10 Friendliest Duck Breeds to Keep as Pets

Considering ducks as a pet? These beautiful looking, sometimes squeaky, entertaining birds are great for your backyard. There are a few other characteristics that determine that ducks are a very family-friendly pet to have.

Most ducks are incredibly well-mannered, and they do not display any stubbornness. Interestingly they are very curious and like to observe whatever you do.

However friendly they might be, they do not like being picked up. They can adapt to any circumstance and will adjust well with the environment you put them in. We must also remember that these birds love to graze in the open land and water body to swim and wade.

Who would not like these fun birds walking around the farm or backyard!

And to understand which ducks are best domesticated, let us have a look at the different duck breeds and their characteristics.

Friendliest Duck Breeds That Are Excellent Pets

Now when we discuss each duck breed’s nature, we also need to understand their necessities to co-operate with Human masters. In the below listing, we will also consider the comfort that they need.

Welsh Harlequin

Welsh Harlequin
Paul-Erwin Oswald / CC BY

This duck breed originates in Wales and is now observed to be a critically endangered breed. These ducks can be identified by brown and white plumage in females, brown bodies, and a green head for males.

The ducks of this breed are incredibly docile, compassionate, and warm. Not just humans, they communicate well with other duck breeds in the coop.

They are excellent natural forages, which means they keep your garden/backyard/farm free from weed, insects, and worms.

They are exceptionally well behaved around children but under supervision.

These beautiful and colorful looking ducks are often exhibited. They lay an impressive number of eggs (240-330) throughout the year.

They are also outstanding mothers and brood their eggs from time to time. If you wish to pet this breed, always remember to add a flock, as they do not like to stay alone.


  • Very less noisy and extremely co-operative
  • Curios and communicate well with other ducks and humans
  • Cannot fly
  • Great natural foragers


  • Need open spaces and water body


buff duck
Daderot / CC0

Buff is also popularly known as Buff Orpington, originated in the 1900s in England. Sadly, these extremely adorable looking ducks are considered a threatened breed.

You can identify a Buff duck by the fawn-buff or brown uniform color. Some ducks may have a seal-brown colored head. They are often also considered to be exhibition ducks.

They are serene, friendly, and gentle. The females are perfect mothers as they often brood on the eggs.

These ducks are highly entertaining, lively, and friendly and are very good around young kids.

One generous nature of these birds is that they do not mind other domesticated animals around them and like to watch their activities.

If given to free-range, they feel comfortable and safe. They do not enjoy staying in confinements.

We should also mention that they lay around 150-200 medium to large eggs every year.


  • Aesthetically pleasing and amusing ducks
  • Also known as exhibition ducks due to their beauty
  • Not noisy


  • They can fly, so better to clip their wings.
  • Need a large space to sustain


Alexandre Prévot from Nancy, France / CC BY-SA

This is the only duck breed originated in the United States, near Lake Cayuga in New York.

Another threatened breed is listed by the Livestock Conservatory, which is extremely attractive and aesthetically pleasing.

They have black plumage, but under a particular angle of light falling on them, the feathers exhibit shining iridescent green, hard to miss. People often showcase these birds due to their beauty and rarity.

They are excellent forages and do not have any particular demand.

Not only are they beautiful, but they also lay eggs, which are exciting charcoal grey. Cayuga ducks are the quietest breed of all and are pretty easy to tame too.

These birds’ unique characteristics are that they shy away from other domesticated animals but try to blend with other duck breeds.


  • Exceptionally beautiful looking
  • Not very noisy
  • Cannot fly due to their weight


  • Need to have a unique watch around cats and dogs

White Call

White Call
Bartol666 / CC BY-SA

This duck breed is thought to have originated in the Netherlands. They are tiny, cute, and the most adorable duck breed of all. At maturity, they weigh just 1.5 pounds.

They have a range of colors- white, apricot, chocolate, mallard, and yellow belly. Short bills, big dark eyes, and rounded cheeks are the features that make them identical to a duck toy.

These ducks initially bred for hunting other ducks by duck hunters. Over the years, these ducks have become a popular pet for the backyard.

As their name suggests, they have a loud call and can be extremely noisy and talkative. You might want to consider them if you have a co-operative neighborhood.

Otherwise, these ducks are very tranquil, amusing, friendly, and lively, making them our friendliest duck breeds to pets.


  • Extremely tiny and lightweight.
  • Do not need much food or space to survive
  • Entertaining and exhibiting ducks


  • Very noisy and loud

Swedish Blue

swedish blue duck
Anders Gustavsson / CC BY-SA

The beautiful, rather unique looking duck has originated in Pomerania, Sweden.

They are a pretty-looking addition to your garden/backyard. Swedish ducks look like they are wearing a black suit, as they have a black head and body with a white bib. However, they can fly, so you may want to clip their wings.

The most exciting fact about this duck breed is the color of eggs they lay- white, green, grey, blue.

They are extremely low maintenance and great foragers, which makes them a less looked after the pet. They are also very human friendly and do not mind being picked up.

