It often amazes me how much attention that ducks seem to get. Children in particular seem to be attracted to ducks, and it’s wonderful to see people want to learn more about these great animals.
While my intention is to sell duck eggs, I’m open to other ideas too. I’ve done a bit of research into selling duck meat and at the moment it’s a bit too difficult because there aren’t any reasonably local processors able to do the job.
On Saturday night I was asked whether I would be interested in selling pet ducks for backyards. It’s not something that I’d previously considered, but perhaps it’s another option.
Obviously most people decide on chickens for their backyard. They’re pretty easy to look after, and many people have experience with chickens. Having pet chickens would seem like less of a step.
Ducks have some benefits in comparison. Pet ducks would lay just as many eggs (dependent on breed of course), and I think ducks are more interesting. When the ducks were in the poultry shed at the Red Hill Show, the kids would flock around the ducks rather than the chickens. There’s something really cute about ducks – but perhaps I’m biased! Ducks are also less prone to pests and diseases and handle bad weather better than chickens, making it less likely that the pet ducks would die prematurely.
The downside to ducks is the mess that they can make. They are muddy, and require more water than chickens. Depending on the backyard set-up, this can mean more work. Pet ducks won’t fly, so they are also slightly more susceptible to predator attack.
If I was to start selling ducks for pets, I’d need to think about what age people would want the pet ducks. Young ducklings require heat, food and constant attention, but are extremely cute. Point of Lay (POL) chickens are often in demand so that may be the best stage of life to sell ducks. That means holding the ducks for 5 months though which would mean they would cost more to raise.
Should we sell pet ducks, we would probably need to organise food, containers and shelters to sell for the ducks as well. It’s certainly not a decision that should be taken lightly, as there is lots of work that would needs to be done!
What do you think? Would people be interested in buying a pair of ducks for pets in their backyard?