Duck farming is also a part of poultry farming but differs in habits, shelter and population. Ducks are ranked closed to chicken by many countries of the world in regards to meat and egg production.
They are domesticated for meat, egg and as pet so they have varieties of uses. To rear duck successfully, you have to understand the correct methods to use in other to make it a profitable venture. Ducks are mostly aquatic type of birds but smaller than Swan and Geese. Duck meat and eggs are consumed all over they world.
In Nigeria their consumption is not as popular as chicken and turkey but is gaining popularity since it is equally nutritious and rich in nutrients as other well known consumable birds. I never liked ducks until I discovered they can provide good money when reared.
To me just like many other people see ducks as dirty animals because they can mesh in any water including dirty smelly stagnant water and eat from there as well.
But now that duck can be confined in one place and be reared just like poultry it calls for necessary attention from investors and agriculture sector for good investment and awareness.
Why you should start Duck Farming
Another alternative to chicken farming is duck farming. Duck meat productions and egg productions are close to that of chicken.
Ducks can adapt to any environmental conditions as such required less care and management when compared to other birds like chicken.
They need simple and less expensive housing facilities. Good for you that is going into commercial duck farming business because the cost for setting it up will not be much.
Duck lay eggs in the morning or at night and you can pick the eggs at ones maybe in the morning and still go about your other business for the day.
Duckling grows very fast. You can dispense artificial heat within 5-7 days although during cold season their heating period will be long. They have shorter brooding period and need less space for brooding.
You can feed them with different variety of food, thereby reducing their feeding cost. They can control insects in your farm by feeding on them.
Ducks are stronger than chicken and can lay eggs for a longer time, they have less death rate.
It is a source of income and food.
DIFFERENT SYSTEMS IN DUCK FARMING
There are 3 different systems in duck farming, intensive, extensive and backyard farming. If you have plenty money you can go for intensive system of farming it will help in growing the duckling fast.
Extensive system of duck farming.
It is a system whereby ducks are kept in confinements and also allowed to move about. It is different from other systems because duck eggs are collected in the morning. Ducks are allowed to wander outside for food. Free range; birds are provided with shelter but also have access to outdoor range
Backyard system of duck farming:
Ducks are allowed to feed in open field and bath in water,. Bamboo and cheap materials are prepared for them to lay eggs after the eggs they will be allowed to go back to their feeding habit.
Intensive System of Duck Farming
Indoor range birds are given special formulated meals and water Intensive system: ducks are fed by rationing during the day with feeds and water.
Ducks do not have special foods they eat but feed on same thing like other birds example chicken feed. They eat a variety of food such as; insects, amphibians, worms, fish, aquatic plants, mollusca and grasses.
Ducklings should be kept in a brooder and fed with kitchen wastes and chicken mash immediately they are hatch especially if you are into commercial duck farming. When ducklings are 0 to 14 days they are as fragile as chicks. Because they make plenty mesh with water than chicks; as a result become very wet. When ducks are wet they get drown even when there is no pool.
Brooding is the best option at this stage. After 14 days create a large space for them because they move in one direction and can crush each other if there is any obstacle on the way. But from one month they become very strong and heady.
If you are going into commercial duck breeding you should know the breeds that are suitable for egg production and the ones for meat production although there are also some breeds that are suitable for both meat and egg production. Chose your duck according to the kind of breed you want for business.
- Egg production duck breeds
- Meat production duck breeds
- Dual purpose duck breeds for both meat and egg production.
DUCK BREEDS FOR BOTH EGG AND MEAT PRODUCTION
Khaki Campbell ducks
DUCK BREEDS FOR EGG PRODUCTION
White and Grayish Indian runner duck
Indian runner duck
DUCK BREEDS FOR MEAT PRODUCTION
Peking duck, many people are also looking for how to start Peking duck farming, it is done the same like any other duck farming.
Maskovi duck very popular in Nigeria and are considered as local duck.
Ruel Kagua duck
DUCK HOUSING REQUIREMENTS
It is very easy to make a duck house, ducks can be raised in a high, low, wet or dry area. Ducks like wet or water areas. You can use theses available materials to make housing for your duck; oil drum, wooden basket that is large. Just like chicken housing, duck housing has to be very airy and well ventilated. The ideal flooring space for each duck should be 2 to 3 square feet.
