Raising Ducks for Eggs | Top 13 Duck Breeds
Raising ducks for eggs means raising prolific layers. There are 13 top duck breeds for eggs, laying between 150 to 300 duck eggs per year. Discover the best egg laying ducks in this article.
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You have officially made the decision to incorporate ducks onto the property. However, which breed to add is the question.
Should it be about egg color? The Cayuga duck breed has the ability to lay eggs in various shades of grey to charcoal colors.
Maybe the decision to raise ducks is about egg production.
Though it could be because cooking with duck eggs creates a better dish, pasta, dessert, and even bread.
Whatever the reason, ducks are comical and very independent. They require little attention, good feed, clean, fresh water daily, and time to forage.
Let me also mention, ducks are a great source of entertainment and are extremely adorable! Aside from being adorable and providing hours of entertainment, you are here because you seeking to gain knowledge on the best ducks for eggs.
Raising Ducks for Eggs
This list contains heritage breeds of ducks found on the Livestock Conservancy list, as well as common breeds found through hatcheries and local feed stores.
Included are two hybrid breeds. A hybrid duck consists of the breeding of two prolific layer breeds to create an extremely prolific new breed.
You will find that many of the duck breeds listed are dual purpose breeds. A dual purpose breed is raised for both duck meat and egg production.
For many, egg color is important. A basket is more attractive with an array of colored duck eggs. Says many chicken keepers around the world.
Be prepared, the incorporation of ducks will mean an abundance of eggs. With egg production compatible with Australorp chicken hen, which can lays up to 364 eggs per year.
Best Egg Laying Ducks
Before incorporating ducks make sure to know how many eggs your family will consume weekly. Often, those new to raising waterfowl will incorporate more birds than needed.
Trust me, it is not easy to walk away from ducklings.
The addition of one too many ducks will lead to an abundance of eggs. Plan to preserve, sell, or gift a surplus of eggs.
Looking to sell duck eggs? Make sure to verify the cottage law for your state in regards to selling eggs. Once that has been established, educate your customers on what to expect from farm fresh eggs.
The journey to raising ducks for eggs begins with setting-up a duck brooder. Learn everything one needs to know about brooding ducklings. Also, learn more tips on raising ducks from my friend Janet of Timber Creek Farms.
Eggs for Baking and Cooking
As enticing as it is to receive a surplus of duck eggs one has to know what to do with them. Aside from the typical breakfast item, duck eggs are excellent for baking.
There are perks to raising ducks for eggs, like this old fashioned egg custard pie and homemade egg noodles. The flavor of both recipes are enhanced when duck eggs are used instead of chicken eggs.
Top 13 Duck Breeds for Eggs
Overall ducks are prolific egg layers. And in truth, all duck breeds are great layers. However, the following 13 are the best duck breeds for eggs.
In alphabetic order based on the breed, everything you need to about raising ducks for eggs.
This heritage breed originates from England and is excellent for a family with children due to their calm nature. Not to mention, the Ancona breed is suitable to many climate levels, making this breed ideal for duck keepers worldwide.
In comparison to other ducks, Ancona ducks are a medium size bird weighing between 6 to 6 1/2 pounds. This breed forages quite well, making for a more flavorful yolk due to the amount of greens and bugs consumed throughout the day.
Anacona ducks will lay white, cream, blue, or green colored eggs. The amount of duck eggs received yearly will range between 210 to 280 large eggs.
Buffs, or Orpingtons, are also a great breed to raise alongside children due to their calm nature.
Coming from England, this breed is a dual purpose medium size bird, weighing between 6 to 7 pounds. Much like the Anacona, this breed is suitable to hot and cold climates making it ideal for duck keepers worldwide.
Buffs lay white to cream colored eggs and are good foragers which will keep feed costs down. The amount of duck eggs received yearly will range between 150 to 220 large eggs.
Better known as Khaki Campbell due to its tan plumage. Campbell ducks originate from England, and are an active breed of duck which enjoys meandering from one spot to the next.
An excellent breed for novice duck keepers and young children, this is another breed which does well in various climates.
Campbells are better known for egg production, laying white to cream colored eggs. Because of its size and weight, 4 to 4.5 pounds, this breed is not considered to be a dual purpose bird.
Khaki Campbell ducks are excellent foragers allowing for a more flavorful yolk. The amount of duck eggs received yearly from Khaki Campbells will range between 250 to 340 large eggs, beating out all other duck breeds for eggs.
