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Popular Duck Breeds

The Top 4 Pet Duck Breeds

Pet Duck Craze

Raising poultry like chickens and waterfowl is becoming an increasingly popular hobby in the United States.  However, many people who want to embark on the endeavor of pet duck or flock ownership have no idea where to start in choosing their breed.

Breeding ducks has been a pursuit of many devoted farmers and bird enthusiasts for hundreds of years, yielding a wide variety of ducks with varying characteristics and traits.  Some ducks produce more eggs than others, some are excellent birds for their meat.  Which ducks make the best pets?  Meaning which birds are well behaved, the most adaptable, the friendliest, and the most aesthetically pleasing.

Top Pet Duck Breeds

Here is a run down of the four most popular duck breeds, along with their basic Pros and Cons –

Pekin Ducks – are the large white ducks (think Aflac commercials), they have a calm demeanor and relaxed temperament.  Pekin ducklings are the soft, yellow ducklings that you probably see most often in photo shoots, television, and across the internet.  They are the most popular breed of domestic duck in the United States and most likely the most commonly raised breed of duck in the world. Not only are they one of the best pet duck breeds, but they are also very commonly raised for eggs and meat.

Pekins are the large, white duck people frequently see
Pekins are the large, white duck people frequently see in media
  • Pekin Pros – calm, sociable, very adaptable, unable to fly, easy to purchase, good layer.
  • Pekin Cons – unexciting coloration, can be loud

Rouen Ducks – are larger cousins of the mallard ducks, having the exact same beautiful coloration while packing a few extra pounds that make them ideal for backyards or farms.  They are very calm and sociable, and bred to be a pet duck or farm duck.  They key difference between a Mallard and a Rouen is that Rouens are too large to fly, and you won’t have to worry about clipping wings.

Pet Rouen Duck
Rouen Duck Hen
  • Rouen Pros – beautiful feather coloration, calm, sociable, too large to fly, easy to purchase
  • Rouen Cons – Rouens are very heavy and can have a cumbersome stature

Cayuga Ducks – are medium sized ducks (still too large to fly), which have a very unique iridescent green plumage.  Usually appearing black, when in the right sunlight, they’re feathers will show iridescent green and sometimes purplish hues. They are said to be the quietest pet ducks, and are often the choice for people who live in close proximity to their neighbors. However, as they are still ducks, we can’t guarantee they will be the quietest of pets.

Cayugas are the quietest ducks
Cayugas are said to be the quietest of pet duck breeds
  • Cayuga Pros – very unique iridescent plumage, great stature, very quiet
  • Cayuga Cons – can be harder to find

Buff Ducks Buff Ducks, sometimes also referred to as Buff Orpington Ducks, are also a very popular duck species for backyards. Great egg layers, and traditionally raised as a dual purpose meat bird as well, the Buff has a fairly calm demeanor and provides a great variety of color to your flock. The Buff Duck is also a medium weight duck breed with beautiful golden “buff” plumage.

Buff Orpington Duck
A Swimming Adult Buff Duck
  • Buff Pros – beautiful golden “buff” plumage, medium frame with great stature, calm demeanor, great egg layer
  • Buff Cons – popular and harder to find

Runner Up Duck Breeds

Khaki Campbell – The Campbell Duck, most popularly bred in the Khaki coloration, is one of the best egg laying heritage duck breeds. Sometimes rivaling the best chicken egg layers, the Khaki Campbell can lay up to 250+ eggs per year. For this reason, it has become more popular as a backyard or pet for many families.

Khaki Campbell Duck Breed
Khaki Campbell Duck – great egg laying duck breed


    • Khaki Campbell Pros – prolific layer of duck eggs, smaller medium weight duck
    • Khaki Campbell Cons – can be “flighty” or less calm, not as great with children


Swedish Ducks – Swedish Ducks are most commonly found in Blue and Black varieties and have become one of the more popular backyard duck breeds as they are becoming more available. Similar in demeanor to the Pekin Duck, they Swedish is a large bread with a unique “bibbed” plumage pattern. A good layer of eggs, Swedish made an excellent addition to the backyard flock.

Black Swedish Duck
Black Swedish with the “bibbed” feather pattern on the chest.

Where do I find Pet Ducks?

If you’re looking for pet ducks, it shouldn’t be too tough to find some of these more common and popular breeds at your local farm supply or feed store. Some of the more uncommon breeds like Cayuga, Buff, and Swedish can be found online. They will be shipped directly to your local post office!  Check out eFowl to see what our partner hatcheries have available to ship in the next few weeks!



i’m getting a pet duck. I want one that grows slow, dosen’t fly,and is quiet. which one should i get?

Personaly i would get a male Muscovy duck although they arent very pretty they are quiet and dont fly they grow medium fast

You forgot to list Muscovy Ducks!! 🙂 They are the absolute quietest and if they are hand-raised they are absolutely awesome pets. They can be hard to find, but well worth the search.

I am trying to decide what type of ducklings to get. We have 11 acres and a nice pond, so seemingly a great environment for them. However, we had mallards and 1 rouen before, and one by one they were picked off by predators. 🙁 I know it’s nature, but it was heart-breaking. Now – we didn’t have a coop – they just lived naturally here. We plan to build a coop this time. Question – What if I get Pekin or Rouen – I know they cannot fly – doesn’t this make them more vulnerable to predators? I don’t want to create a “sitting duck” situation – sorry for the lousy pun, but it’s all I could think of. Thanks, in advance!

If you have some kind of protected area or coop for them at night, that will be very helpful. They are most vulnerable then. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to protect them during the day other than get a few protective geese to help ward off predators. Guinea Fowl are also great “watch birds”.

I have three rouen, one pekin, one swedish, and one mixed breed duck! Their names, respectively, are Kiwi, Mango, Coconut, Nipper, Shania, and Skipper! I love them all to death and they all are extremely tame and sociable!

please send name of a duck breed bred by a Brit to be “most beautiful breed. I have some and forgot th namr!!!

I am looking forward to purchasing a duck for a pet. My pond in my backyard will be converted into a great habitat for it. The rouen ducks are very friendly with humans and that’s the one I want to find for sale.

We live in the California desert, its getting cold out. We have a total of 3 ducks what can I do to help keep them warm? We’ve tried putting them in the garage but they run out.

I can’t figure out what breed of duck I have. He’s about 13 years old, has a green head black body with a bluish purple on his wings. Also at times he’s very tempermental. Any ideas?

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