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.

How to Raise Ducks As Pets – Raising Ducks is Not Limited to Profits and Business Purposes Only

The main reason why people rear ducks is for profit. Rearing of ducks is inexpensive because they have been found to adapt well to different climatic conditions. They are also not very picky when it comes to food so there is no need to buy special feeds for them. However, while young they may need to be fed with food rich in protein to help strengthen their bodies. The eggs ducks produce are larger compared to that of a chicken’s and have higher nutritional value making it a popular choice of food among health-conscious people. Ducks also eat parasites that are a nuisance to both crops and other livestock making them an overall valuable animal to keep. The raising of ducks, however, is not only limited for business purposes. Ducks, too, can be raised as pets. Utterly loyal and useful, raising ducks can be fun and rewarding. Ducks love attention and hate to be alone which makes them an extremely enjoyable companion. But how to raise ducks as pets?

Before actually buying a duck, there are many things that you have to first know about them. You have to keep in mind that you will be its caretaker for a long time therefore; you need to have knowledge about their preferred living conditions, food-eating habits, and many others. It is also advisable that you first check the different breeds of ducks there is and select one that is to your liking. There are many websites in the internet that provide comprehensive information on how to raise ducks as pets. You can also try going to the library to find the information you need.

Since ducks are sociable creatures, you should buy two or more ducklings instead of just one. If raised alone, they will manifest shy and awkward behavior which will defeat the purpose of why you’re rearing them in the first place. Keep in mind that your purpose is how to raise ducks as pets. These awkward behaviors the ducks may exhibit will make them an unideal pet to keep.

As for their shelter, there is no special requirement that needs to be included. Just as long as they can be protected from the sun or rain, then that is good enough. Adding some cobs or hay is also a great way to keep the inside dry. Ducks need a resting place that is dry to maintain their feather’s resiliency. Adding a small pool nearby is also advisable because ducks need a place to paddle on and exercise from time to time. The shelter should also be large enough for them to be able to raise and flap their wings. These little tidbits of information are a great way for anyone to learn how to raise ducks as pets.

Exploring the Possibility of Raising Ducks

We were asked a question once if it is feasible to venture in producing salted eggs for marketing in our town. We said that if the people here had acquired a taste for it as Manila people do and he could sell it at fifteen pesos a piece, it may turn out right. Ducks are one of the hardiest fowls. They could slurp muddy water without getting sick. They could eat what chickens do not. They thrive even when cold and could be self supporting.

When asked how many heads would be his initial flock, he said ten. The conversation almost ended then and there. We were not sure if the chap is serious or not. Ten ducks, when pronounced as one word, means a kick in the ass. However, we sensed that he was serious so we started computing.

A kilo of feed fit for ducks costs eighteen pesos a kilo. A kilo may feed a duck for five days. Since prolific ducks lay one egg a day, ten times fifteen will gross one hundred fifty pesos. Fewer eighteen pesos feed, that will be a net of one hundred thirty two pesos in five days. Right? Take away the thirty two pesos for care and miscellaneous that means salt coloring, fuel and labor act, he will have one hundred pesos after total expenses. Anyway the thirty two pesos will still go to him. Increase the number of ducks and profit will increase directly proportional to the number of the increase.

When asked what type of duck he is going to raise, he answered’ the “moscovies” pointing at a passing muscovy duck. Moscovies are easy to raise, he said. They practically need no care. They need no great deal of water and they can be self supporting, biting off tender banana shoots. We pointed out that moscovies, like any other ducks, get grimy and scruffy without available water. If the wings are not clipped, they fly off and get lost. When asked what breed would be ideal, we answered, the Pateros duck.

The Pateros duck, especially the khaki Campbell subspecies, are flightless, fast growing, early maturing and prolific egg layers. They are raised for balut and salted egg production. They look like wild ducks but cannot fly. They molt late, have short molting seasons and thrive on a diet of snails or kohol. They can subsist on chicken or hog feed here. They always come home to roost at night and lay eggs on the ground where they sleep. They only care they need is to give them enough feed, plenty of water to drink and bathe and to keep them from straying.

Since they need some attention the would-be duck raiser said he will think about it. Nothing in life is for free. One has to work for it. If duck raising is as easy, then everybody would raise ducks and nobody will buy.