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Duck Breed Comparison Guide

We rounded up the most popular duck breeds so you can quickly find a good match for you (and them). These is a mix of different breeds, some ducklings are very easy to find; like pekin, khaki campbell, and indian runner, where on the other end, the more rare and heritage duck breeds, like saxony, magpie, and cayuga will take some research and resources ($$).

Duck breed comparison guide

What are you looking for...egg production or good breeders?

More DucksIf your plan is to raise ducks to expand your flock, you'll want a broody (mothering) duck breed (along with a drake to fertilize the eggs) to help hatch and raise ducklings.

More EggsIf your plan is focused on egg production, you won't want a broody duck breed but a breed of duck that’s known to be a high egg layer. Ducks that are less broody have no problem laying eggs and leaving them where they lie.

What does it mean to go broody in a duck breed?

The likelihood that your duck's mothering instincts will kick in and she'll want to sit on her eggs to hatch them. You'll know a duck is broody because she will refuse to leave her nest and may become more aggressive when she is ready to lay eggs.

The broody phase can last up to 3 weeks and your duck will not lay any new eggs during this time. If there's no drake to fertilize the eggs, you'll need to stop your duck from sitting on the clutch. Otherwise, your duck will be putting her body through unnecessary stress with no results.

Pro Tip → Any breed can "go broody" for a number of reasons. Collecting eggs every day helps avoid kick-starting this phase.

If you're just getting started, check out our growth and feed timeline. This helpful duck raising overview will walk you through what to expect when ducklings arrive on day one and then grow into mature waterfowl.

Best duck breed by category (IMHO - Quack!)

  • Most Docile → Rouen

  • Best Free Range Forager → Saxony

  • Best Colored Duck Eggs → Cayuga

  • Best for Meat Production → Pekin

  • Best Meat Bird (Runner-up) → Muscovy ducks

  • More Rare → Silver Appleyard

  • Best for Pet → Swedish Blue

  • Best for Mothering → Welsh Harlequin

  • Best White Feathers → Aylesbury

  • Best Egg Layer → Khaki Campbell

  • Most Eye-Catching → Crested

  • Most Eye-Catching (Runner-Up) → Ancona

  • Best Dual-Purpose (Egg + Meat) → Buff Orpington

  • Most Adorable → Call Ducks

  • Most Unusual Feature → Muscovy ducks

  • Best For Pond-Less Yards → Indian Runner

Duck Breed Egg Production and Flock Expansion Cheat Sheet

Here’s a side-by-side breed comparison to help you decide if you’d like to have a larger flock or more duck eggs.

Duck Breed

Yearly Egg Production

Flock Expansion


210 - 280

Fair to Good


35 - 125

Poor to Fair

Australian Spotted

50 - 125


Buff Orpington

150 - 250

Fair to Good

Khaki Campbell

250 - 340

Poor to Fair


100 - 150


Dutch Hookbill

100 - 225



220 - 290

Fair to Good


30 - 125

Poor to Good

Indian Runner


Poor to Fair


190 - 240

Fair to Good

Silver Appleyard

200 - 270

Fair to Good

Swedish Blue

100 - 150

Fair to Good

Welsh Harlequin

240 - 330

Poor to Good


100 - 130

Poor to Fair


25 - 75

Fair to Good


150 - 200

Poor to Fair


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