon find out how tough that can be. Ducks are comparatively a much more peaceful lot and generally choose to live quietly unless disturbed into a state of excitement or agitation. The only time they quack is when there’s something to disturb their normal state of affairs. So, as long as you don’t do anything to mess with them, they’re likely to leave you in peace.
Their egg quality is better than chicken eggs
Apart from being larger, with more fat and less water content, duck eggs have a richer flavor and are more nutritious than chicken eggs. That’s why dishes made of duck eggs are considered delicacies in many parts of the world. These eggs are ideal for baking and also have a longer shelf life. With their thick shells and membranes, duck eggs are not as likely to break as chicken eggs during storage or transportation.
You get more eggs from ducks
The fact that ducks lay eggs more frequently than chickens gives them an added advantage. Generally speaking, ducks lay eggs every day, all year round, unlike chickens, whose egg-laying rate is about 50% only. And you won’t find ducks getting broody and not laying eggs, unlike chickens. So no worries that you’ll run out of eggs at home with ducks around.
Their meat is nutritious and enriching
One thing you can be sure of with ducks—they are an excellent meat, rich in proteins and fat, which gives duck meat an awesome flavor. So if you’re a non-vegetarian whose preferred choice has always been a good chicken, try duck meat for a change, and feel the difference. You’re quite likely to become converted.
They are good for pest control
With ducks around, you won’t find too many bugs in your garden or yard. They work as an effective pest control source because they’re quick to grab and eat anything they see moving on the soil. So whether it’s a worm or a grub, or grasshopper or spider and even toads or snakes, your ducks are sure to chase it down till they catch and eat it.
They’re healthier and less likely to be diseased
Ironically, despite all the things they eat, ducks are generally healthier and less prone to disease than chickens. The fact that they spend a lot of time in water makes them quite immune to external parasites and mites, which usually drown in the water.
They don’t spoil your lawn
A great thing about ducks is that even though they go about chasing anything they see moving on the lawn, they won’t do anything to spoil your beautifully laid-out lawn. That’s because they are nimble and don’t scratch the lawn while moving on it. At worst, you’ll find them trampling a bit of the grass, but with a little care, such as plantation of somewhat taller trees and bushes, you can prevent the kind of mutilation of the lawns that chickens are known to unleash.
They help fertilize the garden
Lack of sphincter muscles causes ducks to have no control over their bowel movements. As a result, they discharge their bowels all over the garden or lawn, leading to the formation of good quality fertilizer. In fact, you can simply clean out their pen on the compost pile to make excellent fertilizer.
They’re friendly and great pets
And last but not the least, ducks are extremely friendly and make great pets. Their friendliness extends not just to human beings but to their own clan as well. So you’re hardly ever likely to come across a duck that doesn’t welcome another member to the flock. This means no fighting and quibbling between ducks to disturb your peace and tranquility.