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Hey! So I've been wanting to get ducks. Mostly because they are cute, and we have a seasonal stream they can swim in. And I hear duck eggs are good to bake with. And I could keep them with the chickens.
So... what are your experiences with ducks?
Pros and cons?
My dad doesn't want them because they are messy and he doesn't want them to poop in the driveway. Valid point. But I have some questions.
Are they easy to contain? Would Chicken fencing work?
Are they more predator-prone than chickens?
If I were to let them free range ( I currently free range the chickens, that may change if we ever get around to fencing them in.) would they stay near the stream? The Beagle is usually in the driveway, so I think they would stay away? The chickens have learned to.

My friend has 3 ducks and 2 geese. I *might* take them for her when she goes to college. So any opinion about ducks and geese would be great!
 

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I absolutely love our ducks. We got them last spring, and they’ve been amazing. We currently have 4 female Pekins and are adding 4 female Cayugas, 1 male Cayuga, and 2 female Anconas in June. We are also getting 2 geese as well! One African and one French Toulouse. Cannot wait!

I always see people complain about ducks being dirty and gross. I don’t agree, but we also free range. They also can’t fly, so they can’t get into the paddocks or pastures to access the water troughs. I didn’t think I’d like ducks as much as I do, but they always make me smile when I see them!

My top pros:
1) They eat mice, frogs, and tons of bugs
2) They’re easier IMO to catch than chickens
3) Their soft quacking is adorable
4) They can’t fly (the breeds we have)
5) They’re so extremely cute
6) The eggs are huge and less likely to break accidentally
7) They absolutely love the rain (and we get a LOT), so we don’t have to worry about them.
8) They aren’t as skiddish as our chickens
9) We free-range ours and they stay pretty close to our property!

Some cons would be if they have access to animal water troughs you don’t want them getting into... because they will get into them.

We have had chickens on and off for 8 years, and I’ve never really liked them. However, I have a lot of friends that do love them.
 

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Ducks are fun and cute. They herd instead of scatter like chickens, so can be good fun for the kids ( I don't let our kids torture them, but a little duck herding is good fun, imo). I free range them and chickens, and figured I'd house then together in the coop at night, but they refuse to go in the coop at night. So they just free range 100% of the time. We may lose some to predators, but I'd rather that than a goat kid, honestly.

The comment about the water holds true. Ducks like dirty water and will muck up every water source they can find, intentionally I swear. That's fine for the ducks and doesn't seem to bother the chickens, but the other animals, not so much. Be ready to either protect your waters or dump them multiple times a day...
Ducks eggs are great and they lay more reliably than chickens. Ours layed through the cold snap and storm a few weeks ago like it was nothing, while our chickens dropped 50% or so.
 

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I agree with the above posts. Ducks are kinda like chickens in that different breeds will lay more than others. Some are more for meat and some are more for eggs. I let the ducks and chickens run together and are penned at night together. Some can fly...some cannot. Yes, they foul any open water and poop a lot of watery poop. I would not recommend letting them get on your porch or patio. Ducks will lay eggs on the ground, so don’t be disappointed if you cannot get them to lay in a nest row, however I have seen it happen. They are fun to keep and babies are a blast to watch swim. I would recommend keeping a small swimming pool out for them if your creek dries up....they need a source of water to clean themselves in and it keeps them happy.
 
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