Beginners guide to Duck Farming.
One of the lucrative poultry and livestock businesses is Duck farming. Duck Farming the culturing, rearing, adequate feeding and proper housing of Ducks for the production of eggs and meat. These are what the farmers sell to make their own income.
This is not your regular chicken and turkey poultry farming, it is something definitely more peculiar than that. Ducks are simple and friendly animals. They are easy to read with low capital and the business is easy to adapt to in Nigeria.
Many won’t tell you that they eat ducks eggs or meat until you start your own business advertisement and they patronize you.
Duck Farming is a business that should be adopted a lot in Nigeria. However, there is too much pressure on the common poultry birds that we forget that others are there with extreme production. If you think duck is a dirty animal, then you are wrong. It is only the effect of the farmers leaving them to graze about without monitoring them. Ducks are unique in their own simple ways.
They survive in both water and land and a few animals do that. Another thing is that they don’t behave like other birds which serve as pests to crops. You can read them within the vicinity of a crop farm and you won’t have any reason to regret.
While most poultry birds can be reared on a free range level, some can not be left independent as ducks. This is because ducks can adapt anywhere, feed themselves and come back to their housing later in the day. They can eat insects, cockroaches, fibers etc. without incurring any digestion issues.
A Step by Step Guide to Duck Farming
Choosing Breeds for Duck Farming
There are several kinds of Duck breeds or varieties in Nigeria. Some are specially reared for their eggs , while others for their meat. Even though they have those reared for both meat and eggs. If your purpose of rearing birds is one or both, then there are breeds you should target. Not all breeds will give you maximum returns for eggs, if your purpose is rearing ducks for eggs, and vice versa. Muscovy is one variety that is reared for their meat and they are fast and growing.
Also, The Khaki Campbell and Indian runners duck will produce up to 100 eggs per year and a maximum amount of meat production. However, this is not the only factors to look out for. Check out the health of that breed, how strong and healthy the feathers are and look at the birds’ vision. All of this must be intact and at the highest level to prevent issues when you finally start rearing your ducks.
Hatching in Duck Farming
If you have chosen your breeds, then you should expect them to start laying eggs by the 5th month. This is what will differentiate them from other breeds that weren’t mentioned in this article. I’m not discrediting other breeds but just to be careful. So, after your ducks have started laying eggs, the next process is hatching. The eggs are hatched within 4 weeks after it has been laid.
During this period, sprinkle water on the eggs every day until it hatches. The ducks can do this themselves but if you have a large scale duck business, then you can choose to go for the incubation method in order to avoid some getting damaged.
If you are rearing ducks and hens at the same poultry, they can also help with the incubation. Finally make sure that you are feeding this ducks properly and adequately with nutritious feeds. You can always live them to graze for themselves and still come back. Then you Feed them with highly nutritious supplements to ascertain balanced diets.
Brooding in Duck Farming
During the growth of the ducklings, they need adequate temperature that falls within a specific range. Although this is unspecified because it changes as they grow. However, the mother ducks can easily carry out this brooding process. However, if you have a large scale duck farming Business, then this is not the best way to look at things because these Ducks have too many eggs. But with a mechanical brooder, you can manage the temperature and supply heat of these ducklings for them to grow faster.
Housing & Care for Duck Farming
There are several factors that determine what an adequate duck will need for housing. If all of this is not satisfied, this might have a side effect on the ducks later on. Firstly, you need to make sure that there is an availability of water in the house. This is because ducks are normally aquatic but survive easily on land as well. They need water for most activities including mating and hatching of eggs.
Also, they need water to be clean, you can’t leave your duck without making it clean. Their eyes need enough water to keep dirt and dust away and this is what you should specifically avoid by providing a clean pool of water to wash off or else they might lose their vision and become blind. Another important point is spacing and security.
People spacing is needed in farm animals. You can’t just pack them together without leaving them to move about. Make sure that house is safe enough for the ducks. You don’t want to open your ducks to predators and lose them after fending for them.
Finally, a duck house must not be higher than the ground or sloppy. Ducks are animals that move in straight lines and you don’t expect them to jump up to enter their house. Selling Your ducks. Some areas in Nigeria don’t value ducks, duck farming and duck yields.
Sincerely, I won’t market to those people. Instead, I will go directly to those that need my services to grow. If you are selling eggs. Clean them properly and carefully using a soft towel. Package them in a crate or cartons before taking them to the market.