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.

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.

What Ducks Can Teach You About Branding and Business Success

Of all the mascots I would expect a high-end luxury hotel to have, the lowly mallard duck is certainly not one of them. And yet, that was what greeted me when I stepped into the Peabody Orlando Hotel.

There is an actual story behind the ducks (which is printed on the napkins) but the reality is the story is less interesting than how the hotel has built a brand around ducks.

First, you have the “March of the Ducks” — at 11 am the ducks “march” (or more accurately waddle) on a red carpet to spend the day in a luxurious fountain. This fountain is located in the middle of the hotel and is actually quite a nice place to get a little work done or enjoy a coffee and cupcake (while watching the ducks splash around). At 5 pm they then “march” (waddle) back to their Duck Palace to enjoy a duck dinner and a “quiet evening” together.

Now the fact they make this an event — with marching music, a red carpet and an actual Duck Master (which is trademarked — yes if you were thinking about hiring a Duck Master for your own Duck March you would be out of luck) is one thing. But the ducks are also front and center to their branding.

There are ducks on the carpet, duck soaps in the rooms, drinks named after ducks, ducks embroidered on the staff’s clothes — the list goes on and on. It’s all quite tastefully done and the ducks are elegantly and subtly woven throughout the hotel’s brand and image.

Now the real question is, of course, is it worth it? Only the Peabody knows for sure but from the outside it certainly appears like it is.

First off, remember where the Peabody Orlando is — it’s in Orlando competing against Disney World (who knows a thing or 2 about branding themselves) Universal Studios and other theme-oriented attractions. Without the ducks, the Peabody would be a very nice, high-end hotel that would be like every other very nice, high-end hotel. With the ducks, now you have your own attraction. Now you have something to talk about. Now you have something your kids might want to see almost as much as Mickey Mouse.

(Now there is another Peabody, complete with ducks, in Atlanta as well. The Atlanta Peabody certainly wouldn’t be in competition with Mickey and company, but I suspect there’s enough other competition with high-end hotels and history that the ducks earn their keep there as well.)

One of the main ways you can successfully market yourself to an affluent clientele is to provide an experience. People like experiences. It gives them something to talk about (or write ezine articles about). And if you wrap an experience inside your brand, you just transformed yourself from a “good” business to something extraordinary. And extraordinary is what gets people to notice, to “take a chance on” if nothing else to witness that experience for themselves.

So, for you, what can you do to create an experience for your clients? And is this something that can be woven into your branding strategy? (And if you can make it unexpected or off-the-wall even better.) Or maybe it was an accident you overlooked at the time — with the ducks Mr. Peabody came back from hunting and was enjoying some Jack Daniels with a friend, when they decided it would be a nifty idea to put the duck decoys in the fountain. Well everyone loved the decoys floating around so now we have actual ducks in the fountain. (See what I mean about how lame that story is? But no matter, the point is they saw an opportunity and seized it — do you have any of those “happy accidents” in your own business you can capitalize on?)

Remember the point of a good brand is to make yourself memorable to your ideal clients. And a great way to make yourself very memorable is to wrap your brand around an experience.