Do you want to add some ducks to your farm but aren’t sure they’ll be too noisy?
Whether you’re trying to be respectful of your nearby neighbors or protect your own backyard peace and quiet, it’s a valid question to ask, especially if you’re in the research phase of adding ducks to your homestead.
Lucky for us, most ducks are laid back and quiet, with only low chattering quacks amongst themselves, but some breeds can be obnoxious.
Oh, and that rumor that duck quacks don’t echo? It was recently disproved by Professor Trevor Cox at the University of Salford.
In this blog post, we’ll look at why certain duck breeds can make a lot of noise and how you can find a breed that fits your needs.
Are Ducks Louder than Chickens?
Generally speaking, chickens are considerably louder than ducks.
Ducks tend to chatter quietly amongst one another, but they don’t have regular loud outbursts like chickens.
If there is a disturbance among chickens, like one hen finding a cricket in the yard, they will all cackle and loudly call to one another.
Hens also sing their “egg song” every time they lay an egg; other hens may join in to celebrate with her.
Of course, chickens will squawk and call to each other if they spot predators or feel like they’re in danger too.
Ducks, on the other hand, are much more chill and reserved.
They don’t announce their egg-laying, nor do they bicker loudly or go on like chickens.
For the most part, you’ll hear ducks only if they feel they’re in danger.
Threatening dogs, lurking hawks, and other dangerous wildlife will get a rise out of your ducks.
Still, at that point, you have bigger issues than the noise, and their alerts could give you a chance to intervene and save them from disaster.
They might make noise if you’re habitually feeding your birds, ducks, or chickens periodically throughout the day rather than offering a free-choice feed.
They probably let out a vocal outburst when seeing you come out to them with the feed bucket.
To mitigate this, switch to constant free feeding, or set up an automated system that works off a timer.
Another component of this discussion is the difference between chicken squawks, calls, and cackles and the more muted (less abrasive) quack sounds that ducks make.
How To Keep Ducks Quiet
The best way to calm and quiet your ducks is to give them a safe area where they don’t feel threatened by predators because most of their outbursts are due to perceived dangers.
Consider keeping them in a run and covering the lower half with wood, tin, or sheeting so outside animals can’t watch them.
Not only will this keep them safer, but it will ease their worries by significant measures.
Even if you allow your ducks to free-range during the day, you may want to keep them inside a pen or coop at night.
Sometimes ducks may talk to each other when they’re inside, but they will often feel secure because they know where everyone is and feel safe.
These reassurances may make them stay quieter throughout the night.
If they can roam your property freely, ducks may come and go from the coop all night long, which can cause a bit of a ruckus, especially if the outside ducks sense danger.
Yes, female ducks make slightly more noise than drakes, but keeping an all-male flock is not a good idea because that will lead to fights and several other issues for your birds.
If you can’t keep your ducks as quiet as you’d like, move their enclosure further away from the area, you want to be more of a quiet zone.
So if you’re trying to be courteous to your neighbors, move the coop as far away from their property as possible.
If you want your back porch to be peaceful, consider moving their enclosure closer to the back of your property if space allows.
In the next section, we’ll discuss the quietest duck breeds– but bear in mind that every duck is different, and they all have personalities.
Just because a duck of a certain breed is supposed to be quiet doesn’t mean she, the individual, will be.
You may need to mentally prepare yourself to remove noisier ducks from your flock as needed.
You can butcher, sell, or give away the louder ducks and keep the calmer ones.
Which Duck Breeds Are The Quietest?
Muscovy ducks are well known across the board, from large operations to the smallest suburban backyards, as the quietest duck breed.
Muscovy Ducks, or Cairina moschata, are a large breed of duck native to Central and South America.
These ducks have stunning plumage with white accents and red caruncles around the eyes, head, and beak area.
They usually have white, dark brown, or black feathers on their wings and bodies. Wild Muscovies are typically all black.
Muscovys are also unique because they have sharp talons on the edges of their toes to assist with climbing trees.
If you free-range, you can expect them to try roosting up high around your property.
Muscovys make good pets due to their disposition– they aren’t generally loud or aggressive.
They require little maintenance due to their self-sufficiency.
They also eat nearly anything they can forage independently, making them ideal for almost any budget.
So if you’re looking for a pet duck that is easy to care for and relatively quiet, this is probably the best breed for your land.
If you want a duck that is literally quiet but aesthetically noisy, you’ve got to have this gorgeous iridescent stunner.
Cayuga ducks are an American-born breed developed in the early 1800s.
They first originated in New York and were used mainly for egg-laying and meat production.
This dual-purpose duck is known for its distinctive black plumage with a hint of green to it, making it very popular in many farming programs today.
Like the Muscovy, it is well known for having an excellent feed efficiency rating.
Keepers can use less food to sustain their flock.
