Duck eggs are large, nutritious, and they’re every baker’s dream, so it’s no surprise that many people want to add ducks to their homestead. But which breed should you choose?
While that depends greatly on your needs, I think I’ve found one of the best homestead ducks around in the Khaki Campbell.
Khaki Campbell Breed Profile
Originally bred in the late 1800s thanks to Adele Campbell, the Khaki Campbell was named so thanks to the color reminding her of British army uniforms.
This breed was originally meant to be a multi-purpose breed, but actually produced one with fantastic egg laying ability. Though they do still provide excellent lean meat.
But, why should you want to keep and breed Khaki Campbells? Well, I’ve got a few reasons why you should consider them prepared.
They are fantastic egg producers!
The Khaki Campbell is one of the best egg producers in the duck world, and they can lay 280 to 300 eggs per year! That’s even better than a lot of chickens, plus duck eggs are bigger than chicken eggs.
Duck eggs are also richer, so if you love baking, then you’ll be very happy with a small flock of Khaki Campbells.
They double as meat birds
If you’re looking for a bird which is a great choice for both egg production and smaller meat production, then this is a good choice. These birds weigh in at 3-5 pounds as adults, and they make for excellent meat birds if you’re keen to stock your freezer.
PS. Don’t forget to save that rich, delicious duck fat. It’s fantastic for cooking and frying. Make some duck fat fries with Parmesan cheese and thank me later!
They’re foul weather hardy
While some birds are finicky and don’t deal well with harsh conditions, that’s not the Khaki Campbell. These ducks thrive even in harsh climates, and they can easily adapt to heat, humidity, or even icy winters.
If you don’t quite live out in the country, and you are instead doing taking the “urban homestead” approach, then noise is always an issue, and it might be why you’re looking at ducks rather than chickens in the first place!
Fortunately, the Khaki Campbell is a very quiet breed. They tend to make a soft chattering sound rather than obnoxious honking or quacking. This, coupled with their small size, makes them an excellent choice for the “backyard homesteader”.
They provide excellent pest control
Khaki Campbells are well known for their voracious hunger for pesky garden slugs. With a small flock of these charming little ducklings at your disposal, there won’t be a slug around.
However, they’re also great at nabbing other pests, including mosquitoes. That’s good news if you’ve got an area which is particularly infested with biting nuisances. They might go after your garden though too, so be warned and keep them away from there.
So, are there any negatives to Khaki Campbells? Yes, there are a few things that you might need to know, but they aren’t huge deal breakers for me.
They aren’t great mothers
Believe it or not, some ducks just aren’t good at raising baby ducks. Unfortunately, the Khaki Campbell is one of them, so if you’re looking to breed, then you may need to be a little more hands on here to get good results.
You can utilize an artificial incubator for rearing more Khaki Campbells, or you can get another breed to mother them if you have other birds which are more attentive to chicks.
They aren’t as big as other roasters
If meat production is your primary concern, then you might choose a larger duck. While Khaki Campbells are fantastic dual purpose birds, they aren’t as large as say a Pekin duck, which can clock in at 11 pounds!