Chickens and ducks are the most popular farm animals that popular around the world. Both chicken and duck are poultry animals. Poultry is birds that breed for farming purpose either it is for their eggs, meats, feathers or down. There are differences between chicken and duck for farming purpose, like how their feeds, how to take care of chicken or duck, how you should build their cage and etc. Both chicken and duck are poultry animals that breed specifically for their eggs and their meat too. If you are planning on to making backyard flocks of poultry animal but are too confused to choose to farm chickens or ducks then you should see our guide here on how you should choose poultry animals and choose between chicken or duck farm.
There are obviously many differences between chicken and duck like how you should treat them, their feeds, their housing and many more. Some people might think that since they are poultry animals and they are bird they can be treated the same. The truth is, you can’t treat chicken the same way you treat duck and you also can’t treat duck the same way you should treat chicken. They are after all quite different animals and should be treated separately.
Here we are on comparison and differences between duck and chicken. So, let’s start to on how to choose duck or chicken and 4 differences between farming chickens and ducks.
There are many differences between chicken and duck
Many poultry lovers are debating which are better between chickens or ducks. To see which are better, firstly we need to know their differences. However, we can’t judge which are better thoroughly as this is the matter of opinion and other people might have a different opinion. Firstly, let’s just see how different chicken and duck. Let’s start to compare and differentiate between chicken and duck right away shall we?
- Chickens are land fowl while ducks are waterfowl
Chicken is land fowl while duck is waterfowl. Land fowl means that they can’t swim for a long time and they might die if you throw them in the water, while waterfowl can naturally swim and they are just fine if you even throw them into water. A chicken might die if you throw them into cold water like during winter, even human couldn’t survive much longer in cold water but it is different for duck. Duck has natural water resistant meaning they can easily swim and survive even in cold winter water. That’s why you could often see duck swimming happily during cold weather in cold water but chicken might die if you throw them into a pond.
However, waterfowl might need water body to survive and you must provide them with water bodies like a pond or swimming pool. We can’t separate duck from water for too long, that’s why we should provide them with a pond for their own. Not only for them to swim and cool off their body but also for them to forage and search for extra foods like little insect and crustaceans. The chicken won’t need any pond to survive, just water for them to drink.
- Their different anatomy
From their anatomy itself, we can see that chicken and duck are very different birds. Duck tend to have bigger, plump and taller body while chicken has a fatter, smaller and plump body. The main difference in their anatomy is their feet. Chicken have feet that have three small claws similar to flying bird but they didn’t use it to perch they use their feet to search for foods on the ground. Duck has quite a different foot. They have a membrane between their claws that help them to swim. Just like scuba, duck feet anatomy is designed to help them swim.
Duck have longer neck while the chicken is pretty short. That’s because duck will need a longer neck to dive into the pond so they can search for foods on the bottom of the pond. The chicken won’t need longer neck as they just need to peck their foods on the ground.
The different anatomy of duck and chicken comes from a very long evolutionary line and breeding. Duck acquire their special anatomy to help them search for food in water because their body adapted to water thus making them classified as waterfowl. Chicken adapted to their surroundings on the land, their claws to search for foods and short neck thus making them land fowl.
- Their Diets
Of course, chicken and duck have very different diets so you can’t feed them the same food. Although they both love grain and they are both omnivorous but you still can’t feed them the same foods. You will need to choose different foods for them, especially if you are handling ducklings and chicks. They require a hefty amount of protein for them to grow but they also require many different vitamins and minerals. Consult with local poultry shop for the best foods for your ducklings or chicks.
Naturally, a duck will eat small insects and crustaceans they forage in the bottom of the pond or weeds around a pond. Chicken sometimes eat an insect, grain, worm, and any kind of foods that fell on the ground. For commercial purpose, some people choose to feed their ducks or chickens with pellets. They are of course different kinds of pellets for both chickens and ducks.
- They also have quite different egg
They have different egg. Duck egg has a thicker shell than a chicken egg, so you might need a few try to make sure you can break duck eggshell perfectly. Their eggs also contain different nutritional value. Duck egg has richer fats, protein, and calorie than a chicken egg, making duck egg have richer taste and nutrition than a chicken egg. However, duck egg also had a lot of fats and cholesterol which can be dangerous if we consume them too much.
So, that’s it on our article for 4 differences between farming chickens and ducks. If you found any more unique facts about ducks or chicken, about their differences, about how to take care of them, make sure to mention them on our article by commenting and giving out your opinion bellow here.