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.

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.

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.