Ducks are mostly self-reliant and happy. Either foraging slugs and insects or sitting on their eggs for hours, ducks are just so happy on their own.
Well, the fun fact about ducks is that their egg-laying ability is affected by daylight. The longer they are out in the daylight, the more their ability to lay eggs.
Raising ducks on a homestead is not a process new to us. People have been raising ducks for various purposes for over 500 years now. It’s only now that we have started understanding the benefits and ease of raising ducks.
Believe it or not, if you want a kick start your poultry, ducks are the most adaptable flock you can raise. Not only do they require minimum maintenance, but they also produce high-quality meat. And who doesn’t like free eggs?
If you are confused about which duck to go with, we are sure you’ll find your answer by the end of this article.
13 Domestic Duck Breeds That We Love
Listed below are 13 domestic duck breeds that you can raise at your homestead as either they own good commercial value or possess a very calm nature. Either way, they are great to be domesticated.
Mallards are one of the most common domestic ducks that you will find around wetlands or water reservoirs. They are tiny ducks that fall under the category of babbling ducks.
People usually prefer Mallard for domestication purposes because of their high-quality eggs and meat. Male Mallards majorly have green colored feathers and yellow bill, while females have multi-color feathers.
With an average duck lifespan of 8 to 10 years, Mallard ducks have a considerable life span. Being energetic foragers, they keep on chasing insects and pests around them, keeping homestead slug-free.
- Being silent birds, they don’t produce any disturbance.
- Exceptional quality meat and eggs.
- It can lay up to 200 eggs per year.
- Wild ducks have a very short lifespan and live only 5 to 7 years.
2. Muscovy Duck
With beautiful purple plumage and blackish brown color, Muscovy Duck is lovely. People usually prefer to domesticate them because they require minimum care and maintenance.
Being cold-hardy, they are very docile and are tropical birds. Being quite shy, they love to stay in their comfort zone and are not open to humans. They entertain everyone by flapping their wings or chasing insects and are perfect pet material.
People raise Muscovy ducks for their high-quality eggs and meat and show purposes.
- Weighing 8 to 9 pounds, they fall under the category of large ducks.
- They can lay up to 200 eggs per year.
- These ducks are very healthy and less prone to disease.
- Being non-broody, Female Muscovy shows no interest in raising their babies.
Also Read: 9 Best Meat Ducks (Breed Guide)
3. Rouen Ducks
Native to France, Rouen ducks look similar to Mallards
but have a slightly large body comparatively. They are very bulky and large birds but have less fertility.
Rouen is the domestic duck breed, and people raise them for commercial purposes, mainly meat, show, and ornamental purposes.
Female Rouen has brown feathers, while male Rouen has a
shiny green head. They are slow-moving ducks, yet, keeps chasing insects all day.
Being very heavy in size, they produce high quality and quantity of meat. They can also lay around 140 to 180 eggs per year.
- They produce a reasonable amount of eggs and meat per year.
- They require little care and maintenance.
- They have relatively low fertility.
4. Bantam Ducks
Bantam ducks are one of the most beautiful ducks available, and people generally raise them for show purposes. Although called Australian spotted Bantam Duck, they are a native American Duck breed.
Being a great forager, they love chasing insects and worms and will slay all the homesteader pests. They have a cold temperament and are friendly.
All in all, Bantam ducks are perfect for domestication purposes. Being less fertile, they can lay up to 50 to 125 eggs per year, depending on the physical conditions.
- They are socially active ducks and quickly get along with other flocks and humans.
- They are calm and peace-loving birds.
- Less fertile.
Cayuga came into existence after cross-breeding East Indies duck and Rouen.
It has a shiny green and blue body making it perfect for exhibition purposes. Also, being very bulky, it produces more meat comparatively. Cayuga’s are ideal for dual purposes. As they can lay 100 to 150 eggs per year, and their meat has great demand in the US.
With a calm temperament, these ducks are very agile and friendly.
- They are the perfect pet material with a calm temperament.
- Because of their attractive look, people also raise them for ornamental and exhibition purposes.
- Their broodiness depends on their mood.
- They produce relatively low eggs per year.
6. Indian Runner Ducks
The tallest duck present in all around the bird is none other than the Indian Runner duck.
They are very active ducks and fast runners. That way, they got this name. They are highly fertile and a very vibrant species of duck. They can lay up to 300 to 350 eggs per year and thus ideal for commercial purposes.
Fun fact about Indian Runner ducks is that they were previously known as Penguine duck because of their overall appearance.
- Being highly energetic, these ducks will keep your garden pest-free.
- They have tall height, but significantly less weight.
- Very friendly and calm.
- Indian Runner Ducks majorly focus on chasing insects.
