Chickens Vs. Ducks: Guest Blogger Heather Of The Homesteading Hippy

January 15, 2016

We always look forward to what Heather of the Homesteading Hippy has to share. Heather is a homestead enthusiast and she is a wealth of knowledge. Follow the Homesteading Hippy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+Pinterest, and Instagram to keep up with the day to day happenings around her homestead.

I have to admit, I am a chicken collector.

chickens vs ducks

A friend of mine was looking to rehome about 30 of her hens due to space constraints, and I didn’t even blink an eye when I said, “Sure, bring them over.” Of course, since my wonderful hubby keeps me in line, we scattered those hens among other friends who needed to add to their flocks. There was just no way he was going to let me keep them all. Not that I didn’t try…

I also have a love affair with our ducks.

We have 3 Pekin, 2 Khaki Campbell and 2 Indian Runner. 2 of them are drakes, or males. They have such a neat personality, are really friendly, and quite entertaining to watch. I would have lots more ducks, but again, my hubby has to have a limit somewhere for our 1/5 acre. So, which is really better–chickens or ducks? Here’s my pros and cons to each, based on my experiences.

Laying cycles

Chickens need more daylight hours to lay. That means, when the daylight has less hours in the winter, we either have to supplement their light or we get less eggs. That means more electricity for the light and timer. They eat more in the winter since they are not able to get at bugs and grass, so it becomes a matter of economics. I have never had this issue with ducks. With our 5 ducks, we get 4-5 eggs every day, no matter what season. Of course, chickens will lay their eggs in a nesting box, and our ducks require us to go on a “hunt” to find theirs. I have figured out the places they like the best, but once in a while they change it up on me.

ducks

Time and effort spent on care

Well, that’s up for debate, but chickens require only fresh water, food, and the occasional treat. We have our chickens set up with an automatic feeder and in the summer, the 55 gallon rain barrel feeds into a waterer for them. We could easily leave our chickens for 3-4 days without much issue. Ducks-not so much. They use up a lot more water, and for some reason, whenever their feeder is full, they will eat until it’s gone. Gorge themselves on it. We have to have a trusted friend or neighbor fill their water and/or pool daily (as well as rinse it out) and feed them daily. Continue here…..

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