The Cayuga ducks generally weigh between 6 and 8 pounds when fully grown and lay up to 150 eggs a year.
Not only can you get great eggs from these birds, but they are also incredibly reliable layers with low mortality rates.
If you’re looking for a duck breed that can provide outstanding production at a reasonable cost, then look no further — the Cayuga duck is perfect!
Crested ducks are precious little fellows who are quiet and oh-so-cute.
The Crested Duck is a uniquely featured poultry with a regal look to its large bill and wispy feathering.
This striking duck is classified as an ornamental breed, meaning it can make both a beautiful addition to any backyard or garden and provide eggs for consumption.
They look like they’re wearing a beanie on their head with a pom on top. This fluffy little pom is made of fatty tissue and feathers.
This fat mass appears because these birds have a heterozygous mutation that causes a skull deformity.
The skin and tissue grow right through this gap, covered by fluffy feathers.
These clever birds are quite easy to handle, making them suitable for the novice duck keeper.
They can live in confinement but thrive in a wide range of conditions.
Crested Ducks are decent layers producing medium-sized white eggs.
Still, due to their low feed conversion ratios, they should mainly be kept as dual-purpose birds for family enjoyment and hobby purposes.
Swedish Blue Duck
The Swedish Blue Duck is a popular breed of domestic waterfowl from Sweden and the British Isles.
It’s known for its distinctive blue, black, and white feathered appearance, although other color variations exist.
These ducks are relatively large, with males reaching up to ten pounds while females usually finish growing at seven pounds.
The Swedish Blue Duck is an excellent egg layer, producing up to 250 eggs per hen annually.
Their curious nature makes them great pet ducks as well. This highly intelligent breed is also known for being friendly and sociable with other ducks and animals.
Buff Orpington Ducks
Buff Orpington Ducks are a beautiful, friendly, and docile breed of duck that would make a lovely addition to any backyard.
You’ll often hear them lovingly referred to as pond ornaments because they are pleasant and pretty.
Buff Ducks have an upright stance with a wide and round body, typically a golden-brown shade with hints of apricot or white.
Buff Orpingtons are excellent layers, laying up to 245 large white eggs per year, and excellent foragers.
They are known to be accommodating birds that love spending time with their human companions around the coop.
While sexing can be difficult at first glance for inexperienced owners, males typically have black or chocolate bills.
In contrast, females have light orange or yellow bills.
Overall, the Buff Orpington is a quiet and useful dual-purpose bird, making them popular among poultry keepers.
Don’t let the magpie part of their name fool you; these ducks are very laid back, calm, and quiet.
They share a name with the noisy European magpies for their distinct black and white feathering, not for their obnoxious vocal cords. They have big brown eyes and orange legs, making them distinctive and cuddly in appearance.
Aside from being an ornamental breed, Magpie Ducks have strong foraging abilities and are adept at searching for their own food.
They have also been bred to be proficient egg layers too; producing up to 290 eggs a year.
Compared to other breeds, magpie ducks tend to be quiet in temperament, which makes them the perfect pet if you’re looking for a low-maintenance feathered companion.
Khaki Campbell Duck
Khaki Campbell ducks are among the most popular duck breeds for egg and meat production.
Originating in England, these ducks are small but strong. They can thrive in various climates, so they should work almost anywhere you live in the United States.
They have an easily recognizable dark brown body accentuated with lighter tan coloring on the head, neck, and belly.
In addition to having high egg-laying abilities, Khaki Campbell ducks can gain weight quickly, making them an excellent breed for meat production.
This dual-purpose breed is often kept together in large groups due to its pleasant nature.
At the same time, they also make good pets and can be tamed fairly quickly.
They are considered a hardy breed that can handle cold and hot temperatures as long as they’re provided shelter when necessary.
You can expect 170 to 230 eggs per female per year.
Overall, Khaki Campbell Ducks are an excellent choice for any farmer or urban homesteader looking for a high-yielding, calm, and friendly backyard companion.
The Saxony Duck is a beautiful medium-sized waterfowl characterized by outstanding egg production and relatively large meat yields compared to other dual-purpose breeds.
They display stunning plumage, with the drakes having an iridescent head and neck, chestnut brown plumage, buffy gray wings, and fluffy gray underparts. The hens are lighter in color than the drakes, featuring creamy tan feathers with slightly darker heads and shoulders.
While they can be excellent family pets with quieter personalities, they tend to be flighty birds.
They like having space to forage and free-range, but they still appreciate the company of people at times.
The Saxony Duck is an excellent option for those looking for beauty, peace, and productivity in their agricultural endeavors.
Teal Ducks differ from what is expected on American farms and across backyards.
Still, they are an excellent addition if you’re interested in a quiet bird.
Some are wild, and some are domesticated– we’re discussing the domestic duck here.
Domestic teal ducks are native to the Americas and have been bred as poultry since the beginning of recorded time.
