Livestock

Why you should raise ducks in Zambia

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:

Duck Eggs

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.

ducks

Feeding

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.

Shelter

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.

Water

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.
ducks

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.

6 thoughts on “Why you should raise ducks in Zambia

  1. I’m soon (December 31st 2017) going on my early retirement and I would like to seriously venture into agriculture especially livestock production. I find your articles insightful and I hope to meet you one day. Why are banks not lowering their interest rates to make borrowing cheaper for us upcoming farmers. Let us emulate Kenya and have a cooperative bank to cuter for the needs of small-scale farmers. I stopped producing eggs because the cost feed kept on going up and up and selling price of a tray of eggs was not going up.

    1. Hi Charles,

      Thank you for your feedback. Your retirement is the beginning of a new journey. And hopefully, we’ll get to write an inspiring story about your farming ventures.

      Interest rates are adjusted for expected inflation and other risks. The lower the interest, the more difficult it will be to borrow. Either way, to borrow even from a co-operative, you have to have a source of income. Most Zambian small scale farmers are living from hand to mouth so this too would be a challenge. The best we can do is get started with whatever resources we have and the loan might not even be necessary.

      Sorry about your egg business. Just remember, success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

  2. Good day,
    my name is tommy, i am in congo lubumbashi,
    can you please help me to find :
    – goose or goose eggs
    – best quality duck and duck eggs
    i want to start my breeding but looking since longtimes this bird goose.

  3. Hi friends, am Mathias Milishi. Am in Mwinilunga district North western province of Zambia. Thank you so much for the rich information about farming activities.

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