Basics of Duck Farming
Duck farming is very popular and absolutely a lucrative business. Ducks are highly available around the world. There are numerous meat and egg productive duck breeds available throughout the world. All the present domestic ducks around the glove come from the wild birds. All hen of the world comes from red wild hen. You might know that, ducks are aquatic organism.
Some people think that, duck without water and pond are the same.
Even, some people think, ducks can’t live without water. But it’s totally wrong.
Thousands of ducks can be raised without water by keeping them inside house, in the same way you raise chickens or other types of poultry birds. But, in case of raising ducks without water ‘your ducks will lay unfertilized egg’. If you want fertile eggs, male ducks and water are essential. They just need water for reproduction or mating purposes.
Advantages - Duck Farming
- Ducks need less expensive, simple and non-elaborate housing facilities. As a result low housing cost.
- Ducks are very hardy bird and they need less care or management.
- They lay eggs either at night or in the morning. So you can collect their fresh eggs every morning.
- Comparatively less space require for raising ducks. Ducks have comparatively shorter brooding period and ducklings grow faster. Ducklings grow so fast that, you can dispense artificial heat within their 5 to 7 days. Although they will require a little longer heating period during cold months.
- Ducks are highly resistant to the common avian diseases.
- You can feed your ducks with a wide variety of foods. A duck’s regular food includes cassava, copra, corn, rice, fruits and any other low cost and easily available foods. They also have the natural tendency of foraging on aquatic weeds, algae, green legumes, fungi, earthworms, maggots, snails, various types of insects etc. which directly reduce feeding cost.
- You can also use your ducks for controlling apple snails or some other harmful insects from your garden.
- Ducks have less mortality rate and usually they live longer than chickens. In case of egg production, ducks lay eggs for a long time period.
- Duck products such as eggs and meat have a great demand in the local and international market.
- Duck farming business can also be a stable employment source. Young unemployed educated people can join this business and make their own employment source.
Ducks generally eat almost all types of food they find edible. You can feed your ducks like chickens. As some ducks lay more eggs than hens, so you have to be very careful about feeding your ducks. Add necessary nutrient elements in their diet. Always provide your ducks nutritious feed according to the various types of duck breeds and their growth rate. For small scale or domestic duck farming, you can feed your ducks rich bran, kitchen waste and a plenty of snails. Always keep in mind
Housing - Duck Farming
The main advantages of duck farming is their simple accommodation. Making a duck house is very easy. You can keep your ducks in low, high, wet, dry and any other places. Ducks like watery and wet place to live.
You can easily make a suitable place for your ducks by using a big fruit basket, wood-speech or oil drum. Just put these in a suitable place. Always make a door for entrancing and exiting, wherever you keep the ducks.
The door need to be high enough. Because duck enter inside the house raising their head higher. Their house must have to be well ventilated and you have to ensure sufficient flow of fresh air inside the house.
Usually each duck will require 2 to 3 square feet flooring space. You also have to be ensure the safety of your ducks.
Keep them free from all types of harmful animals or predators, especially from fox and dog.
If you want to keep your ducks like chickens, in a concrete floored house, then you have to make a deep liter inside the house. And it will be better if the litter depth between 5-6 inches. In this system, your ducks will lay eggs on the floor.
Water is a must for breeding purpose. Usually ducks don’t mate without water. One male duck is sufficient for breeding 10 female ducks. Usually high quality and productive duck breeds start laying eggs at their five months of age. Each egg weights about 50 to 60 grams.
You can use hens for hatching the eggs, instead of ducks. Do not keep the newly born ducklings in water during their first week, after birth. Because they can get cold if you allow them to water.
Usually duck eggs take about 28 days to hatch. During the hatching period, sprinkle the eggs with water occasionally (two or three times per week). You can use both electronic or diesel incubators for hatching their eggs. But many farmer prefer hens than incubator for hatching.
Marketing - Eggs and Meat
Marketing duck products (egg and meat) is very easy. People all over the world like duck egg and meat from the ancient time. In some areas, people like duck eggs and meat more than chicken meat or eggs.
Duck eggs are usually larger in size than chicken eggs. In some areas duck meat is less popular than their eggs. However, there is no tension about the marketing of ducks eggs and meat.
You can try to determine the demand of duck products in your local market.