Ducks Vs. Geese: Which Is Better for Your Homestead?

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Ducks or geese – which is a better fit for your homestead? Here’s how to decide.

Many people start off with chickens as their first homestead animal. But once you’ve progressed beyond that, you may wish to expand your homestead livestock lineup. If you’re looking to add some other types of poultry, you may be considering ducks vs. geese.

While either of these may be a good fit for your homestead, there are a few important differences you should keep in mind when deciding whether to choose one or the other – or to add both.

The article below discusses the differences between these two unique birds when it comes to eggs, meat, temperament, and care.

Comparing Duck and Goose 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.

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Goose eggs are more unusual than duck eggs, and unlike ducks geese are very much seasonal layers… 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.

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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

…With larger crops and vineyards, ducks are often used as chemical free pest control.

Geese are weeding machines, but they won’t touch bugs.  Unlike the omnivorous duck, geese are pretty strict vegetarians…

Geese are most effective at weeding orchards and around small fruit trees and bushes…

Using Poultry for Alarms and Protection

One of the reasons many farmers enjoy ducks instead of chickens in their backyard flock is that they are much quieter. A quacking duck can make a racket, but nothing compared to a rooster’s crow or a goose’s honk.

…For these reasons, and because they are small and plump, ducks are ineffective as an alarm or guarding system.

Geese aren’t a guarding cure-all, since they can be carried away by a larger predator. However, a single goose will bond with a flock of small birds, such as chickens or ducks, and will protect them from predators like weasels and foxes with a passion…

Geese also are extremely loud when threatened, and their raucous honking is sure to attract your attention…

Meat

Many duck breeds have been developed so that they are delicious dual-purpose birds. They can supply you with an abundance of eggs, but their full bellies will also make tasty eating at the end of their lives. Ducks are a low-maintenance meat bird... Duck meat is delicious and gamey, and an easy alternative to chicken.

Like their eggs, goose meat is a delicacy. A Christmas goose can sell for nearly a hundred dollars, and the cost to raise geese for meat is minimal. Once they are a few weeks old, as long as they have ample pasture with green grass, they barely need any additional feeding.

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Other Attributes

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While they have their downsides, including loud voices and occasional aggressive behavior, geese are a delightful bird for the farm and ones that will show you emotion back when you care for them.

Ducks aren’t as emotional as geese, and don’t express as much feeling for their flock members or people as a goose will. They are, however, much smarter and learn new routines with a day or two… Quiet, prolific layers, ducks are a wonderful introduction to poultry for any farmer.

Learn more at MotherEarthNews.com

 

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