Introduction: Hello livestock farmers, today we are back with a great guide for Duck Farming Basics, Housing, Feeding for Eggs, Meat. In most parts of the world, duck ranks next to the chicken in terms of egg and meat production and duck farming is a part poultry farming systems. Commercial duck farming is increasing as this business has good potential to earn money especially in egg production. Ducks are hardy birds than chickens and can easily adopt adverse climatic conditions. One can think of starting a commercial duck farming since ducks can feed on agro-industrial wastes, swamp, and marshy areas.
A guide to Duck Farming Basics, Housing, Feeding for Eggs, Meat
However, there is the difference between duck farming and poultry especially in habits and habitats of duck farming in shelter and population. Ducks can be raised for meat and eggs. These hardy birds can also survive in regions where no other agricultural crops could be grown and other livestock raised. Duck farming business is very lucrative and profitable business as there are many duck breeds available around the world.
For commercial duck egg production and breeding, you must have access to a water source for raising ducks. Ducks can survive without water, however, they need the water pond kind thing for fertile egg laying and mating. You must build a pond with water for commercial duck farming. In upcoming section, let us discuss, more about how to raise ducklings and breed management of commercial duck farming and duck rearing systems.
Benefits of Duck Farming
Why should we go for duck farming? Well, there are many advantages of starting a duck farm. Ducks can be raised both on a commercial scale and small scale for production of eggs and meat. Ducks are easy to raise with other animals in your backyard. It is really fun to raise ducklings at your home. The following are some of the advantages of duck raising.
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Steps involved to Start Duck Farming Business
Duck farming housing
You no need to provide expensive shelter and these birds can survive even in huts made with locally available materials. Basically, duck house can be built with low-cost materials.
Dicks Care and Management
As we said earlier these are hardy animals and they can be raised in any adverse conditions. Women and old people can able to manage the duck farm without any problems. Daily care and management are less compared to any other poultry birds.
Proper Management during Egg Collection
You can expect the birds laying eggs only in the early morning and night times, in rear cases in the daytime. There is no need to have a special attention of egg collection.
Space Required Constructing a Duck House
Ducks need less space and their brooding time (sitting on eggs for hatching) is less. Ducklings grow at faster rates compared to other birds. So they occupy less space.
Diseases Resistant Power in Ducks
Ducks are hardy and disease resistant birds. You can find very few diseases in duck farming.
Feed Availability in Duck Raising
Ducks can feed on any edibles. You need to buy expensive feed. They love to eat bugs, snails, fungi, kitchen waste like vegetables, rice. Nutritious feed like corn, legumes, and other grains will increase the egg size and production rate. They can feed on land in the water as well. In India, ducks are fed in paddy fields after the harvest where they can feed on paddy grains. This will result in excellent egg production.
Controlling Bugs in Duck Farming
Ducks are wonderful birds to clear any insects and snails. You can allow them for couple of hours into your backyard or garden to feed on these.
Mortality Percentage of Ducks
The main advantage of duck farming is that they lay eggs for a long time and you find less mortality rate in ducks.
Demand for Ducks Products
There is a huge demand for duck eggs especially in rural areas. People also duck meat after chicken meat. With a proper duck farming business plan, commercial duck farming is a profitable venture.
Local Employment Creation
If you are planning for commercial duck farming business, you need some permanent labor and seasonal labor. It does not require any skilled labor, however, helps in improving the livelihoods of poor.
Duck Farming Basics
Backyard system of duck raising: Under this type of rearing system, inexpensive bamboo baskets are used and after egg collection the ducks, the birds are allowed to feed on an open field and play around any water source.
An extensive system of duck raising: In this system of raising, duck eggs are collected in the morning. The ducks are allowed for outdoor feedings like in paddy fields or any wild waters.
