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Duck vs. Chicken: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 14, 2024
Duck is a waterfowl with a broad, flat bill and webbed feet, adept at swimming. Chicken is a domesticated fowl, primarily raised for meat and eggs, with a distinctive red comb.

Key Differences

Duck species are generally aquatic, with waterproof feathers and webbed feet for swimming. In contrast, chickens are terrestrial birds, adapted more for walking and scratching the ground.
The duck has a broad, flat bill for filtering food from water. Chickens have a more pointed beak designed for pecking at food on land.
Ducks are known for their quacking sound, with males often quieter than females. Chickens cluck and crow, with roosters known for their loud crowing at dawn.
In terms of habitat, ducks are found in a variety of aquatic environments, from fresh to saltwater. Chickens are more adaptable to a range of terrestrial habitats, including farms and backyards.
Ducks typically lay fewer eggs than chickens, but duck eggs are larger and richer in flavor. Chicken eggs are a staple in many diets worldwide due to their availability and versatility.

Comparison Chart

Physical Traits

Webbed feet, broad bill
Clawed feet, pointed beak


Aquatic environments
Terrestrial, farm environments

Egg Production

Fewer, larger eggs
More, smaller eggs


Quacking sound
Clucking and crowing


Meat, feathers, eggs; ornamental
Meat, eggs; widespread domestication

Duck and Chicken Definitions


Has a distinctive broad bill.
The duck used its bill to sift food from the water.


Has a red comb and two-legged gait.
The chicken's red comb is a distinctive feature.


Known for waterproof feathers.
The duck's waterproof feathers keep it dry in water.


A domesticated bird raised for meat and eggs.
The farmer raised chickens for their eggs.


A waterfowl known for swimming.
The duck glided effortlessly across the pond.


Lays smaller, but more frequent eggs.
Chicken eggs are a breakfast staple.


Lays rich, large eggs.
Duck eggs are prized for their richness in baking.


Known for its clucking sound.
The sound of chickens clucking filled the barnyard.


Includes both wild and domestic species.
Mallards are a common type of wild duck.


Includes breeds like broilers and layers.
Broiler chickens are raised primarily for meat.


Any of various wild or domesticated waterbirds of the family Anatidae, characteristically having a broad flat bill, short legs, and webbed feet.


A common domesticated fowl (Gallus domesticus) widely raised for meat and eggs and believed to be descended from the jungle fowl G. gallus.


A female duck.


Any of various similar or related birds.


Can ducks fly?

Yes, most ducks can fly, especially wild species.

Do ducks migrate?

Many wild duck species migrate seasonally.

What do chickens eat?

Chickens eat grains, seeds, insects, and kitchen scraps.

Are ducks good swimmers?

Yes, ducks are excellent swimmers due to their webbed feet.

What's the purpose of a chicken's comb?

A chicken's comb helps regulate its body temperature.

Are chickens social animals?

Yes, chickens are social and live in flocks.

Do ducks have good hearing?

Ducks have good hearing, which aids in their survival.

Do ducks have predators?

Yes, ducks have predators like foxes and large birds.

How long do chickens live?

Chickens typically live for 5 to 10 years, depending on the breed.

Can chickens fly?

Chickens can flutter or fly short distances, but not for long.

How many eggs do ducks lay?

Ducks lay fewer eggs than chickens, around a few dozen per year.

What's the difference in duck and chicken eggs?

Duck eggs are larger and richer than chicken eggs.

What is a group of chickens called?

A group of chickens is called a flock.

How do chickens communicate?

Chickens communicate through various sounds like clucking and crowing.

What age do chickens start laying eggs?

Chickens start laying eggs around 4 to 6 months of age.

Are ducks monogamous?

Some duck species are monogamous, at least for a breeding season.

What colors can chickens be?

Chickens come in a variety of colors, including white, brown, and black.

Are duck feathers waterproof?

Yes, duck feathers are waterproof, helping them stay buoyant in water.

What is a male duck called?

A male duck is called a drake.

Can ducks live on land?

Ducks can live on land but prefer being near water.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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