Cayuga ducks are famous for the possibility of receiving a charcoal colored egg. However, the color of this breed’s eggs range in various shades of grey. In truth, it is unknown as to what allows the duck hen to produce a charcoal colored egg.
The origin of this breed is unclear. Some argue it originated in the USA, while others state the UK. Due to its size, 7 to 8 pounds, this breed is known to be dual purpose.
Cayugas are docile and do great with young children. Because of their laid back personalities this breed is an average forager, and prefers being offered feed to looking for its food.
This is another breed which tolerates hot and cold climates quite well. The amount of duck eggs received yearly ranges between 100 to 150 large eggs.
Magpie ducks are quiet and docile, with sweet personalities. This breed originated from Wales and is a dual purpose breed.
Magpie ducks weigh between 5.5 and 6 pounds. This breed is the best forager of all duck breeds. Imagine the flavor of these yolks! Much like the other breeds mentioned, Magpies handle various climates quite well.
On top of being an overall great duck, these ducks produce beautifully colored eggs. The colors range from white to cream, green, or blue. The amount of duck eggs received yearly range between 240 to 290 medium/large eggs.
The gentle masked Muscovy duck, originating from Nicaragua and Honduras, are a favorite breed to raise.
This dual purpose breed is large in every way. Muscovys lay white extra large/jumbo size eggs and weigh 9 to 13 pounds. Unlike any other breed listed here, Muscovy duck hens can fly. To control this situation consider keeping hens in a run or clipping flight feathers.
This breed does enjoy foraging, and tolerates various climate changes well. This is a calm, friendly breed, but due to their ability to fly I would propose this breed be raised by seasoned duck keepers.
The amount of duck eggs received yearly range between 180 to 200 eggs.
Pekin ducks are one of the oldest duck breeds originating from China and have been around for over 2,000 years.
Through selective breeding this breed is a dual purpose duck weighing between 7 to 9 pounds. They are okay foragers and have a calm disposition. The Pekin breed is friendly and do well with children and those new to keeping ducks.
This breed lays large/extra large white eggs. The amount of duck eggs received yearly range up to 200 eggs.
Runner ducks, also known as Indian Runner, originated from Malaysia. This is an active duck breed that free ranges and forages well.
Runner ducks are not a dual purpose breed due to their small size and weight, weighing between 4 to 4.5 pounds. This breed is good for those just beginning with duck keeping, and are docile in temperament.
Indian Runner ducks are capable of acclimating to various climates making them ideal for hot and cold areas.
Runner ducks are kept specifically for egg production, laying white and blue-green eggs. The amount of duck eggs received yearly is over 300 eggs.
The Saxony breed originated from Germany and is a dual purpose breed. This is a larger breed in size weighing in between 8 to 9 pounds.
The grow out of this breed is slow compared to other dual purpose ducks. Saxony are great foragers. Much like the other breeds listed Saxony ducks are docile and great for first time keepers and children.
Saxony lay extra large white and blue/green color eggs. The amount of duck eggs received yearly range between 190 to 240 eggs.
Silver Appleyard ducks are a great breed for those who are new to raising ducks. This breed originated from England and are a docile breed which enjoys foraging.
This is a larger dual purpose breed weighing between 8 to 9 pounds. Much like the other breeds mentioned, the Silver Appleyard is adaptable to various temperature ranges.
Silver Appleyards lay large/extra large white color eggs. The amount of duck eggs received yearly range between 220 to 265 eggs.
Personally, one of my favorite breeds to raise. The Welsh Harlequin duck breed originated from Wales and has a calm, curious disposition and is a dual purpose breed.
They prefer to free range and forage prior to consuming offered feed. This breed tolerates various climate changes well, and is an excellent duck to raise for novice keepers.
Welsh Harlequin ducks are a medium dual purpose breed weighing between 5 to 5.5 pounds, laying large cream colored eggs. The amount of duck eggs received yearly range between 240 to 330 eggs making it one of the best egg laying ducks.
Murray McMurray Hatchery developed a breed known as the Gold Star Hybrid.
This breed has been crossed with multiple breeds to create a layer which lays more, and larger, eggs than the Khaki Campbell. Gold Stars have a calm temperament with a high fertility rate.
From McMurray Hatchery – The coloring of Gold Star Hybrid Ducks may vary. Males are shades of black and female ducks are shades of brown. Ducklings can be sexed by color, but they do not retain these characteristics in future generations.
Fully grown this breed will average 4 to 6 pounds, laying between 200 to 290 white eggs per year.
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