They can be found in various colors ranging from pure white to mottled brown, black, and white.
These ducks are bred for many purposes due to their outstanding temperament, strong parenting instincts, mild flavor, large egg production, and ability to do well on land and in more aquatic habitats.
Domestic teal ducks require little maintenance on both a nutrition and health level.
They aren’t exempt from parasites and disease but are highly resistant.
Despite their smaller frame, they still provide ample meat for just about any homemade meal. Plus, their eggs come packed with omega-3 fatty acids.
Finally, these sweet ducks make great pets due to their relaxed temperament.
Which Duck Breeds Are The Noisiest?
I bet you’re surprised to see a duck named “Call” at the top of this list!
As you probably assumed, little bantam Call Ducks are incredibly vocal and unsuited for city-limit homesteading.
Initially bred and developed for their distinctive call, Call ducks have become an increasingly popular domestic pet and show duck breed.
They are comically noisy; just a dozen can sometimes sound like a larger flock of thirty or forty ducks.
They come in various vibrant colors: white, gray, blue, fawn, blue-fawn, dark silver, pied, bibbed, black, magpie, silver, and apricot.
You can expect 50 to 150 small white eggs per duck per year.
As an affectionate pet, these miniature ducks are hilarious entertainers who make great additions to any family– so long as you don’t mind relinquishing your peace and quiet.
The Welsh Harlequin is a beautiful and hardy duck breed that originated in Wales during the late 19th century.
This receptive and clever bird is noted for its deep chestnut, white and black colorations with a green sheen on the back.
Its main purpose has been to provide eggs and meat to households over countless generations; however, Welsh Harlequins are also favored as exhibition ducks due to their unique personality traits and eye-catching plumage.
The long-bodied shape of this breed makes it fast-paced at all times, both on land and in water.
According to The Cornell Lab, this breed can dive up to seventy feet deep underwater and stay under an impressive forty-five seconds.
Unless you have a large parcel of property with a sizable pond and don’t mind the noisiness, these beauties may not be ideal for your flock.
The Pekin duck is a medium-sized white duck that originates from China.
It has become one of the most popular farm ducks in the Americas due to its tolerant demeanor, prolific egg production, and ability to thrive on diverse diets.
Pekins are robust animals with impressive muscling and thick feathers that stay dry against moisture and cold weather.
Unlike many other breeds, they can maintain good laying characteristics throughout their lives, providing up to 200 white eggs annually for many years.
They produce eggs with a large yolk size and firm white albumen (usually called egg whites), often preferred by chefs for high-end recipes.
The hens also have a strong maternal instinct, ensuring plenty of chicks for future generations.
Pekins are known for being highly adaptive creatures.
They may even be able to survive in mildly urban environments with some additional fencing or shelter.
But this depends on your neighborhood and HOA laws and your neighbors’ tolerance for noise because they are notoriously loud birds.
Frequently Asked Questions About Duck Noise
Why Do Ducks Make Noise at Night?
Ducks will often have hushed little quacks amongst each other, but it really shouldn’t be audible from more than a few feet away from their coop.
They simply enjoy chatting with each other.
Now, if your ducks can come and go from the coop all night, they are more susceptible to predators.
This means that they will put in more effort to communicate for safety and keep track of one another.
The best way to prevent these louder noises, keep them securely locked in their coop all night.
If you don’t have one, consider getting an automatic coop door.
It will open and close when you tell it to, or automatically by daylight.
Another reason why ducks may get noisy at night is because they’re being stalked or attacked by a predator.
Again, the best way to prevent this is with a secure coop, run, and a latched door.
Are Ducks Quiet Pets?
Ducks are louder than many indoor pets, like hamsters, fish, and rabbits. Still, they are typically much quieter than dogs, chickens, and many cats.
They are significantly quieter than other farm animals like geese, peacocks, guinea fowl, and donkeys.
Which Breeds of Ducks Are The Quietest?
Muscovy and Cayuga ducks are typically the quietest domestic breeds you can raise in your backyard.
For the most part, you can keep these in your small backyard without alerting or irritating your nearby neighbors.
Can You Keep Ducks in the Suburbs?
If your HOA and city ordinances allow for ducks, and you’re willing to choose a quieter breed like a Cayuga or Muscovy, then you should be able to keep ducks in your suburban (or even urban) homestead.
What Sounds Do Ducks Make?
Ducks communicate with one another through a variety of vocalizations and sounds, such as quacking and honking.
A typical duck might make up to 25 different sounds; it can be surprising to learn how complex their language can be.
The most common sound is the flap, used to convey alarm or danger when something startles the duck.
Other notes include flute-like whistles, deep guttural rumbles, trills, rasps, purrs, and growls.
Regardless of the sound they make, they all serve to inform other ducks of potential threats in the area.
Even more impressive is how ducks can identify each other by their individual calls; this means one duck can recognize another from long distances away.