If you’re a small scale farmer in Zambia, you’re probably familiar with raising ducks. Just like chicken and turkey, duck meat is a good source of food and income.There are so many different breeds of ducks.
But, there are three common and popular breeds in raising ducks for resale. These are the Pekin, Rouen and Muscovy. Of these three, it is safe to assume that the Pekin is the most popular.
Advantages of raising ducks
Ducks require very low maintenance. Furthermore, they thrive on the same foods as chickens, but they will graze and forage for most of their own food than chickens. This obviously means less work for you.
They are also great for your fields. They relentlessly hunt for pests, especially those that can destroy your tomato plants. Also, they lay more than most heritage breed chickens.
If you’re planning to raise ducks, here are a few pointers that could help you:
A duck egg can be used for anything a chicken egg would. The eggs are larger and therefore have thicker whites and proportionately larger yolks than chicken eggs. Chefs in particular use duck eggs in their cuisine. A market for your eggs.
Water helps ducks get their food down and clean beak vents. So, never feed your ducks without water. Also, always give baby ducks access to water for at least an hour before feeding. It’s recommended to use chick starter with 20% protein for the first 10 weeks, switching to a 15% grower weeks 10-18, and a 16% layer after 18 weeks.
Ducklings have no teeth but appreciate finely chopped fruits, vegetables and greens. They also like small insects and worms make good treats, as well.
Since ducklings eat more than chicks, they can eat chick starter, but should only be fed non-medicated feed. And, since they require more niacin than chicks, add brewers yeast to their feed to aid in bone development as they grow.
This shouldn’t just be an escape from predators and the elements, ducks need shelter to provide quiet and seclusion. The shelter should be well ventilated and large enough that your ducks can fully expand their wings and groom.
Ducks like to stay around a good source of food, water and shelter.They produce waterproofing oil after about 4 weeks of age.So, avoid swimming your ducks too early. Ducklings in particular need a ready source of clean water.The water should not be more than 1 cm deep.
The ducks should be ready for slaughter in an estimate of seven weeks. Raising ducks could be a rewarding choice in the long run. It could also be a start of a new business venture or a new hobby that can provide food and income in the years to come.