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Keeping Ducks As Poultry

Around 20 million ducks are raised every year in the United States. Most of them are raised within the confinement of particular farms for ducks in some commercially vital duck production regions. However, most farms still keep a few flocks for domestic use or community sale. For the sake of this discussion, we will focus on the domestic keeping of ducks in a smaller scale.

Basically, ducks are raised for their meat and eggs. Even though most types are quite poor layers, the flock should be supervised to save the eggs raised for hatching. Most commercial farms raise Peking ducks because they grow fast and are quite good layers. However, Peking ducks are poor settlers and rarely grow a brood or a flock.

Another breed, the Rouen duck is a common farm duck. It grows slower compared to the Peking, but it can attain same growth over a 6 month period of feeding under certain conditions. Its gradual growth and colored plumage make it desirable for marketing production.

Muscovy breed, a variety far related to other breeds, is also raised in some farms. They are great foragers and good for brooding. Male Muscovy is bigger than females in their growth peak.

Meat production is basically important when you select a duck breed. However, egg production for procreation or brooding, and the white plumage that yields a pleasantly dressed duck should be put into consideration.

Raising small, ornate breeds of ducks, sometimes known as bantam ducks, for display or domestic functions is now gaining popularity. The varieties raised as pets include the Black Indie, Wood Ducks, Mandarin and Teal. Many pet shows are featuring duck exhibition for enthusiasts.

Manageable flock of baby ducks may be brooded by chicken hens and most types of ducks other than the Peking and the Runner. If the baby ducks arenít hatched by the mother duck, place them under a mother hen, so that it can be acquainted with the eggs.

If you have some means, you can brood baby ducks artificially similarly as you brood chicks. Since ducks grow faster, they need heat for just a short period of time, and the space needs are minimal.

You can use a small room or a corner of a barn for brooding if you only have a small number of ducks. You should make sure that the brooding area is dry, well lit and ventilated, and free from strong winds. You can cover the floor with thick paper or cloth as litter material. You can also use smooth wood flakes or shavings. Efficient litter supervision includes the taking away of wastes such as wet smudges, and constant addition of dry litter. Make sure that the litter is mold-free.

Heat lamps are a great source of warmth for brooding at least a dozen ducks. You can use a 100-watt lamp for a dozen ducklings. Heat lamps can provide enough warmth. Since the air is not heated, the room temperature is insignificant.

When you raise hover-type brooders, use only at least half as many baby ducks as the recommended chick capacity. Since baby ducks are bigger than chicks, it is important to elevate the hover to 4 inches.


Selected Articles

Raising Pekin Duck
Keeping Ducks: The Mallard Breed
Keeping Call Ducks
Keeping Ducks: Feeding And Behavior
Keeping Crested Ducks
Keeping Cayuga Ducks
Keeping Ducks As Poultry
Keeping Ducks: The Top Duck Breeds
Keeping Ducks As Pets
Keeping Ducks: Frequently Asked Questions
How To Raise Ducks In Your Home
Keeping Black East Indies Ducks
Two Respiratory Diseases Common To Ducks
Keeping Ducks: Pinioning
How To Tell The Difference Between Male And Female Ducks
Keeping Ducks For Meat
Keeping Ducklings
Keeping Ducks: Mating Systems
Keeping Baby Ducks
How To Feed Fully Grown Ducks
Keeping Muscovy Ducks
Keeping Ducks: Breeding
Hatching Baby Ducks
Keeping Ducks For Eggs

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