If you’re trying to get into egg farming, the first animal that comes to mind is chickens. But ducks are another outstanding way to go if you want larger and richer-tasting eggs. That said, if you’re considering getting ducks for egg collection, know that not all breeds are the same.
That’s why we created this guide, to walk you through everything that you need to know about the best egg-laying duck breeds. This way, you can get your farm going on the right foot and with the right ducks!
The 10 Best Egg-Laying Duck Breeds
1. Campbell Duck
If you’re looking for the best egg-laying duck breed out there, it’s hard to top the Campbell duck. They have a simple tan appearance, but it’s the massive number of eggs that they can lay each year that really sets them apart.
Each Campbell duck can lay up to 340 eggs a year, making them one of the highest-producing ducks in the world. Another perk of the Campbell duck is that they’re an extremely hardy breed, so you can raise them just about anywhere.
Give these ducks plenty of space in a calm environment, and you should have no problem getting as many eggs as you can handle!
2. Ancona Duck
Since the average Ancona can produce an average of 240 eggs per year, it’s easily one of the top egg-laying duck breeds out there. Even better for those looking for an attractive bird, the Ancona duck comes in multiple colors.
They can give you white, cream, blue, and green eggs, so you have a wide variety to choose from. Still, they need a good amount of space to roam.
If your Ancona duck isn’t doing a good job laying eggs, they’re also a highly sought-after duck breed for the taste of their meat. This makes them a win-win for duck farmers!
3. Runner Duck
If you have tons of space and tons of pests and want tons of eggs, then consider getting a Runner duck. Historically, the Chinese used them to weed and remove pests from rice patties. Therefore, they’re going to actively forage any area that you give them to roam, so to keep them happy, they need plenty of space.
While the Runner can’t produce as many eggs as a Campbell duck, they still can produce 300 eggs per year. However, Runner eggs tend to be a bit smaller than most duck eggs, about the same size as chicken eggs.
4. Buffs Duck
If you’re looking to raise ducks for both meat and eggs, Buff ducks are a great option. While they don’t produce as many eggs as the Runner or Campbell varieties, they can still put out an impressive 200 eggs per year.
Since they double as an outstanding meat bird, their egg-laying might not be up to the same level as the top layers, but they’re still an excellent choice for most duck farms.
5. Welsh Harlequin Duck
While the Welsh Harlequin might be a bit more challenging to track down (in fact, the Livestock Conservancy listed them as an endangered species), if you do happen to get your hands on a few, you’re getting great egg-laying ducks.
They often push out 300 eggs a year, and they double as great meat birds. But what really sets them apart from other farm ducks is the fact that they’re generally far easier to care for. They do a great job raising ducklings, and they help keep insects and other pests to a minimum.
6. Magpie Duck
While the Magpie duck is undoubtedly a poor choice if you’re looking to raise ducks for meat, if you’re looking for a bunch of egg layers, they’re an outstanding option. They’re lightweight birds, which gives you the best bang for your buck when it comes to eggs.
They can lay close to 300 eggs a year, making them one the most productive birds available, and those eggs can range in color from white and cream to blue and green. They also tend to be slightly quieter than other duck varieties, making them an even better choice for small-scale farmers.
7. Saxony Duck
The average Saxony duck can produce anywhere from 200 to 250 eggs per year, putting it right in the middle-tier of top egg layers. Still, they’re docile and easy to care for, all while laying extra-large white and blue/green eggs.
Saxony ducks are great foragers, which means if you’re having an insect problem, they can be the perfect solution. They can also make outstanding meat ducks if you have a few that aren’t laying as well as they should!
8. Muscovy Duck
While the Muscovy duck doesn’t produce as many eggs as the top layers, it can still push out up to 200 eggs a year, which is more than enough for most small-scale operations. This is especially true when you consider that Muscovy ducks lay extra-large/jumbo-sized eggs, which means you get more out of each egg.
However, a big drawback to getting Muscovy ducks is that they can fly. You’ll either need to clip their flight wings or keep them in a run; otherwise, your Muscovy ducks will simply take off!
They can handle both warm and cold climates, and they’re a friendly breed to be around. But since they can fly, you really need to know what you’re doing to keep your flock intact.
9. Pekin Duck
Most people might know of Pekin duck for their meat, but they can produce up to 200 eggs per year! The eggs are on the larger side, but they’re not quite as large as Muscovy eggs.
They’re also a lightweight bird, and they’re generally friendly to be around. While we are highlighting their egg-laying abilities here, they’re a great-tasting meat duck too.
10. Cayuga Duck
While the Cayuga might only produce between 100 and 150 eggs per year, that’s still a decent amount, and they come in a unique coloring that you can’t find with many other breeds. Their eggs are generally gray, but occasionally, you can find a charcoal-colored egg mixed in too.
The Cayuga is an extremely climate-tolerant duck, handling both hot and cold snaps with ease. Finally, they don’t forage as much as other ducks, so ensure that you have plenty of feed available for them.
When you’re thinking of getting into egg collecting, it’s essential that you get all your ducks in a row. When it comes to collecting eggs from those ducks, it all comes down to getting the right egg-laying breed.
If you’ve never tried duck eggs before, we highly recommend it. With any of these duck breeds, you’ll be able to get more than your fill with just a few ducks!
Featured Image Credit: Elsemargrie, Pixabay