One of the most popular and lucrative agricultural farming is duck farming. Duck can be raise either for consumption purpose or for commercial purpose. In the world today duck are highly available. Duck meats are seen as one of the good source food. Because of the increase in population in some countries commercial Duck growing has increase drastically.
One good thing about Duck meat is that it commands a good price well above the prices received for chicken. Another thing again about Duck meat is that the meat can be marketed as a fresh meat, also as a frozen meat. Duck meat can also be sold as a part or the full parts.
One thing about Duck farming is that Ducks are raised under a wide variety of conditions which can be rang from a backyard coop for few ducks to housing for large flocks on a commercial duck farm. No matter the category of duck keeping, there are certain basic requirements that must be met if ducks are to remain healthy. One good thing about ducks is that they adapt to a wide range system of care.
One of the major objectives of this book is to enlighten farmers on how to venture into duck rearing.
Different types of Ducks
In Duck farming there are different types of ducks. We are going to look at the different types of ducks.
1. The Muscovy ducks: This particular duck belong to the family of genus Cairina. This particular duck originated from southern American. This particular specie is a multipurpose breed and the meat taste very good. One good thing about this breed is that they are very easy to rear. The size of the male of this breed is 4.5 kg to 5.5kg while the female of the breed is 2.3kg to 2.8 kg. The market age of this breed is 12 weeks. Below is the image of this breed.
The following are ways how Muscovy breeds is different from other breeds:
• Muscovy breeds always goes broody and hatch eggs of other breeds as well as its own.
• Muscovy breed knows how to fly very well, and they perches on roosts and trees.
• Another thing is that if Muscovy breed has already mated with members of its own breed, it will not mate with members of other breeds.
• One thing about Muscovy breed is that the drake, has no curl feathers in his tail, unlike other breeds,
• Muscovy male and female ‘hiss’ they don’t ‘quack’.
• One good thing about this breed is that the meat has a lower fat content than that of other ducks.
2. The Pekin duck: Another type of Duck breed is called the Pekin duck. This particular breed is very good for commercial purpose because of is egg production. One good thing about this breed is that it adapts to confinement and it is also a very good egg producer. This particular breed has a very good meat and flavor. This particular breed market age is just seven weeks. Below is the image of the breed.
3. The Mule Duck: Another breed of Duck is called Mule Duck. This particular breed came from the crossing of Muscovy male and Pekin female. This particular breed is a fast growing breed. Another good thing about this breed is that it produces a good lean meat with a succulent flavor. The market age for this breed is eight weeks. Below is the image of the breed.
Some of the advantage of Duck Farming
Starting a duck farm has a lot of advantages. The following are some of the merits of raising ducks:
1. One thing about Ducks is that they lay more egg per bird per year than chicken.
2. Another good thing about Ducks is that the size of their eggs is larger than hen egg by about 15 to 20 g.
3. On like any other birds Ducks require lesser attention and they thrive very well.
4. Another good advantage of raising Ducks is that Ducks supplements their feed by foraging. Ducks eat grass, insects, snails, earthworms, small fishes and other aquatic materials.
5. If you look at the commercial point of view, Ducks have a longer profitable life. Ducks lay well even in second year.
6. On like any other birds Ducks do not require any elaborate houses to stay.
7. On like other birds Ducks are quite hardy, more easily brooded and more resistant to common avian diseases.
8. Ducks can adapt to any environment whether a marshy river side, wet land or water logged area. Some birds cannot adapt to these environment.
9. Another advantage of raising Ducks is that Ducks lay 95 – 98% of their eggs in the morning before 9.00 am. This will really help in the area of saving a lot of time and labour.
The health of the Duck
One of the character or behavior of a Duck is that they are always alert. Ducks are always alert. One thing about Ducks is that they often waddle around and peck as they investigate the surroundings. One thing again about ducks is that they are resistant to common avian diseases and internal parasites. But if the ducks has stagnant water and overcrowded pond there will be infestation of internal parasites. Some of these parasites are like flukes, round worms and tape worms.
Under normal condition Ducks should appear healthy and show normal behaviors. The following are ways on how you can know a Duck that is healthy.
1. The Duck must have a good posture
2. The Ducks must have a vigorous movements if disturbed
3. The Duck must have a clean and healthy skin
4. The Duck must have a good plumage
5. The Duck must have a well-formed shanks and feet
6. The Duck must be effective when walking
7. The Duck must be active in the area of feeding and drinking
8. The Duck must have a clear, bright eyes.
Feeding the duck is very important. If you want to feed the duck make sure water is available. Before the duck gets to eight weeks make sure there is always feed available for them. If they are now more than eight weeks you can be feeding them 2 times a day. The average consumption a duck of about 20 weeks of age consume is about 12.5 gs of feed. The following is the table chart of their consumption.
Age(week) Feed for week(kg) cumulative feed(kg)
0-1 0.15 0.15
1 0.40 0.55
2 0.75 1.30
3 0.95 2.25
4 1.00 3.25
5 1.30 4.55
6 1.65 6.20
7 1.80 8.00
8 1.60 9.60