Safety in Duck Farming
For your duck safety make sure you block all the places predators can easily enter the pens for example snakes and dog can feed on eggs. It may be interesting to know that you can build your duck house with concrete like that of chicken but you have to make a deep liter inside the house. The liter depth can be between 5-6 inches so that your duck can lay eggs on the floor.
The most important part of duck farming is breed selection. Duck can easily breed with availability of water, food, shelter and good management. One male can take care of 10 female ducks for mating, duck will not mate in the absence of water, so water is very important if they must mate. Duck will start producing at 5 months if the breeds are of high quality, their eggs weighs about 50-60g.
And their eggs takes about 28 days to hatch.Splash water frequently on the eggs during hatching time, 2-3 times weekly. Do you know that you can use hen to hatch the eggs instead of the ducks, after hatching don’t put the ducklings in water in the first week. This is to avoid making the ducklings catch cold. If you like you can use electronic or diesel incubators to hatch the eggs. Duck eggs are very safe to eat by man and are good for baking, especially the free range yolks that are richer in quality.
Some people complain that their ducks are more than 5 months without breeding or that they lay eggs which they never hatch. Add this to your archive, if you don’t provide water for them to play and mesh they can never mate. Ducks don’t hatch their eggs so provide either incubator in the case of large scale commercial duck farming or hen in case of small scale duck farming. Some people rear ducks alongside chicken so they can benefit from their service.
To store the eggs you can use refrigerator, lime water, or actinon glass.
Sometimes when chicks are at their tender age it s difficult to determine their sex on appearance but to know the sex of a duckling you have to do a few things. Raise up the tail of each duckling and press the ass if there is anything like thorn that means it is a male duckling. But if there is nothing like that is found then it is likely a female duckling. You can also use tail feathers to determine their sex in fact it is the easiest way to know the sex of a duckling. When the feathers at the tail side of a duckling curl up then it is a male duckling.
Add more additives to duck feeds because some ducks lay more eggs than chicken. Duck consume a whole lot of food on daily basis. So feed them well with balanced nutrients for proper egg and meat production. For small scale duck farming give them foods that are available maybe enough kitchen waste, bran and snails.
Profits in Duck Farming
Duck lay plenty of eggs assuming you start by rearing 6 ducklings within a year you can getup to 200 ducks. How much will spend in feeding and buying te ducklings. A Day old duckling is #800 while four weeks is #1500, and a mature duck is #3000
The water containers should be made difficult for the ducks to climb inside because they like splashing water a lot and can wet their coop in the process.
If you are into pawpaw farming you can introduce duck farming into it and make plenty money by spending less on feeding. Duck like ripe pawpaw very well, so instead of throwing away any unsold pawpaw or if you have any left over you can feed them to your ducks.
Diseases in Duck Farming
Ducks are very resilient and are not affected by bird diseases like chicken and turkey but proper management has to be observed. You hardly will hear that duck is hit by Avian disease.
Although there are some people who frown at duck meat but so many also prefer duck meat and egg, however, you have to identify your target market. Sincerely, you will be the one to create market for your duck. You can sell the eggs to caterers or market traders, and sell ducklings to other farmers. And sell matured ducks to consumers and food vendors.
Before taking duck eggs to the market for sale, clean the eggs shell very well with sand paper, towel or knife. Use crate to carry the eggs just like chicken eggs. Other things to use are; egg basket, wooden box and bamboo basket they are very good for transporting the eggs from one place to another.
Peculiarity of ducks
Ducks bodies are covered with feathers as such water cannot penetrate directly into their bodies. They have layers of fat beneath their skin called web that works like the paddle found in a boat. Some species of duck use nails for defence and their fingers terminate as nails. Duck has a strong orange or red colour which the use in eating hard things example hard snail, fish eggs, insects etc.
They are very intelligent, you can observe their activities on your leisure time, very interesting to behold,.duck farming for meat, duck farming housing, duck farming guide for beginners, duck farming plan.
Duck farming is also very profitable like any other poultry you can think of, it is very easy and less expensive to rear ducks. This is because they can feed on any food around their environment. Since duck popularity is growing many people are now consumption their products there is no need to be afraid of their marketing.
If you are into semi intensive or intensive duck farming you need alfalfa plants to grow them fast, strong and of quality. Order alfalfa seeds from us. 100g is #3,000