These ducks are calm, temperamental, and not noisy at all. They like being peacefully sailing around and mingling with other ducks.


  • Easy maintenance breed.
  • Exceptional looking duck eggs
  • Relatively calm and friendly


  • They do not give birth to the right breed
  • Should be looked after around hunting dogs

Crested Duck

Crested Duck
Steven G. Johnson / CC BY-SA

This duck breed has been around since the 1600s. Originally these birds were bred for ornamental purposes and pets.

These overall white ducks have a little crest on their heads, hence the name. They look gorgeous, sailing around in the garden/backyard, and will instantly bring a smile on your face.

The unfortunate part is, the crest on their head, which is the unique feature of these ducks, is nothing but a genetic deformity. The breeding between the two ducks of this breed is extremely dangerous and is often looked down upon by animal rights people.

These ducks are a little nervous, but they are good pets. The temperament of these ducks depends on their sizes. Large-sized ducks are often calm.


  • Ornamental looking with a crest on the head
  • Often calm and warm
  • The beautiful showpiece in the garden/backyard


  • Often very nervous
  • Breeding pure is extremely risky


Joe Mabel / CC BY-SA

Originating in England in the twentieth century, this duck breed is unique in every way. They are lovely pets one can own.

They are mostly white with black spots on the plumage. Each duck has a different pattern of black holes, which makes every duck unique and easily identifiable.

They are said to be the calmest temperamental and extremely friendly ducks. They can bond well with other ducks and also humans.

Besides laying many eggs (200-280) every year, the eggs have delightful colors- white, blue, and cream.

They cannot fly but are often very attentive to danger around. They are a very reasonable and sensible breed of ducks.

They are, unfortunately, becoming critically endangered.


  • Exhibition worthy ducks with beautiful plumage
  • Very sensitive to danger
  • Lays an enormous number of eggs every year


  • Slowly becoming an endangered breed


Rouen duck
Uikitireza / CC BY-SA

This breed, which originated in France, is a pure breed. They were developed for exhibition purposes and pets.

They are quite heavy but clumsy ducks. They often try to stand off their feet high but fall due to their weight, fracturing their legs. They also try to fly, so it’s better to clamp their wings.

Rouen males have shiny green colored heads with a silver plumage, and females have brown plumage with azure-blue stripes. Mallard ducks and Rouen ducks are nearly indistinguishable in structure.

They lay a decent number of eggs (180-200) with blue tints. They are famous for being a leader of the flock and for being extremely loyal ducks.


  • Can adjust well in confinements
  • Loyal, friendly, and calm ducks
  • Aesthetically pleasing as a garden showpiece


  • Too heavy hence very clumsy

Khaki Campbell

Khaki Campbell
Steve Brace / CC BY

This mix-breed originated in England in the 1900s and is a cross between male Rouen and female Indian Runner. This breed was developed to have excellent egg-laying and meat yielding ducks.

They have beautiful khaki (tan) color plumage, hence the name. These birds can fly well, so do consider clamping their wings.

Although they can be a little squeaky and temperamental, they can adjust to extreme climates very well. They are both good mothers and foster mothers.

However, they are calm when they have plenty of free-ranging opportunities and fed well. They are independent and relatively easy to tame. They hardly make noise and only hiss if angry.


  • Very active and energetic ducks
  • Best egg layer and meat quality
  • Not at all noisy


  • Need a large area to walk around

White Pekin

White Pekin
Katie Chodil / CC BY

This exquisite looking duck breed originated in Beijing, China, in the 2500 B.C. Almost 90-95% of duck meat consumed in American comes from this duck breed.

They grow faster than most other ducks hence are often raised for commercial purposes. But they are excellent pets too. They are curious, loving, and will follow you around the backyard, squeaking, and talking.

Besides laying large eggs, they are very calm and happy ducks around children. They do not sit on their eggs. Hence there is no fuss collecting them.

They are very energetic and massive foragers. Like most other duck breeds, they can also adapt to different climatic conditions. They are not very noisy too.

The ducklings are a real beauty to witness in your backyard. They are the happiest, most loyal, and friendliest duck breeds you can ever pet.


  • Fun, energetic and chatty ducks
  • Do not fly
  • Very adaptable to every situation
  • Socialize well with other ducks and humans


  • Not good mothers and do, not brood

Final Thoughts

Ducks are lovely, aren’t they? They are slowly gaining importance as the new “Chicken.” They are attractive, fun to observe, less-fussy, and low maintenance pets. Most duck breeds make very little noise, but some are loud. Despite that, they add unique aesthetics to your garden/backyard.

They can be messy at times, but we can adjust to that given the numerous other advantages. They are often very friendly and curious around humans. Most ducks are sturdy, but some are petite, so you might want to handle them with care. They love to forage free and swim around, soaking the sun. So, ensure you have enough space to accommodate their needs.

For us, these birds make a beautiful pet to have around, especially if you have children in the house.