The 17 Best Pet Duck Breeds For Backyards

When most people think of backyard poultry, they think about chickens. But did you know that domesticated ducks also make great additions to homesteads? Whether you are interested in collecting eggs every morning; planning on winning a poultry show; or just want a loving pet duck; they are a great choice!

There are so many domesticated duck breeds out there to raise and enjoy. Keep reading to learn our favorite 17 duck breeds…

Related: 35+ Types of Ducks: Identification Guide

17 Types of Domestic Duck Breeds

1. Magpie

Magpie Duck

The Magpie duck is considered beginner-friendly poultry thanks to their gentle disposition. As you may have guessed by the name, the Magpie duck is black and white.

They are great with just about anyone and love interacting with adults, children, and even other ducks. This breed loves to follow people around and hang out for the afternoon. The Magpie’s main appeal is that they eat garden pests. This breed loves to eat up any and all bugs harassing your plants. Besides being a garden guardian, the Magpie duck can lay 3-4 eggs per week.

  • Weight: 5-6 lbs
  • Color: Black and white
  • Egg Laying: 3-4 per week
  • Egg Color: White, blue, or green

2. Khaki Campbell

Khaki Campbell Duck

The Khaki Campbell is well known for being a fantastic egg layer. These ducks will produce anywhere from 4-6 white eggs per week – almost 300 eggs per year!

These small ducks are named after their signature khaki color. Hens will tend to be darker in color while drakes often have lighter khaki feathers. Temperament-wise, the Khaki Campbell can be very skittish and independent. They love to free range and forage on their own and will not socialize with people or other birds. Over time you can gain their trust but they will not become a lap bird and will choose to take care of themselves the majority of the time. If you are new to raising ducks and want an independent bird with a knack for egg laying, then look no further.

  • Weight: 3.5-4 lbs
  • Color: Khaki
  • Egg Laying: 4-6 per week
  • Egg Color: White

3. Pekin

Pekin Duck

The Pekin is a timeless classic in the duck-raising world. When most people picture a pet duck, the Pekin immediately comes to mind.

These ducks have a calm and quiet personality, will reach roughly 8-10 lbs, and lay 4-5 white eggs per week. This makes them a great dual purpose duck. They are very curious and love to swim, and their calm demeanor means they are great around children. They are exceptionally hardy and have beautiful white feathers. These ducks are also known for their iconic orange beak and feet, which will brighten up any backyard! If you are interested in adding a Pekin to your backyard then please consider local shelters. They are easy to find just about anywhere.

  • Weight: 8-10 lbs
  • Color: White
  • Egg Laying: 4-5 per week
  • Egg Color: White

4. Cayuga Duck

Cayuga Duck

The Cayuga duck has black feathers with a gorgeous, iridescent sheen to them. As for egg production, these ducks can lay 2-3 black eggs per week. As the season continues, these eggs will slowly fade from black to white.

They can be tame when hand-raised and given attention. When not hand-raised, they can be rather skittish. They love to free range and forage, so it is a good idea to give them plenty of space to roam.

Cayuga ducks are exceptionally cold hardy and tough. Before the reign of the Pekin duck, the Cayuga was the most popular domestic duck breed in the United States. After the Pekin exploded in popularity, the Cayuga population, sadly, slowly dwindled.

  • Weight: 6-8 lbs
  • Color: Black
  • Egg Laying: 2-3 per week
  • Egg Color: Black or white

5. Welsh Harlequin

Welsh Harlequin

The Welsh Harlequin is a very unique looking duck.

They are mainly white, but are covered in brown dots and flicks. Welsh Harlequins are fantastic egg layers and can lay up to 6 white eggs per week. Not only are they very productive ducks, but they are also very easy to care for.

Welsh Harlequins are active ducks that love to free range and forage for most of their diet. They still need constant access to feed and water, but you may find you have a lower feed bill when you have a flock of these hard-working ducks. Taking some of these prolific dual purpose ducks into your homestead can also help preserve the amazing genetics this breed has to offer for many generations to enjoy in the future.

  • Weight: 5-5.5 lbs
  • Color: Brown or black with white
  • Egg Laying: 5-6 per week
  • Egg Color: White

6. Muscovy

Muscovy Duck In Run

The Muscovy is easily identified by their unique face. It is often described as “warty”, but it is perfectly natural for the Muscovy. The Muscovy breed also has signature black and white feathers.

This is one of the few domestic duck breeds that was not selectively bred, and they have existed in the wild for centuries. This also means that this breed is one of the few that does not have genetic ties to the Mallard. Because of their wild nature, they are skittish and love to perch and nest in high places. They are not the most domestic duck. If you have Muscovy ducks and intend to let them fly, consider planting trees or building high perches.

