Know About Raising Ducks
Duck farming worldwide, is like raising chicken for meat which can be a full time specialized business requiring efficiency. The growing commercial market for duck meat is linked with the increasing population of people reverting to healthy meat incorporation in their diet.
The meat command a good price well above chicken and the meat can be marketed fresh, frozen and chilled in whole or parts. Ducks also produce eggs which are not very recognised by some people yet they are the same as chicken eggs and have great nutritional value.
Ducks can be a fun addition to your poultry farming and they are often recognized as the comedians of the poultry world. Ducks are known for their quiet personalities and entertaining antics. You’ll often see them patrolling the backyard for insects and weeds or playing in a grassy area with a large pond or pool.
Ducks can be raised with chickens or separately, like chickens they are easy to keep. For making profit, start out with ducklings because they are easy to care for and they have a slim chance of being infected by bird diseases. Just make sure you select healthy ducks and a breed that can adapt to the new location if purchased from another region or place.
Ducks are raised under a wide variety of conditions, ranging from backyard coop for a few ducks to housing for large flocks on a commercial duck farm. There are certain basic requirements that must be met to maintain healthy ducks regardless of breed you are keeping.
These poultry birds adapt well to a wide range of care on condition that they receive essential basic care which includes the environment they are kept in, shelter from predators and thieves, the availability of pasture and supplementary feed, and many more factors that will aid in healthy ducks.
Housing And Safety Standards
Ducks just like chickens need shelter especially to retire to at night. The environment where ducks are kept in must ensure their well-being and protection from distress and discomfort. Though they are strong birds which make them not to be easily affected by some bird diseases, but they still require practiced proper care.
It is best to keep your ducks where you can watch them easily. So, the place that you choose should be as close as possible to where you live. Look for a place that has shade for your ducks on hot days. There should also be a place for them to go for protection from wind or on days when it is cold or wet. If possible look for a place on your land that has enough of the kinds of food that ducks like to eat. A good place is one near to water where your ducks can easily get to water and where they can swim.
Raising a flock of ducks is only one use for your land, so be careful not to choose a place for them that could be better used for something else, such as planting crops or growing a vegetable garden. Remember, that ducks can live just about anywhere outside as long as they can find enough to eat and drink.
The main reason for building a shelter for your ducks is to keep them safe from enemies at night when they are sleeping. Ducks, especially young ducks, have many enemies. You must be careful to protect them from; dogs, cats, mongoose,rats, snakes and thieves.
Ducks should never have feed without access to water. They may be grown on pellets though they are a tad costly, have distinct advantages such as saving in amount of feed, minimum wastages, saving in labour, convenience and improvement in sanitary conditions.Ducks are good foragers and they will feed in the yard pasture to reduce feed costs.
Starting from ducklings, the feed amount differs and adequate feed is a necessity for your poultry to attain healthy and proper live weight of about 3kg or above .How to raise ducks consumes on average about 12.5 grams of feed up to 20 weeks of age. Afterwards the consumption varies from 120 grams and above per bird per day and depending upon the rate of production and availability of greens.
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Ducks are producers of meat, eggs, dual- purpose and feathers (ornaments).
Let’s look at the categorized breed production;
Meat Duck Breeds – Pekin, Rouen, and Ayelsbury. These breeds reach their harvest weight when they are eight weeks. Give them Purina Duck Feed or Flock Raiser from start to finish for good meat production. Never keep ducks past their harvest time because the meat will become too firm.
Egg Laying Duck Breeds – Magpie, Khaki Campbell, Welsh Harlequin, and Runner. These breeds are known for laying flavourful, nutrient-dense eggs. Feed ducks Purina Flock Raiser or Purina Duck Feed, and for supplementary laying give them Purina Oyster Shell when they are beginning to lay eggs.
Dual-Purpose Duck Breeds – Swedish, Ancona, Orpington, Saxony, and Muscovy. These duck breeds can produce a consistent supply of eggs and their great harvest for meat. Farmers are advised to feed ducks with either Purina Flock Raiser or Purina Duck Feed, and for laying they should be fed Purina Oyster Shells for supplements. Monitor when ducks are beginning to lay then feed the Oyster Shells (Purina brand).
Ornamental Duck Breeds – Crested, Cayuga, and Call Ducks. The feathers are used for ornaments which are feather fans, costume accessories, earrings, boas, flowers, and many more.
After the description of the categorized breeds have been outlines, be sure to know the product you will sell and know your market beforehand.
Diseases And Vaccinations
Like all animals bred for farming, there will be challenges encountered when your animals are not properly cared for and the environment they are bred are conducive for healthy animals.
Whether you are a beginner farmer or commercial farmer, be knowledgeable of all the diseases that affect your animals, beware of all the signs and how to care or treat the diseases.
You may seek advice from another farmer or preferably get the veterinary officers to assess your animals.
Know Your Market
Once your produce has reached its harvesting stage, know who you will sell to and make sure that your consumers will be satisfied with your produce.