Drake Ducks: 10 Reasons to Keep Them

Drake Ducks Improve the Quality of a Backyard Flock

by Erin Snyder
PHOTO: By Erin Snyder

Drake ducks are an essential part of every duck flock. From factory farms to small backyard flocks with bantam ducks, duck owners everywhere are adding a few drakes to their flock for their vital role in a healthy, well-balanced flock. So, without further adieu, let’s begin the countdown to why every flock needs a drake duck.

#10 Fertile Eggs

It might go without saying, but fertile duck eggs are why many duck owners keep a drake. Hatching and raising ducklings from your backyard flock has many perks, as there is no need to worry about spreading infection or disease from newly acquired ducks to an existing flock.

Preserving a rare breed is another benefit to keeping a drake. Whether you are selling fertile eggs for a side business or raising ducklings from your backyard flock, Drake Ducks will help make your dreams a reality.

How Many Ducks Per Drake?

How many ducks should you have per drake? The answer depends on the breed of drake and ducks you are raising and their weight category. Before choosing a drake for your flock, consider the breed(s) of hens in your flock. This is a crucial decision, as housing a heavyweight drake with lightweight females may result in accidental injuries or the death of the hens. At the same time, a vigorous lightweight drake may exhaust placid heavyweight hens.

two drake ducks are walking in the backyard
Two Drake Ducks

Drake Ducks Per Hens Guidelines

Heavyweight- 3-4 hens per drake

Mediumweight- 3-5 hens per drake

Subscribe now

Lightweight- 4-6 hens per drake

Bantam-1-2 hens per drake

#9 Increased Egg Production

Housing a drake with your flock may help to increase egg production. While no one knows why, female ducks tend to lay more eggs when a drake duck is present in the flock.

When housing drakes with ducks to increase egg production, follow the ducks to drake guidelines (above) to ensure a well-balanced flock, as too many drakes per hen ratio will decrease egg production.

#8 Guard Ducks

Male ducks are excellent at spotting danger. Our Welsh Harlequin drake is the first one to notice a bird of prey and will sound the alarm to warn our duck and chicken flocks of the danger.

Drakes are always on the lookout while the females feed, looking for potential danger. From cats, hawks, neighborhood dogs, or trash blowing across the yard, drakes will sound the alarm to warn the flock of any threat.

While drakes are excellent at spotting predators, they can not defend themselves or their flock from an attack. Instead of free-ranging ducks, house them in a safe predator-proof pen and lock them in a secure coop at night.

Two white drake ducks in the coop
White Drake Ducks

#7 Noise Levels

Unlike roosters, drake ducks are very quiet. While their soft noises carry surprisingly far distances, their noise levels are minimal. This trait puts them at an advantage for individuals who like ducks but do not enjoy the loud quacking of the females.

#6 Drake Ducks: A Show-Stopping Display

Anyone who has stopped to watch a drake perform courtship displays can testify to how amazing these shows can be. Drake ducks twist their bodies in various movements, make a whistle, and spray water with their bills to impress their hens.

Some drakes display throughout the year, but most occur during fall and winter when duck courtship takes place.

#5 Garden Helpers

All ducks make excellent gardening companions, but drakes are less destructive than females. While females go through the garden ripping up plants and looking for grubs and other larvae, drakes are content to chase flying insects or snack on beetles hiding among the garden plants.

Drake ducks are usually less destructive on lawns, too. Although some male ducks will rip up large clumps of grass looking for grubs, most are content to let the females do the ripping.

#4 Natural Lifestyle

As backyard flock owners, we want to provide our ducks with as much natural life as possible. Adding a drake to your flock of females will allow everyone to experience a more natural way of life.

Although courting and breeding may seem insignificant to the flock owner, ducks instinctively engage in these behaviors. While some flock owners believe female ducks will be happier without males, most females enjoy hanging out with a drake.

A white drake duck is walking near some pumpkins in the backyard
A White Drake Duck

#3 Making a Difference for Drake Ducks

Did you know? Many backyard duck flock keepers do not keep their drakes. Because they don’t lay eggs, many drake ducks find themselves homeless. Whether sitting in a cage in an animal shelter or trying to survive alone on a public pond, many drakes need a home. Adding even one drake to your flock helps reduce the number of homeless and abandoned drakes.

#2 Peaceful Pecking Order

One of the best ways to ensure harmony among ducks is to keep a drake in the flock. Drakes help to solve disputes among female flock members and prevent fighting. This behavior helps to avoid injuries from other flock members.

Bear in mind that while drakes help to prevent fighting among female flock members, they can be very aggressive towards each other. In most situations, it is best to house each drake separately with his flock of hens.

#1 Friendly Pets

Drake ducks make delightful, friendly pets, especially when imprinted on humans. They love interacting with people. Male ducks bond differently with humans than female ducks and are described as being more affectionate.

Unlike roosters, drakes have gentle personalities and pose no threat to small children. Their tame disposition makes them excellent pets for families with children.

With their soft quack, beautiful plumage, and curly tail feather, what isn’t there to like about a drake? Drake ducks improve the overall quality of the duck flock and complete our backyard flock. So, if you are considering adding ducks to your backyard flock, consider adding a drake, too.

This article about drake ducks was written for Hobby Farms online. Click here to subscribe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *