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.

Duck Farming Guide – 5 Important Steps to Make Raising Ducks an Enjoyable Endeavour

Duck farming is one of the most thriving livelihoods there is because of rewards that can be reaped from raising them. Ducks are usually reared for business purposes because the products that can be derived can be sold off in the market. Ducks are also often a favorite in many farms because they eat parasites that would have otherwise attacked crops and other livestock. Raising ducks can be an enjoyable endeavor and before beginning, you should consult a duck farming guide first to help you with the tasks at hand.

Tip #1:
The first thing you need to do is to extensively research on everything about raising ducks. You should be able to find out on what conditions they thrive, how they are fed, what kind of shelter they should have and what diseases may befall them. Books, the internet and other farmers can be great sources of information.

Tip #2:
You should also be able to first determine why you want to raise ducks. Is it for business or purely ornamental reasons? This step is important because it will help you determine what kind of breed to raise.

Tip #3:
Information on the different duck breeds can be found on any duck farming guide available. For example, if it’s the egg-laying capability you are after, then the Khaki Campbell Duck would be the wisest choice.

Tip #4:
Next, you should ensure that you have all equipment needed as per the duck farming guide. Duckling brooders are especially important for ducklings because it provides just the right conditions to suit their needs. Shelter for ducks should also be at par with the standards necessary for their growth and survival. The shelter must be resilient and large enough to allow them room to move a little bit. Most importantly, it should be able to protect them from harsh conditions like heat and rain. The shelters should ideally be near a pool or pond as well so the ducks can have somewhere to swim and exercise.

Tip #5:
Mating is one of the most sensitive tasks as described in any duck farming guide. Drakes, which are male ducks, should be kept separate from the female and allow them interaction only when you wish to mate them. One drake can be mated to about six to ten female ducks when they are about four to five months old. The length of time it takes for them to lay eggs varies depending on their breed. For example, Muscovy ducks lay eggs when they are about six to seven months old.

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.