Did you know that there is a kind of duck that can provide you with as many eggs as the white leghorn chicken? It’s a breed called the Khaki Campbell duck. With proper care a Khaki Campbell duck can lay more than 300 eggs per year.
And the Khaki Campbell duck has other advantages. These ducks are hardy and healthy. They don’t get sick often. They can find a lot of their own food. They eat slugs, snails, and other insects. They will clean algae, slime, and mosquito larva from ponds and puddles. They are colourful and in some areas their feathers get a good price. Finally, they provide high quality meat that is very healthy because it is low in fat.
While Khaki Campbells forage well on their own, they will lay many more eggs if you also give them high protein feed. You can buy unmedicated chicken laying feed at a store. Or make your own mixture at home. Cooked soybean meal is good feed. Extra insects are also a good protein source, and the more insects the ducks eat the more eggs they will lay.
The ducks do not need fancy shelters – just a place to get out of the cold wind or heavy rain. And something that will protect them from predators. A simple three‑sided shelter with a roof and a few nest boxes for laying eggs is all that they need. This will also protect them from predators such as wild dogs or cats at night. Since most ducks lay their eggs by ten o’clock in the morning, some farmers like to keep the ducks in a pen until that time so the eggs are easy to find and collect.
The ducks like to lay their eggs in a nest box free of manure, with soft dried grass or similar material on the bottom.
The ducks do not need a pond or stream to swim in, though they do like these things. What they do need is a shallow pan of drinking water. If you are feeding the ducks dry food, the pan of water should be next to their food so they can use the water to wash the food from their breathing holes if they get plugged up.
Here’s an example of how people raising these ducks have been able to improve their lives. In a region of Honduras, Central America, there was a serious problem where children weren’t getting enough protein in their diet. So farmers started raising Khaki Campbell ducks. The ducks were a great success, doing well despite a rainy climate. The eggs and meat improved the health of the people. In addition they found that they were able to make good money by selling the eggs.
Khaki Campbells already live in most countries of Central and South America, South Asia, the South Pacific, and Southern Africa, and Europe.
For high egg production with little trouble, raise Khaki Campbell ducks. They are disease resistant, they forage well for their food, and provide high quality meat and eggs.
This script was written by Harvey Harman. Harvey is a farmer at Sustenance Farm, Route 2, Box 201, Bear Creek, North Carolina 27207, U.S.A.
- “Waterfowl conservation”, AMBC News, March April 1990.
“Khaki Campbell ducks” by Dave Holderread, Breed Bulletin #8611, 1986. The Duck Preservation Center, P.O. Box 492, Corvallis, Oregon 97339, U.S.A.
Ask about availability of Khaki Campbell ducks at a hatchery. If you can’t find a place to buy Khaki Campbell ducks locally, the following organizations may be able to help:
Heifer Project International, P.O. Box 808, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203, U.S.A. (for participants in Asia)
Holderread’s Waterfowl Farm and Preservation Center, P.O. Box 492, Corvallis, Oregon 97339, U.S.A.
Proyecto Heifer, Apartado Postal 970A, Guatemala City, Guatemala (for participants in Central America).