Raising ducks is different than raising chickens, although you can be successful raising ducks and chickens together. Therefore, during the short days between September and April, laying birds need supplemental lighting in most areas of the Northern Hemisphere. In our backyard, we use a couple of different sources—an automatic waterer, a sheep dip for daily baths and an oversized kiddie pool for the occasional swim treat. Notify me via e-mail if anyone answers my comment. In summer, they keep cool by splashing in a pond or pool, or by simply laying in the shade. Knowing how you plan to raise your ducks will help you identify the breeds most suited to your homestead dream. High-producing ducks need a constant supply of reasonably clean drinking water. You don’t need a male duck (called a drake) for the females to lay eggs, but they won’t ever hatch into ducklings without … The meat is on the leaner side, as far as duck meat goes. In Storey’s Guide to Raising Ducks, Dave Holderread says “ducks can be raised successfully without water for swimming.” Nonetheless, ducks are waterfowl and still need plenty of water for drinking, bathing and playing. Pekin ducks are good seasonal layers of jumbo-sized eggs, but due to their large size and corresponding hearty appetites, they require nearly twice as much feed to produce a pound of eggs when compared to the above-mentioned breeds. In fact, it seems that they are happiest with a shelter and areas to explore. A diet that is high in energy, low in fiber and supplemented with ample of protein is considered ideal and wholesome to ensure the upward and steady growth of Ducks. Your email address will not be published. Kale, romaine, lettuce, they love it all, but spinach is not recommended as it can hinder calcium absorption. When you raise ducks, they have the ability to lay more eggs than geese and they are good sources of meat. Some breeds are known as "weeder geese", and depending on the crop you are raising, they can be turned loose in the garden to eat the weed grass that grows there. Runners are bred in a rainbow of colors, including White, Fawn and White, Penciled, Solid Fawn, Black, Blue, Chocolate, Buff and Gray. Once you have made the decision that you must have ducks, the easiest way to get started is to buy a few ducklings at your local feed store in springtime. Despite all the attention chickens received, it’s unusual for a commercial flock of Leghorns to average over 250 to 280 eggs per hen in a year’s time. For ducks in general, a windbreak that is bedded on the protected side with dry litter usually provides sufficient protection in areas where temperatures occasionally drop to 0º F. However, for laying ducks, feed conversion and egg yields can be improved if ducks are housed at nighttime whenever temperatures regularly fall more than 5º to 10º F below the freezing level. Relatively few people in the Americas realize that, on the whole, ducks are more proficient layers than chickens. The first method ensures that the ducks are never deprived of feed, while the second system helps prevent feed loss to rodents and encourages the fowl to forage during the day. This post may contain affiliate links. “But aren’t duck eggs strong-flavored?” is a common question. As your ducklings become mature, adult ducks, you’ll move them off of chick starter feed and and start feeding your ducks grower chicken feed—you probably won’t be able to find duck feed. To keep ducks laying the year around, they must be supplied an adequate amount of laying feed that provides a minimum of 15 to 16% crude protein. I go through everything from having a water container to keep the brooder cleaner to building a duck coop outside using hardware cloth and tarps. They will gladly take any herbs you have to share with them: oregano, mint, dill or basil. You are probably familiar with watching a momma duck and her many little babies swimming happily behind. Both the number and size of eggs will suffer if birds are frequently allowed to go thirsty.Water containers do not need to be elaborate, although I do suggest that they be at least four to six inches deep to permit the ducks to clean their bills and eyes. How to Raise Ducks in the Backyard: A Duck Farming Guide for Beginners | David Josephson | ISBN: 9781719964852 | Kostenloser Versand für alle Bücher mit Versand und Verkauf duch Amazon. If ducks are what you want, they will somehow find you. I wrote down a few … Small flock owners often ignore this requirement and end up being disappointed with their birds’ performance. You might also want to keep in mind that feed stuffs such as corn and dehydrated or fresh greens cause bright-colored yolks, while wheat, oats and barley result in pale yolks. You can supplement this with grains as well as letting your ducks forage. Keeping Backyard Ducks. Click this link:\r\r\rThis video is almost an hour of raising ducks from a few days old until 6 months old. I usually let my ducklings enjoy their first bath three days after hatching. They are a cost-effective way of insect control, and they will avoid most vegetables, unlike chickens, but strawberries may just be too hard to resist – just a word of caution. Dave Holderread is the author of several books including Storey’s Guide to Raising Ducks and The Book of Geese, a Complete Guide to Raising the Home Flock, available from the Backyard Poultry bookstore, see page 16. And yes, you can even raise them in small spaces. How to raise ducks in your backyard starts with duck breed selection. This breed often reaches six to seven pounds in less than 10 weeks – making them one of the most popular ducks due to their rapid rate of growth. Why Do People Raise Ducks. On various occasions, we have refrigerated well-cleaned duck eggs for four months and longer with no detectable change in flavor. In areas where thieves such as weasels, raccoons and large owls are known to roam, it is much safer to lock ducks in a varmint-proof building or pen at nightfall. WATER Ducks need to keep the membranes in their nostrils moist at all times, so as they grow they will need successively deeper water bowls so they can submerge their entire bill. Your ducklings will love playing in water. Mature weights of the ducks and drakes are similar to that of Campbells — in the four- to five-pound range. Ducks usually need nutritious food regularly to be healthy, happy and contended. They also help to boost our immune systems and metabolism, as they aid in strengthening our bones. When ducks are housed only at night, a minimum of three to five square feet of floor space per duck is recommended. Because ducks roost on the ground at night, they are susceptible to predators. 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