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Pets & AnimalsThe 7 Best Duck Breeds for Laying Eggs

The 7 Best Duck Breeds for Laying Eggs

When it comes to a steady supply of fresh, delicious, and nutrient-rich eggs, ducks are often an overlooked yet fantastic choice. Not only are their eggs a culinary delight, but ducks are also relatively easy to care for and provide an added layer of charm to any backyard or farm. However, the key to a successful duck egg production lies in choosing the right breed.


In our guide, “The 7 Best Duck Breeds for Laying Eggs,” we’ll take you on a journey through some of the top contenders in the world of duck breeds. Whether you’re a seasoned duck enthusiast or a beginner looking to dive into the world of duck keeping, this blog will help you make an informed decision. Get ready to explore the unique characteristics and egg-laying potential of these fantastic duck breeds, and soon, you’ll have a reliable source of delectable duck eggs in your own backyard.

Best Duck Breeds

Here are the top duck breeds renowned for their exceptional egg-laying capabilities and select the perfect fit for your backyard flock or farm.


1. Khaki Campbell

Khaki Campbell

The Khaki Campbell is a highly regarded duck breed known for its exceptional egg-laying abilities. Originating in England, it was developed by Adele Campbell in the late 19th century and subsequently named in her honor. These ducks are medium-sized with a khaki-colored plumage, providing them with excellent camouflage in various environments. What sets the Khaki Campbell apart is its remarkable egg production, laying around 300 to 340 large, white eggs per year.

They are known for being consistent layers and are often considered the champions of egg production in the duck world. Khaki Campbells are not just prolific layers but also easy to manage, making them a popular choice for those seeking a consistent and abundant supply of delicious duck eggs.


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2. Indian Runner

 Indian Runner

The Indian Runner duck, often referred to as the “penguin duck” due to its upright stance, is a unique and popular duck breed, especially renowned for its impressive egg-laying capabilities. Originating from the East Indies, these ducks stand tall and alert, with a distinct vertical posture that sets them apart from other duck breeds. They come in various colors, including white, fawn, and chocolate, making them visually appealing.


What truly distinguishes the Indian Runner is its egg production. These ducks are champion layers, capable of producing around 200 to 300 large white eggs per year. Their consistent laying and high productivity have made them a favorite among backyard and small-scale poultry keepers. While they may not be as broody as some other breeds, their focus on egg production makes them an excellent choice for those primarily interested in a bountiful supply of fresh duck eggs. Additionally, their comical appearance and active nature add a touch of charm to any flock.

3. Rouen


The Rouen duck, often confused with the Mallard due to its close resemblance, is a breed recognized for its striking beauty and relatively good egg-laying capabilities. Originating in France, this breed closely resembles the Mallard in appearance, with a gorgeous iridescent green head, white neck ring, and rich chestnut-brown plumage. It’s considered a larger, heavier version of the Mallard.


While the Rouen duck may not match the egg-laying prowess of some other duck breeds, it is still a respectable layer, producing approximately 150 to 180 eggs per year. However, its primary appeal lies in its ornamental qualities and friendly temperament. These ducks are often kept for their aesthetic value and as pets. They are docile, making them suitable for families and those looking to add a touch of elegance to their flock. With their captivating appearance and gentle demeanor, Rouen ducks are a popular choice for duck enthusiasts and can be a delightful addition to any backyard or pond.

4. Welsh Harlequin

Welsh Harlequin

The Welsh Harlequin is a charming and eye-catching duck breed known for its striking appearance and excellent egg-laying abilities. Originating in Wales, the breed was developed in the mid-20th century by Sir Leslie Bonnet and is considered a domestic breed suitable for both small-scale farming and backyard flocks.


What sets the Welsh Harlequin apart is its captivating plumage. Ducks of this breed display a range of colors, with silver and gold phases being the most common. Their colorful and distinctive feathers make them an attractive addition to any flock.

In terms of egg production, Welsh Harlequins excel. They are known to lay approximately 250 to 300 large white eggs per year, and their consistent and reliable laying pattern has made them a favored choice among duck keepers. Moreover, they are also known for their calm and friendly demeanor, making them a suitable breed for those looking for both beautiful ornamental ducks and a consistent supply of delicious duck eggs.


5. Cayuga


The Cayuga duck is a captivating and unique breed known for its striking dark coloration, making it one of the few domesticated duck breeds that exhibit iridescent black feathers. This breed originated in the United States, particularly in Cayuga County, New York, and it’s named after the region where it was developed.

