Ducks have many economic uses, being farmed for their meat, eggs, feathers, (particularly their down). They are also kept and bred by aviculturists and often displayed in zoos. All domestic ducks are descended from the wild Mallard Anas platyrhynchos, except the Muscovy Duck.Many domestic breeds have become much larger than their wild ancestor, with a "hull length" (from base of neck to base of tail) of 30 cm (12 inches) or more and routinely able to swallow an adult British Common Frog Rana temporaria whole; the wild mallard's "hull length" is about 6 inches.
FAO reports that China is the top duck market in 2004 followed by Vietnam and other South East Asian countries.
In many areas, wild ducks of various species (including ducks farmed and released into the wild) are hunted for food or sport, by shooting, or formerly by decoys. Because an idle floating duck or a duck squatting on land cannot react to fly or move quickly, "a sitting duck" has come to mean "an easy target".
Wild ducks of many species and domesticated breeds are widely consumed around the world.
Ducks as pets are fairly uncommon due to the cost and demands of raising and caring for them and whether local animal control laws permit or forbid the public selling and private ownership of ducks, ducklings, and fertilized duck eggs. Ducks are usually kept outdoors or inside a cage since it is unsuitable to let them roam freely indoors due to the risk of eating carpet fibers, which can be a health hazard to them, and their lack of sphincter muscles which would require carpet-less flooring and frequent cleaning up after them.