Also Read: 11 Best Egg Laying Ducks (Breed Guide)
7. Blue Swedish
Native to Sweden, these Ducks got their name from their origin place. They are perfect ducks for pets, dual-purpose, and exhibition.
Being very calm and composed, Swedish is the perfect duck breed. They are known for their high-quality meat and eggs. They can produce up to 120-180 eggs per year.
As they are good foragers, they mostly feed on insects and worms and thus are perfect for cleaning your homestead. Also, they have a pretty cool temperament and become a friend of other flocks quickly.
- Their premium quality meat sold very expensively in the market.
- Very calm and friendly.
- Highly susceptible to all kinds of weather.
- Being small, they yield less meat comparatively.
A domestic duck is all that people mostly prefer to raise. People raise them for both eggs and meat because of its tender quality of meat and nutrition-rich eggs, and thus, People mostly domesticate the Pekin duck breed.
Weighing around 11 pounds, they are bulky ducks and thus yield significantly more meat. It can also lay up to 300 to 350 eggs per year, which is pretty high comparatively.
- Being very calm and friendly, they are the perfect domestic duck breed to raise at homesteaders.
- They require minimal maintenance.
- They produce good quality meat.
- They got distracted very easily
9. Call Ducks
If you want cute ducks to increase your Homesteaders’ show, then call ducks are going to be a perfect choice.
Being broody, they don’t require much attention and care. But, since they can fly, it becomes relatively easy to contain them.
They have a small size and yield significantly less meat and lay a limited amount of eggs, not exceeding 150. People mostly raise them to show and ornamental purposes.
- People raise them for show purposes mainly.
- They are known as the most hardworking ducks.
- Available in pretty different colors.
- They are not for commercial purposes.
If you are looking for a duck that grows very quickly, then Aylesbury is what you need. These are quiet and calm due to which they are the ideal domestic duck breed that one can raise at their home.
The meat of this duck is very delicate and tender to eat. People mostly raise them because of their meat yielding capacity. But it lays fewer eggs, not more than 135 eggs per day.
Being very calm, they perfectly go along with other flocks as well.
- They become ready to slaughter within eight weeks.
- They are slow-moving birds, yet, very calm and composed all the time.
- They produce very high-quality meat.
- Their egg-laying capacity is slightly less comparatively.
11. Khaki Campbell
Khaki Campbell is small yet cute ducks that can serve various purposes ranging from commercial to as a pet. They, being very charming, can be raised for show or exhibition purposes as well.
With exceptionally accurate eyesight, Khaki Campbell is a brilliant forager. And being very active, they keep on chasing insects, worms, and pests until they lose all their energy.
Not only does their meat taste yummy, but they can also lay up to 300 eggs per year, which is quite productive comparatively, making them a perfect domestic duck breed.
- They can comfortably be kept in a small area or yard.
- They possess very high-fertility.
- They will be the perfect pest controller in your homestead.
- They are quite shy and nervous ducks and lose their temper when they are scared.
Next in the list falls a rare breed that one can raise comfortably. Ancona originates from the cross-breeding of Indian Runner duck and Belgian Huttegem Duck.
They have characteristics similar to Magpie but are slightly bulky. One can distinguish Ancona with the blue and green spots on its head and orange feet.
Although they yield high-quality meat yet, the fat content in their meat is slightly less. But, with great fertility, they can yield up to 280 eggs per year. Thus, they are the perfect domestic duck breed for commercial purposes.
- They have a peaceful nature and adapt to change in condition quickly.
- They are great foragers and clean the slug around them.
- High yielding ducks.
- They lack broodiness
Native from Germany, Saxony is the ideal duck breed for domestication. People raise them for meat and eggs. Looking similar to Mallard, they have a blue-green head and round body.
Lacking flying abilities, it becomes pretty easy to manage Saxony. Also, being very calm and cool-tempered, they require minimal maintenance.
Although Male Saxony never produces noise, female Saxony likes chit chat, and neighbors may find it quite disturbing. They provide a delicate and slightly less fatty meat and protein-rich eggs.
Being very friendly and easy to get along with, they serve as a perfect pet as well.
- It can lay up to 200 eggs per year.
- They have grown into a full adult very quickly.
- They are quite hardy and adaptable to both cold and hot environments.
- Female Saxony can sometimes be loud and noisy.
Finally, duck raising can be a very overwhelming task if you choose the right domestic duck breed as per your conditions. Now, what kind of conditions am I talking about?
Well, if you want to add value to your profession, then a duck that lays more eggs and tender quality of meat will be ideal for you. But, if you want a companion, then a cute little duck with a calm temperament will be perfect. Some people raise ducks for the exhibition as well.