Why Choose Keeping Ducks? For Meat, Eggs, Or Pets?

Raising and keeping ducks is becoming popular nowadays, on par with raising chicken. Primarily raised for their meat, more than 20 million ducks are being raised in the United States every year. Though they lay fewer eggs compared to chicken, their eggs are larger and tastier, plus they contain more nutrients too. Keeping ducks for business is relatively less troublesome too since ducks requires non-elaborate housing facilities. Compared to chicken, ducks need less attention and less space for rearing.

In choosing a business, why pick keeping ducks? It is because they are considered one of the most versatile of the avian species. Their bodies are strong and can keep themselves well in wide ranges of climatic and nutritional conditions. These means that raising them is inexpensive.

Since they do not lay plenty of eggs, it is advised to keep the eggs for food or for hatching. Note that they actually can produce more eggs but they will have to eat more egg-laying feeds, 75 percent more compared to chicken, so it will not be economical.

Most raisers choose keeping ducks of the Pekin breed. The Pekin duck, also called the Long Island Duck, is a domesticated kind of duck, bred from the Mallard of China. They are better egg producers than other breeds and they gain weight quickly too. More than 90 percent of duck meat consumed in the US is from Pekin ducks. A 4-7 month mature Pekin duck, on the average, weighs about 9-10 pounds.

Housing for keeping ducks is also inexpensive. It can be made from light materials such as bamboo or wood. A space of about 3 to 4 square feet is advisable for every duck. As much as possible, the house should be placed in a nearby moving body of water like a stream. A pond or paddling pool may also work but regular water replacement, about once every two weeks, is advisable. Duck droppings can make the water green in no time. They need water bodies to swim and exercise. But only allow them to swim up to 2 hours so they don’t get over fatigued.

Raising Ducks For Beginners

If someone would want to enter animal raising business, why choose raising ducks? And how do you raise them? Many animal farmers are now considering raising ducks instead of the more popular counterpart, the chicken. This is because raising them is less expensive. Ducks are also more resistant against extreme weather. And they lay yummy eggs.

Ducks are the considered one of the most climatic condition stable of the avian species. Their housing needs not be elaborate, just a simple dry and sheltered house. They can eat a wide variety of feeds and are resistant to several diseases. They also mature fast, starting at 4 months. Mature ducks of the Pekin breed, the most popularly raised in the Unites States, can weigh up to 11 pounds. That is a good source of duck meat and profit too.

More than 20 million ducks are raised yearly in the United States. Though they may be raised for egg laying, they are primarily raised for their meat. 90 percent of duck meat eaten in the US is from one breed alone, the Pekin duck. Note that even if they lay large and nutritious eggs, raising ducks for meat is preferred because they require more egg-laying feeds compared to chicken.

Houses for raising ducks can be made with light materials like wood or bamboo. The required condition is that it should be kept dry so that bacteria growth will be minimized and the temperature remains warm enough. Keeping the shelter dry is usually done by spreading corn cobs or peanut hulls on the flooring. It is advisable to build the shelter near a stream so that the ducks can swim and exercise.

Another interesting phenomenon is when new ducks, say previously from another cage or yard, are introduced in another group of ducks. There is an observed pecking order among ducks and this can get vicious at times. However, the “ritual” will subside. Owners must watch out if the new ducks are being too deprived of food and water. That means new food containers and water pans should be made available.

If a raiser choose egg-laying as his/her central business, then the trade is not much of selling the eggs for food but for hatching them and selling the ducklings later. Embryos develop in the egg in about 28 days at 95 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 75 percent humidity.

Feeding Baby Ducks Properly – This Has a Direct Influence to the Overall Health of Your Ducks

Books on raising ducks have stressed the importance of a judicious feeding system in the overall health of poultry. If you’re raising ducks for profit, know that your ducks’ overall health has a direct influence on the profitability of your business. This means that if you want to rake in the profits, you’ll have to learn about feeding baby ducks properly.

Basic Feeding

In feeding baby ducks, you have to take into consideration the quantity as well as the quality of the food. You have to give what has the power to produce the largest amount of flesh and the leanest kind of meat. When these are attained, you can bet on your fowl business – no pun intended – to become ludicrous in no time at all. It’s not hard to find duck foods that can be bought in bulk and are of the highest quality. However, after you have accomplished this, you have to take into account the consequences that follow.

Common Problems

Fat hens are at high risk for a variety of diseases. Aside from this, they also cease to lay, prompting production to come to a halt – and your money to go down the drain. Fat drakes, meanwhile, usually become lazy enough to mate and do anything else. They are known to get apoplexy attacks and drop dead. These problems in feeding baby ducks can cause you your entire business. So, how do you avoid them?

Tried and Tested Solutions

It is imperative that you include unmedicated chick starter as well as unmedicated chicken grower feed when you’re in the early stage of feeding baby ducks. This way, they can get the nutrition they need without growing fat to the point of becoming useless, and stay safe from potentially fatal diseases. You must also include lots of water into their diet. Just make sure that the brooder litter stays dry and that the ducklings have no way of falling into the water container.

Weaning Means

When they mature, you’ll have to go about feeding baby ducks using chicken grower pellet feed, corn-grain scratch feed, and insoluble poultry feed. Customize your feeding schedule according to the habits of your ducklings, and switch to more protein-rich feeds once they turn into ducks.