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The Benefits of Adding Ducks to Your Homestead: Why Ducks Are Worth Getting

Updated: May 4

So you’ve decided to get ducks. You are probably wondering what now. Here’s the thing: when I got ducks, I did tons of research, and many other personal stories I read were the same. The consensus: ducks are messy and stinky but so cute! Was it worth it to try?


I was willing to try it, but I knew I had to do some things to reduce the smell and mess.



ducklings in a duck brooder, duckling brooder, gosling


There were a couple of reasons I was willing to try having ducks. Here are three reasons I was willing to try ducks.


  1. I wanted a duckling. I knew they would grow fast, but I wanted to experience raising ducklings.

  2. I wanted the eggs that are said to make your baked goods fluffier, and if I didn’t use them, I knew others would be interested in purchasing them from me. Spoiler Alert: I sell all my duck eggs because a local gal likes them better than chicken eggs.

  3. I wanted them to keep our bugs down in our yard. Our chickens had been doing that job, but once we landscaped, we built them a more extensive run so they wouldn't scratch up all our nicely placed mulch.


The number one thing I was concerned about was the mess and smell. They are next to our house, where we have a small pond and the Easy Clean Duck Coop. So, I devised an idea for a duck coop that would make it easy to clean. Jordan designed the coop so my chores to clean up the ducks' mess would be quick and easy. And it’s proved to be so! You can purchase the plans HERE.


I also knew I would have them free-range because I wanted them to be a natural bug control. This has been the best decision. Instead of having them locked in a run (I can only imagine how nasty this would get), we let them free-range our half-acre. They haven’t messed up any plants, and if they got too curious, we ended up putting up little garden bed fencing, and it keeps them (and the dogs, score!) out.


We also have large bark, pee gravel, and bigger river rocks in their enclosure, where their pond is. We can shut the gate to keep them in there, but that only happens if we have a party or fertilize the lawn. We have found that the different ground covers are nice, and although the duck's poop anywhere and everywhere, because we let them free range, the poop in their enclosure isn’t concentrated, which makes it cleaner. We also don’t have to pay for supplemental food often because they get most of their food from the grass and bugs they eat.


We now have a pond that filters itself (thank goodness). Their pond would get NASTY. They poop and clean their nostrils in it, so we built a DIY pond filter that is a pretty crazy contraption but works nicely, and we get to listen to the water falling all through the summer months.


Trio of ducks looking up at their predator, Backyard Ducks, Duck Pond, DIY Duck Pond

My husband and I are so happy we got ducks, and we recently added a goose for protection—read my blog post “We Got A Goose.” We think ducks are worth adding to your family, and I'm sure you will feel the same. The ducks, despite their messiness, really do keep down our bugs. Their waddle across our yard is so cute. They have amazing personalities (I like them better than chickens for that reason). Watching them swim in their pond out my kitchen window is always a highlight, and they really do take care of themselves.


Back to the reasons I was willing to try ducks. My first reason proved itself on the first day. They are the cutest little birds when they are that small. Gosh, they are so cute. Especially when they are swimming (under your supervision) and learning how to dive. Then, as they get older, they start to have more personality and they are just as cute waddling around in the yard. My second reason is that it has made me money. We sell the eggs, and it turns out duck eggs are unique, and people want them. My third reason has proven itself season after season. We don't have to pay someone to keep our bugs down; our ducks do that for us. These are the biggest benefits of ducks we have found.


Other benefits we have found having ducks.


  1. They aren’t picky about the weather. When it’s snowing or raining you can find our chickens tucked away in their coop. Our ducks relish a rainy day and love being in the snow too. They have down feathers that keeps them warm and when their feet get cold they plop down and use their body heat to warm their feet.

  2. No parasites. We have had 0 parasites with our ducks making them win over our bunnies and chickens. Parasites are the worst. Lice, mites, fleas. ICK! Because ducks spend a lot of time in the water, the parasites get taken care of.

  3. All the poop in our lawn provides great fertilizer! Plus, whenever it rains or our sprinkler system is on the poop gets watered down into the lawn.


Free-ranging our ducks is the only way I will keep them. The smell of duck poop is not great, and I know I would be over ducks so quickly if I didn’t give them the space to free range. Keep this in mind when you are thinking about getting ducks. It will get extra smelly if you don't have the space for them!

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