What about ducklings? When you are a homesteader, the most common animal people add first is chickens. They are easy to take care of, give you fresh eggs, eat lots of bugs, and turn your kitchen scraps into compost. Why go any further and add more animals such as ducks? Aren’t they dirty and noisy?
Well, in a nutshell, yes and no. Ducks have so many wonderful benefits to them on the homestead. They are better foragers than chickens and many times, are stronger layers than chickens, meaning that they will lay consistently throughout the year, no matter the weather or amount of light. Ducks also have a fun personality that makes them entertaining to watch. They are usually friendly creatures that you can let loose in the garden area in the evenings and they won’t destroy it as they are eating bugs, slugs and other pests.
How to Start with Ducklings
So, how to start with ducklings? Well, there are two ways. One- you can purchase hatching eggs and hatch them out yourself. That will take a few weeks, and is always fun. OR, if you don’t like to wait, you can purchase live ducklings at your local farm supply store. They are most often available just before Spring and the Easter holiday. Most of time, you will be required to have at least 2-4 in your purchase and you won’t be able to tell if it’s a male (drake) or female (duck).
I would recommend that you buy 2 more than you want to keep in case you have more drakes or one dies. As far as noise considerations, the drakes are considerably less noisy than the ducks are. A group of ducks will “quack, quack quack” as they are chatting. It CAN get noisy at times, but they don’t do it all day.
When you are ready to add ducks, you will need a few things for them….