Ducks or Geese for Farm Poultry?

| 9/7/2016 1:54:00 PM

Tags: ducks, geese, poultry, raising livestock, predator control, eggs, Kirsten Lie Nielsen, Maine,

I’ve kept poultry for most of my life and waterfowl have always been an important inclusion. Our farm currently has both ducks and geese, and both species are serving the farm in their own unique ways with their own special attributes.

Comparing Duck and Chicken Eggs

Ducks are year round layers and are much more regular producers than chickens. Their large eggs are prized for high nutritional content and are the equivalent to about two chicken eggs. Creamy, rich, and delicious, duck eggs are great for baking.

A female duck will lay consistently throughout the winter months when hens typically slow production, and they average around 180 eggs in a year.

goose egg

Goose eggs are more unusual than duck eggs, and unlike ducks geese are very much seasonal layers. They typically lay from May through September, but if you have a goose go broody during this time egg production will sometimes stop early. Their eggs are huge, equal to three chicken eggs, and like the eggs from ducks they have higher nutritional value than chicken eggs and create a much fluffier mix when baking.

Because goose eggs are so unique, if you have a good supply of them, you can often sell a single egg for $2-$5.

Weeding and Gardening with Poultry

One reason a lot of gardeners keep ducks is because of their never-ending appetite for slugs and other creepy crawlies. Ducks are some of the only birds I’ve known that will devour a tomato hornworm. Unfortunately, they can often show the same enthusiasm for fresh veggies, but you can help to curb that by keeping them out of the garden until the plants are large enough to withstand their eager bills.

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