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Keeping Ducks: Frequently Asked Questions

Why raise ducks?

Basically, ducks are raised for commercial purposes. There are around 1 million duck farmers presently around the United States, and they are the main source for supply in the US market for duck meat. Ducks are also raised for their eggs, but they are not on a large-scale since ducks are not good layers as compared to chickens. Campbell ducks are copious layers but they are small so you canít get enough meat from a single duck.

Domestic duck keeping is gaining popularity as well. Most people find it relaxing when they watch a flock of ducks swimming through a small pond in their garden. Ornamental ducks, also called bantam ducks, are raised as pets. However, they are still edible.

Can you raise duck if you donít have a farm?

Of course you can. If you have a spacious room or a place that is dry, well-ventilated and free from predators, you can start raising ducks for family or domestic purposes. If you want to raise baby ducks as pets, you can get a shoebox Ė the size depends on the number of ducks you have. Some people in suburban areas now have pet ducks.

Do I need a pond to keep ducks?

No, you donít need a pond. Your ducks will grow healthy even if they donít swim in a pond. However, they will be happier when they can swim. You can use a plastic pool for their artificial pond. Many have found these to be very relaxing and a great addition to their yards.

How many eggs does a mother hen lay?

During their first year, layer ducks can lay at least one egg a day. After the succeeding seasons, the rate of egg-laying gradually decreases. If you raise ducks in a suburban home, you canít keep all of the eggs. If you decide to let them hatch, their number will increase to an unmanageable rate. Better, you can give them to your neighbors or your friend who also want to raise ducks from egg to adults.

Do hens need a drake (male duck) to lay eggs?

No, unless you are raising a duck farm. A drake is only needed to fertilize the eggs, but Ė just as with any other kind of poultry animals Ė the hens will lay eggs whether or not there is a drake.

Are duck eggs like chicken eggs?

They are similar, but they are not exactly alike of course. The size of duck eggs vary according to their breeds. Some eggs have the same size, while some are smaller. When you cook duck eggs, they are a bit creamier than chicken eggs and have a richer flavor.

Can I raise ducks with my usual pets such as dogs and cats?

Naturally, cats and dogs are predators. So, they will chase, even eat, your pet ducks. However, if your cats or dogs are trained, they will learn not to harm the ducks if you tell them not to do so.


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