Some may look at starting a duck farm as one that may not be encouraging at all, not because of how to start the business but how one can to make it lucrative out of it which is the primary purpose of any business after all.
This shouldn’t be a major concern at all because it is fast becoming a profitable business that requires little capital to start with and many people are now venturing into it.
Yes! It may not be as popular as other poultry birds but as people are beginning to know about ducks especially their eggs that contain more nutrients than that of chicken, they are now of great demand, but how can they get the eggs if there is no duck farm?
Duck farming is less expensive as it does not require elaboration on housing facilities, much care and management. It is important to know what it entails in raising ducks, as some people might be wondering, how possible is it to raise a duck on a farm without water or pond.
In order to kill two birds with one stone, you can construct a small pond in the vicinity of the farm where the fertilization processes can take place.
Below are the necessary simple steps for staring a duck farm:
1. Get a Place for Your Ducks
Get a suitable area for your duck farming. In a case whereby you already have a farm like say, a crop farm, you can combine the both since ducks don’t destroy plants and vegetation like chickens.
As a matter of fact, the duck does start a duck farming do not require much attention on the housing aspect since ducks do not desire a fancy house. In most cases, some of the breeds survive easily on the free-range method.
Since ducks are waterproof domesticated birds, they always desire to be wet as frequent as possible. Again, make sure that the house is lowered to the ground to allow the ducks to enter it with a small ramp.
But if you have a housing facility for your ducks, ensure to provide them with little moisture and lots of airflows in their home since that is exactly what keeps them healthy and happy.
It is advisable to use pallets in constructing the duck house because it provides them with enough airflow and some moisture to survive with.
2. Target a Purpose
While venturing into duck faring, you have to define your targeted purpose for raising the ducks.
You may wish to raise ducks for the sole aim of egg production due to the high demand of the eggs today. Duck eggs serve as a meal just as chicken eggs and as medicine for health consciousness.
Another entrepreneur may want to start a duck farm in other to produce ducklings for sales and supply.
Duck can be raised the same way just as poultry birds. Some people use to think that ducks cannot be raised without water but that is not it at all.
Ducks are raised without water but the egg that will be produced is most likely unfertilized.
For you to raise ducks that will produce fertilized eggs which can be hatched to produce ducklings, male ducks and water are very essential.
3. Get a Particular Breed
There are varieties in breeds of ducks to choose from while venturing into the business of duck farm.
Some of the popular breeds include abacot ranger, Bali duck, Ancona duck, call duck, Khaki Campbell, Rouen duck, crested, welsh harlequin, Pekins, Swedish blue duck, Indian runner duck and Saxony duck among many others.
Among the breeds listed above, Pekin ducks are the most recommended and great backyard duck breed for many reasons.
They are too heavy in weight that they can’t be able to fly which make them good to be on free-range method and their body weight will not allow them to fly to any destination.
They are friendly, a good source of meat and an excellent source of large white duck eggs seen in the market.
Another breed of duck that is preferred over others is khaki Campbell after Pekin. They exhibit similar characteristics but are less weight when compared to Perkins.
4. Start With Few Ducklings
You can start with few ducklings; it lays eggs more than chickens so within a little time frame the duck will be on a large increase.
To make this effective, the number of female ducks should be more than the male for more egg production. A total number of 12 birds are good enough to start up a duck farming business with a ratio of 1:6 as male to female ratio.
5. Young Ducks are Good to Start With
In selecting the birds for the farm, it is also better to start with young ducks because they are better and easily reared so to say, than their adult counterparts.
While making the selection, check their vision, their feather quality and overall health to ensure a healthy duck farming for a start.
It is good to start well with healthy ducks than to start with the ones that are infected with one disease or the other which may lead to their deaths and get you discouraged.
6. Feeding the Ducks
So you can see from the above steps that starting a duck business is simple whether is for small or large scale purpose, but it is not yet complete if we don’t mention its feeding which is one of the priorities such as shelter.
Ducks can feed on little insects and also prefer wet foods to dry ones, seafood is best for them but when not available, other suitable feed supplements should be used for healthy and better egg production.
If you are starting a small scale domestic duck farming, you are likely not to spend much on their feeding as they can feed on kitchen wastes, snails and rice bran.
But the point here is that ducks should be well feed on a daily basis with well-balanced food if you are expecting proper egg and meat production.
7. Duck Mating
Duck mating sessions are extremely very serious business in the duck farm. It is only through mating of male ducks known as drake and female ducks that egg production will be on increase.
And it is when the female ducks are been provided with an adequate environment that they can be able to lay fertilized eggs.
The male ducks have uniquely shaped penises while female ducks have their vaginas that contribute together to their unique mating techniques.
It is important to note that the drakes, male ducks need more than one female duck for mating, so when getting the ducks for your farm use the ratio proportion provided in point 4 above.
Ducks just like other poultry birds can be raised on the farm because they only need the water for mating and reproduction.
8. Consider Getting a Garden Keeper
Ducks are most likely to survive on the free-range method than when they are been put at a place. While they patrol around the yard, they move into gardens to pull bugs from plant to eat which may cause them to step on small plants that are still on seedling stage.
To avoid this happening to your garden plants, it is necessary to consider getting a garden keeper that will keep an eye on them whenever they are in the garden to search for food.
9. Check Your Duck Egg Frequently
Ducks lay eggs for a long period of time than the chicken and it’s usually in the morning or at night. You should ensure to check the farm every morning to collect the eggs so that they don’t match on them.
They do not require much care and management like other poultry birds, so you can collect their eggs in the morning and do other things during the day.
While collecting the eggs, check for the fertilized eggs which are the ones that need to be hatched by the female ducks for reproduction while unfertilized ones will be collected for commercial purpose.
Note that eggs which they lay while on the farm cannot be hatched as they are regarded as “unfertilized egg” which literally means that it cannot be used to produce ducklings.
10. Selling the Products
Engaging in commercial duck farming might come with the question, how can I sell my ducks and its products?
The answer is simple; it can be sold in local and international markets or supplied to stores and restaurants. Again, with much publicity from families and friend, you start making more profit than you can imagine.
Generally, duck farming is on the increasing side nowadays in many countries. Why thinking of the best poultry farm to start, this should come in mind because instead of venturing into the “Almighty popular chicken” farming, duck farming will provide you with a better edge as those engaged in it are currently few.