Duck are a great source of eggs on our homestead. Our ducks are currently producing better than our chickens. Indian Runners with their upright bodies are fun to watch running across the yard. Khaki Cambells are also part of our food production. A stock tank provides a great pond for the ducks. They will hop in for a swim and splash every hour or two. They poop up the water and this fertilizer is used on the food forest. We have the tank uphill from the site so no pump is needed to water the plants. Ducks can actually drown so make sure they have an easy way out of the tank.
In the winter months the ducks room with the chickens. The two get along fine together and will eat the same diet. Ducks prefer a wet food over dry. They will need a drink of water with each bite of dry feed to swallow it down. Our ducks eat sprouted grains of oats and barley along with an organic chicken mash. They seem messier to us then chickens, always splashing water out of the water dish and dirtying it up with their beaks or their feet.
They are much less damaging to crops than chickens so ours are free range most of the time. They don’t scratch like chickens but will eat crops and love grain. They will eat the tops off of grain as soon as it matures. Ducks seem a little more fragile than chickens. We have had a few injuries and deaths. They can get tangled up in twine and things easily. Their eggs are more nutritious than chicken eggs and they are good producers. A few ducks are a great addition to a homestead.