Chicken Eggs or Duck Eggs?

jerseytom(z6 Central NJ)December 29, 2009

Hello all. I would like to try raising my own chickens or ducks for eggs. Not sure which to go with. Either Rhode Island Red chickens, or Khaki Campbell ducks. Does anyone have a strong preference for chicken versus duck eggs? I actually have never even tasted duck eggs before (I really ought to first, but I don't have access to duck eggs anywhere to even try). Is the difference that noticeable? I've read that ducks have nicer dispositions than chickens and are easier to raise.

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Naomi Miller

Hi, I am sure there are others with far more experience than me, but I do have both chickens and ducks and have had them for a couple of years. As far as ease of raising, I can not say that there is an extreme difference.....both have their pluses and minuses.... I have Khaki Campbells and they are the more aggressive of my ducks... but not so much so that I would cease to have them. My chickens free range in an acre pasture so they are not hard either... they have an enclosed coop where they are locked up at night with feed and water...nesting boxes and a roost. The ducks have the same routine except they are cooped in free standing houses in a separated pasture area. We dug a pond and lined it for them but with just a few, a kiddy pool is acceptable..they are messy and the water needs changing often... a good quality feed is needed for either... as are vaccinations etc if you choose to do so... as for the eggs... there is not a noticeable difference in the taste of the eggs... a duck egg is larger of course and , at least to me, they seem to be richer in baking etc... my ducks seem to lay an egg about every other day while my chickens often lay daily... I can not suggest one over the other because I love them both.,... their antics, their personalities.... both are delightful...good luck to you with whichever you choose.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 8:57PM
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acer(6b western NC)

I have ducks: Welsh Harlequins, Cayugas, and mallards. I love them, and their eggs are great. The mallard's eggs are huge and the Harlequin's and Cayuga's are getting steadily larger as the birds mature. It is true that ducks are messy, but I don't have any real experience with chickens so I can't compare. All animals poop and I guess the two kind of birds are similar in their "production". Just be sure you have a good plan for dealing with their waste and make sure all your facilities are in order before you get them. My ducks lay lots of eggs and my understanding is that the good laying breeds (like the Harlequins) will equal or even surpass a chicken. Ducks require minimal to no housing depending on predators in your area. They're pretty much immune to cold, wet weather and don't require shots or medicated feed. As far as what your yard will look like if they frequent it: chickens scratch, ducks drill with their beaks if the ground is damp. Both birds will eat lots of bugs. As for eggs: many people say that duck eggs are superior for baking, and may even be safe for people who are allegic to chicken eggs. The yolk is proportionately larger, and the whole egg tastes great!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 11:33PM
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jerseytom(z6 Central NJ)

Thank you both for your valuable input!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2009 at 9:49PM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

I added a duck to my flock this year. (Well, I added a pair but the male died.) Ari Duckass is a riot. Her personality is very different from the chickens, but they all flock together (I got some chicks when I got the ducklings, so they grew up together)

She does make a mess with the waterer, but my barn has a dirt floor so all the spillage just gets absorbed. Her eggs are very large. My egg customers really seem to enjoy getting a dozen mixed eggs including one or two from Ari.

Do you have to get one or the other? Why not have a mixed flock?

(I just posted some photos of Ari and her hen friends enjoying the outdoors today on my blog -- check the link!)

--Johanna

Here is a link that might be useful: My place: Busy Solitude Farm

    Bookmark   December 31, 2009 at 6:55PM
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prmsdlndfrm

I agree get both, ducks are way messier, even thier poop, its wetter and sloppier. But the khaki campbells are the egg laying champs of the world, a few have been recorded to lay up to 368 eggs in a year, thats a cople 2 egg days. Duck eggs are coveted by bakers, I have a bakery who buys every duck egg I produce for $6 per dozen. I prefer chicken eggs for breakfast, and put the duck eggs in the pancakes, they fluff the cakes superior to chicken eggs.
Josh

    Bookmark   January 1, 2010 at 9:56PM
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jennybog(zone 5)

Hello, I have both chickens, and ducks ( khaki campbells) The ducks lay everday. We LOVE the duck eggs for fried eggs and so do everyone we give them two. For everday use we use chicken eggs.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 1:12PM
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trailhound

I vote for both if possible. I have had chickens for about 8 years and just added ducks last year, but if I had to pick one or the other I don't know what I would do. My biggest complaint about the ducks is that they feel the need to hang out by my patio door and therefore poop on the doormat. However, hopefully you will have normal animals (all of my farm animals feel like they need to live INSIDE my house) and they will keep their poop in appropriate areas. Since getting the ducks, I have quit using the chicken waterers and just use 2 gallon buckets for water. They are housed together and eat the same food. One note about duck eggs- great for everything, except they won't beat stiff, or at least I have not had luck with it.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 8:58AM
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