Growing up, my father raised chickens and ducks.
He has very vivid memories of his ducks one day upon hearing wild ducks quacking in the sky, taking off and flying away, never to be seen again. I was always worried that would happen to me as well. But, I got to know a bit more about different breeds of ducks and their ability to fly.
There ARE some breeds that will fly, and fly away if necessary.
Muscovys and Mallards are 2 breeds that can fly. Muscovys like to “roost” in trees, and Mallards are small enough that they can take off at a moment’s notice. It would be heartbreaking for the small homestead to own either of these breeds, and then go out to feed them one day only to have them disappear. If you have a larger homestead with lots of room, Muscovys would be a great breed as they eat lots and lots of mosquitoes. Their ability to fly will help protect them from predators, and they usually will stick close to home anyway. If you choose Mallards due to their gorgeous color, you may want to consider a closed off area for them to live, where they can’t fly away.
Other breeds of ducks that are great for a small homestead are Pekin, Indian Runner or Khaki Campbell.
These ducks, due to their body build are unable to fly away.
Pekin are normally raised as meat ducks,
but I have personally found them to be excellent layers as well. We have one that is going on 6 years old and is still laying 5 eggs a week. their body weight is what keeps them unable to fly more than 5-6 inches at at a time. They are pretty happy ducks, and quite friendly, but can be a bit on the noisy side.
Indian Runners are quirky little ducks, that walk more upright than other breeds.
Their body length and small wings are what seem to keep them from being able to fly away. But, boy, can they run! Let one of them get loose and good luck chasing it down if it’s far ahead of you. The best thing, is that ours seem to like to stay close together, and if one gets out, it’ll work it’s way to getting back to the rest of the flock. They are a talkative breed and a bit more skittish, but are great layers and easy to care for.
Khaki Campell ducks are another breed that won’t fly away.
They have gorgeous feathering and are pretty sweet. For all the breeds I’ve owned, they are the most quiet of the bunch, and the very friendly. They are pretty calm and happy as long as they have plenty of water and they are great layers, laying 6 eggs a week consistently.
So, yes ducks can and will fly. Some of them.
There are plenty of breeds to choose from to raise on a smaller homestead that won’t break your heart, too! Grab a couple ducklings and get quacking!
What breeds are you thinking of raising? Be sure to pin this to your favorite board for later