Given time, they will warm up to you and can be friendly. Muscovy ducks are best suited for people who have prior experience with raising ducks.

  • Weight: 6-15 lbs
  • Color: Black and white
  • Egg Laying: 3-4 per week
  • Egg Color: Cream

7. Ancona Duck

Ancona Duck

The Ancona duck is a dual purpose bird.

They are a little smaller than your average duck, but they will lay 4-5 white or blue eggs per week. These ducks are very pretty, as they are mainly white with splashes of color on their bodies, including chocolate, silver, black, blue, and tricolor.

Anconas have a reputation for being one of the calmest duck breeds. They are docile ducks that cannot fly, but still love to free range and forage. The Ancona is not much of a troublemaker and will always return home at nightfall. If you are interested in a sweet duck with amazing egg laying abilities, then the Ancona could be perfect for your flock.

  • Weight: 5-6.5 lbs
  • Color: White with various combinations
  • Egg Laying: 4-5 per week
  • Egg Color: White or blue

8. Mallard


The Mallard is one of the most popular domestic ducks in the world. They are extraordinarily common and can be found just about anywhere. They are considered to be the ancestor of almost all other domesticated duck breeds.

Hens look very different from the drakes, which makes them easy to identify. Drakes have a grayish body and an iridescent green head. The hens are completely mottled brown. Both sexes will have a stripe on their wings known as a speculum which is helpful to identify the breed.

Mallards are mainly kept as show ducks. They are too small to be considered dual purpose and only lay 1-2 eggs per week. If you do plan to keep a Mallard, remember that they love to swim. Try to make their pond as natural as possible so your Mallards can dabble and forage through the water like they would in the wild.

  • Weight: 2-2.5 lbs
  • Color: Brown or gray
  • Egg Laying: 1-2 per week
  • Egg Color: White or green

9. Saxony


The Saxony is one of the most beautiful breeds on this list. They are a beautiful mix of buff and blue feathers which makes them practically glow in the light. You can expect them to lay 3-4 white or blue-green eggs per week. The Saxony duck is both cold and heat hardy which means they can handle a large variety of climates. Unfortunately their population numbers are dwindling, so if you do keep this breed you are helping protect them for future generations. You certainly won’t regret seeing these beautiful ducks in your backyard each day.

  • Weight: 6-8 lbs
  • Color: Buff and blue
  • Egg Laying: 3-4 per week
  • Egg Color: White or blue-green

10. Crested Duck

Crested Duck

These ducks look just like the iconic backyard Pekin, with the exception of the bright and fluffy crest on the top of their heads. This crest is actually caused by a genetic skull deformity, but it does not hurt them. Although they are normally white, you can find them in a range of colors, from black to buff.

Temperament-wise, they are very quiet and friendly. They are sometimes able to be kept as house pets when hand raised due to their tame and sweet nature. These ducks are very good with children and other ducks too. They can make a great addition to just about any homestead.

  • Weight: 6-8 lbs
  • Color: White, black, gray, buff, and blue
  • Egg Laying: 2-4 per week
  • Egg Color: White or blue

11. Indian Runner

Indian Runner Ducks Roaming

The Indian Runner duck has a very distinctive appearance. They stand tall and proud and have an upright carriage. You can find them in 14 different colors including the rarer variations like Apricot Dusky, Cumberland Blue, Mallard, and Silver. There are seemingly endless colors to choose from for this fun-loving and interesting breed.

Indian Runners are very docile and will thrive in any backyard. These domestic ducks are prolific egg layers and are capable of laying seven days a week. The Indian Runner was actually used to create many of the other breeds on this list such as the Abacot Ranger and the Welsh Harlequin. They have very good genetics when properly bred.

  • Weight: 3-5 lbs
  • Color: Buff, Chocolate, White, Black, Fawn
  • Egg Laying: 6 per week
  • Egg Color: White or green

12. Orpington


The Orpington duck is prized for their buff feathers and gentle demeanor.

Although their classic color is buff, there is a lighter blond variant and a darker brown variant. There were once other colors available, but due to the shrinking population of this breed, these colors are now considered to be extinct.

This duck breed is a fantastic dual purpose bird and will lay around 3-5 white eggs per week. All Orpingtons will have a curled tail and are not known to fly very often. They are very gentle and not likely to cause trouble.

  • Weight: 7-8 lbs
  • Color: Buff, blond, and brown
  • Egg Laying: 3-5 per week
  • Egg Color: White

13. Swedish Blue

Swedish Blue

The Swedish Blue is a lively, dual purpose duck that is sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face.

They have stunning blue and white feathers! The drakes and hens do look alike, so identifying the sex of your ducks can be more difficult than other duck breeds. Swedish Blues love to free range and forage and need lots of space to keep them happy and entertained.