Cayuga ducks are medium-sized and are most notable for their stunning black plumage that shimmers with hints of green and purple in the right lighting. While they are known for their beauty, they are also valued for their excellent egg-laying abilities. A Cayuga duck typically lays about 100 to 150 eggs per year, and these eggs have a dark shell that ranges from gray to almost black.


6. Silver Appleyard

Silver Appleyard

The Silver Appleyard duck is a breed celebrated for its exceptional beauty and well-rounded attributes. Originating in England in the early 20th century, it was developed by Reginald Appleyard, who aimed to create a breed that excelled in both egg production and meat quality. The breed comes in two color varieties, silver and gold, with the silver phase being more common.

Silver Appleyards are known for their striking appearance, featuring elegant, silver-plumage adorned with white flecks, and often a striking blue or green sheen. Their striking appearance makes them popular in exhibitions and ornamental settings.


7. Buff Orpington

Buff Orpington

The Buff Orpington duck, named after the town of Orpington in England where it was developed, is a delightful and versatile breed known for its friendly nature, stunning appearance, and excellent egg-laying capabilities. These ducks are medium-sized and are most recognized for their beautiful golden-buff plumage, which is not only aesthetically pleasing but also excellent for camouflaging in natural surroundings.

Buff Orpingtons are prized for their prolific egg-laying abilities, with hens producing around 220 to 340 large, creamy-white eggs per year. This consistent and reliable egg production, along with their friendly and docile temperament, has made them a favorite among backyard poultry keepers. They are known for being calm, making them excellent pets and a wonderful choice for families.


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Care Tips for Egg-Laying Ducks

Caring for egg-laying ducks requires attention to specific details to ensure their health and optimize egg production. Here are some care tips to keep in mind:

  1. Proper Nutrition: Offer a well-balanced diet with adequate protein, vitamins, and minerals. Commercial duck feeds are available and formulated for egg-laying ducks. You can also supplement with greens, vegetables, and occasional treats.
  2. Clean Water: Ducks need access to fresh and clean water at all times. Ensure that their water containers are regularly cleaned and refilled. Ducks often wash their eggs in their water, so providing clean water reduces the risk of dirty eggs.
  3. Secure Housing: Provide a safe and dry shelter for your ducks, protecting them from predators and adverse weather conditions. A clean and dry environment helps prevent health issues and keeps eggs clean.
  4. Nesting Boxes: Set up suitable nesting boxes where your ducks can lay their eggs. These should be cozy and dry, with clean bedding, to encourage laying in the right place.
  5. Egg Collection: Collect eggs daily to prevent breakage, contamination, or brooding. Ducks may become broody, and regular egg collection encourages continuous laying.
  6. Health Monitoring: Watch for signs of illness, and ensure routine health checks by a veterinarian. Healthy ducks lay more consistently and have better quality eggs.
  7. Maintain Hygiene: Keep their living area clean and dry to prevent diseases. Regularly clean out bedding, change water, and remove waste.
  8. Protection from Predators: Ducks can be vulnerable to various predators, such as raccoons, foxes, and birds of prey. Implement secure fencing and night shelter to protect them.


In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored the fascinating world of duck breeds renowned for their egg-laying capabilities. Choosing the right duck breed is a crucial decision for those looking to establish a consistent supply of delicious and nutritious duck eggs. Whether you’re an experienced duck enthusiast or a novice considering your first flock, understanding the unique qualities of each breed is essential. From the prolific layers like the Khaki Campbell to the beautiful and friendly Buff Orpington, each breed has its distinct advantages.


How many eggs can I expect from an egg-laying duck per year?

Egg production varies by breed but generally ranges from 200 to 340 eggs per year, depending on the breed’s productivity and genetics.

Do I need a pond to raise ducks for eggs?

While ducks enjoy water, they don’t necessarily require a pond. A kiddie pool or a water tub can suffice for swimming and cleaning. However, ducks need constant access to fresh water for drinking.

Can I mix different duck breeds in one flock for egg production?

Yes, you can mix different duck breeds in a flock. Just ensure that the breeds you select are compatible in terms of size and temperament.

How do I increase egg production in my duck flock?

To boost egg production, ensure your ducks receive a balanced diet, adequate lighting, and a secure, comfortable environment. Monitoring their health and collecting eggs regularly also helps maintain consistent laying.


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