An intensive system of duck raising: In this system of raising, ducks are fed on standard rations during daytime and given the access to water source. It is nothing but stall-fed raising system of ducks. Note the following points for rising Ducks-
Age of first laying in Ducks is 4 months; Egg production per year per one duck is 300 to 320;Body weight of ducks at 40 weeks is 1.5 to 2 Kg; Feed consumption of ducks/day ranges from 150 to 160 grams; Mortality percentage of ducklings (0 to 2 months) is 2.5%; Mortality of adult ducks (5 months to one and half year) is 5 to 6%.
Duck Breeds for Commercial Duck Farming
Some duck breeds are suitable for meat production and some are for egg production. However, there are dual purpose duck breeds as well. Select the proper duck breed based on your business objective.
Duck breeds for Egg Production
The following are the breeds which can be used for breeding especially for Egg production- Indian runner ducks, White and Grayish Indian runner ducks, Khaki Campbell ducks. The Duck breeds for meat production are Maskovi ducks, Aylesbury ducks, Sweden ducks, Ruel Kagua ducks, and Peking ducks. Duck breeds used fordual purpose meat and eggs are Khaki Campbell ducks.
Feed Management in Duck Farming
In commercial egg production of duck farming, feeding is the main task of getting better fertile eggs. You can provide nutritious feed according to duck breeds in your farm. Duck needs large amounts of food than other poultry birds. The number of egg production and duration of the egg production depends on the input feed. They can feed on any edibles, however, for commercial egg production you need to provide minerals/salts along with regular diet. Legume grain feed works very well. The quantity of feed supply depends on breed, bird age, and purpose (egg layers or meat producers).
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Duck Diseases and their Control
These are some common Duck diseases found -Avian Cholera, Colibacillosis, Aspergillosis, Duck virus hepatitis, Duck Plague, Botulism, Castor bean poisoning, Rapeseed meal, Riemerella anti pestiferous Infection, be aware of them and provide medication. Take care that there won’t be any poisonous bean plants, any other food in feeding areas. Castor beans are poisonous for your duck. For symptoms and control measures, contact your veterinary professional.
Requirements to Construct a Duck House in Duck Farming
Ducks need safe and secured housing whether it is intensive or extensive raising system. Build the shelter with any locally available material. Ensure proper cross-ventilation of the house along with fresh air flow.
Each duck requires 2 to 3 square feet of floor area. The house can be built in high, low, dry and wet areas. Ducks like wet and watery areas. Provide both entry and exit points of the house. The duck house should be securely fenced to prevent any external predators like wild dogs, foxes. Housing floor can be built with cement floor with deep littering (paddy husk is good).Make sure to have littering of 5 to 6 inches depth as duck can lay the eggs on the floor.
Costs involved in Duck Farming Business in India
Costs involved in constructing a Duck House- Rs. 50,000
Cost of Ducks used for Breeding – Rs. 20,000
Labor charges – Rs. 15,000
Adequate water supply- Rs. 10,000
Other Charges – Rs. 25.000
Medicines costs – Rs. 30,000
Total costs involved to start a Duck farming business- Rs.1,50,000 in small scale.
Tips follow for Proper Duck Farming Management Basics
It is recommended to use of wire mesh floor during brooding period to prevent from wetness. You should always ensure enough clean water is present in the house. Otherwise ducks may be suffered with pneumonia. Don’t allow newborn ducklings into the water pond at least for 15 days of their birth. You can provide shallow vessels of water in the house. Always keep water vessels on wire plant to avoid wet litter on the floor. As ducks are more sensitive to aflotoxin, eliminate GNC from the feed content.
The feed efficiency in duck farming is the best up to 1 month. Subsequently it starts declining. You can carry the culling from time to time. You should provide enough space for your ducks in the house, avoid overcrowding. Avoid Fungal or mould growth by feeding mesh in smaller amounts 2 to 3 times. When you are ready to market duck eggs, they should be cleaned with soft cloth and stored in egg trays before sending to the market. If you are using any boxes or baskets, place straw at the bottom for cushioning.
That’s all folks about duck farming basics, duck housing, feeding and disease information. You may be interested in Rabbit Farming Business Plan.