Like most other duck breeds, the Swedish Blue lays a good amount of eggs. You can expect 2-3 white, green, or blue eggs per week when you have one of these ducks in your backyard.

  • Weight: 5.5-6 lbs
  • Color: Blue
  • Egg Laying: 2-3 per week
  • Egg Color: White, green, or blue

14. Silver Appleyard Duck

Silver Appleyard Duck

The Silver Appleyard is another classic breed amongst homesteaders. These ducks are popular because of their beautiful color, great temperament, and egg laying ability. Silver Appleyards are mainly silver, but also have buff, fawn, blue, and brown markings all over their body. Their unique looks have made them a great contender in poultry shows and they are perfect for anyone looking to raise a new show bird.

Besides their beauty, Silver Appleyard ducks are also known for their docile and sweet temperament. They can be handled and will also tolerate children well. Any Silver Appleyard you keep will be an excellent forager too. They can grow to be 6-8 lbs and lay 3-5 large, white eggs per week.

  • Weight: 6-8 lbs
  • Color: Silver
  • Egg Laying: 3-5 per week
  • Egg Color: White

15. Golden Cascade

As their name suggests, the Golden Cascade has beautiful fawn and golden feathers. This breed is perfect for beginners looking to start up a flock. They should give you approximately 5 white eggs per week!

Golden Cascades are very docile and nearly flightless. This will make keeping and handling these ducks easy for first time keepers. They are also very hardy in both the heat and the cold, so they can live just about anywhere with anyone. Although they are extremely beautiful, this breed has not been registered with the American Poultry Association. This is important to keep in mind if you are interested in showing your birds.

  • Weight: 6-8 lbs
  • Color: Golden
  • Egg Laying: 5 per week
  • Egg Color: White

16. Black East Indian Duck

Black East Indian Duck

Black East Indian Ducks are very small ducks and only weigh 1-1.5 lbs. They have iridescent, black feathers that turn a gorgeous green when the light hits them. Although they only lay 1-2 eggs each week, their eggs are a special black or gray color.

The main appeal of the East Indies are their beautiful looks and their calm and quiet temperament. They will get along with most other breeds. Before you consider these ducks for your backyard, you should know that they are excellent flyers. You will need a very well fenced area to make sure your ducks remain on your property!

  • Weight: 1-1.5 lbs
  • Color: Black
  • Egg Laying: 1-2 per week
  • Egg Color: Black or gray

17. Abacot Ranger

Abacot Ranger

This duck breed has existed for over a century. Abacot Rangers are known for their fawn-hoods and mainly white bodies. Hens will develop a gray bill while drakes will develop a green bill. They are a medium sized duck and weigh 5.5-6 lbs. You can expect them to lay 3-4 white eggs per week.

When it comes to personality, Abacot Rangers are sweet and docile. These ducks are poor flyers and very friendly, which makes them great for beginners. They are often considered one of the tamest breeds around. Unlike other ducks, they have a longer than average lifespan and will easily live well over ten years.

  • Weight: 5.5-6 lbs
  • Color: Fawn-buff
  • Egg Laying: 3-4 per week
  • Egg Color: White

The Benefits of Raising Ducks

Ducks are very useful animals to keep.

They are lovely animals to have around and will provide you and your family with eggs and constant entertainment if you are able to fulfill their basic needs. They are often independent and do well when they have to coexist with other livestock on a farm space.

Ducks are very easy to care for, too.

They come in many different colors, temperaments, and sizes. If you are willing to care for them, there is truly a breed of duck out there for everyone.

The main requirement for raising ducks is that you have a place for them to swim! Making sure you are able to provide your flock with a place to swim, a place to sleep at night, ample room to roam, clean drinking water, and access to food are the basic requirements for keeping ducks.

Each breed has their own strengths and weaknesses, so it is important to research them.

Whether you are intending to start a small flock or a farm, ducks should be considered a viable option when it comes to putting eggs on your table.


Whether you are just beginning research, looking for your first ducks, or an expert with a thriving flock in your backyard, hopefully this list has helped you.

There are a wide range of domestic duck breeds out there with different sizes, temperaments, and abilities that help make sure there is a perfect duck for everyone!

You may have noticed that many of the breeds on this list are on a watchlist or currently threatened by extinction. Ducks are not the most popular birds, so it is much harder to preserve heritage breeds that have fallen out of public popularity.

Taking in threatened ducks can play a huge role in protecting that breed and keeping their piece of history and unique genetics alive.

Did you find your new favorite duck breed?

Let us know in the comments section below…

Chris Lesley Bio Picture
Chris Lesley has been Raising Chickens for over 20 years and is a fourth generation chicken keeper. She can remember being a young child when her grandad first taught her how to hold and care for chickens. She also holds a certificate in Animal Behavior and Welfare and is interested in backyard chicken health and care.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.