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Do I need a Drake?

by Clare
(Winchester UK )

I want to get some ducks to add to my flock of hens and would want them as layers/pets not breeders. I have read that it would be better to have a male in with females to stop them calling but don't want the eggs fertilised......would two females live happily together or do I need a male too?

Like chickens and roosters, you don't need a drake for your ducks to produce eggs. And when you compare chickens to ducks, ducks are usually a lot quieter, even when calling.

Ducks are sociable and don't do well on their own, so definitely you would need to keep several ducks. Having a couple of girls, would be fine, but they will call from time to time without a drake around.

If you wanted to have a drake then you would need a ratio of 1 drake to 3 ducks. The advantage would be that they would be quieter, but remember their noise is relative, the disadvantage being that you would be feeding an extra mouth that wouldn't be producing any eggs.

I wouldn't worry about the eggs being fertilized because at the end of the day if you remove them as soon as they are laid, there is no chance of further development inside the egg, and they are perfectly fine to eat.

If you wish to keep a duck breed that is very quiet then you could go for the Muscovy duck. They are a large bird, and although good egg layers are not nearly as good as Indian Runners, as they are largely bred as meat birds.

In the end, you will have to decide whether you want to feed a drake that is purely decorative, or whether you keep just ducks and put up with a little noise from time to time.

Wishing you all the best with your new ducks.

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