How To Breed Ducks

Domestic ducks produce good-sized, rich eggs, taste delicious, can rid your garden of slugs and snails, and are relatively easy to care for.Obtaining information on breeding ducks is the best way to start a small business or hobby.Though they are easy to care for in comparison to other poultry, ducks have a few basic requirements in order to ensure a healthy flock.

Step 1: Do you want to breed ducks?

You can keep ducks as pets, for meat, or as an organic way of controlling pests in the garden.Domestic, dabbling, diving and sea ducks are the main types of duck.Most people choose domestic ducks for their needs.The common Mallard duck is the only duck that is descended from a domestic duck.Non-domestic ducks, or “Wildfowl”, spend a long time on the water and will need their wings pinioned when they are young or else they will fly off.They require a large lake or pond.

Step 2: If you want a pet, consider call, cayuga, pekin,rouen, and muscovy ducks.

All of the breeds make good pets.If you don’t want to upset your neighbors, be careful about getting a call duck.They are small and gray or white, and many people choose them for their smallness of size, but they are good fliers and will need their wings clipped every so often.Cayuga ducks are very quiet and can be hard to find.One of the most popular breeds of ducks are the peckin ducks.They are calm and relaxed.Rouen ducks have the same coloring as mallard ducks and are very calm.Muscovy ducks are quiet and have many different colors.They might need their wings clipped periodically to keep them from flying away.

Step 3: Consider ducks for meat production.

You should look for a breed that matures quickly, produces tasty meat and is heavier.It is easier to get a clean looking carcass from ducks with a white plumage.The Pekin ducks are one of the most popular ducks for meat production because they are ready to butcher at 7 weeks and have a white plumage.At 7 weeks you can expect a 6lb bird, but at 12 weeks they are much bigger and harder to remove.They lay a decent number of eggs in the year, so they are a good general purpose duck.They can be crossed with Aylesburys.Dark meat produced by Muscovy ducks is leaner because of their underdeveloped oil glands.Poor egg producers have their eggs take 35 days to hatch compared to 28 days for good brooders and mothers, so they don’t need an incubator.They can be crossed with Pekin for a good duck but their offspring will be sterile.They must be butchered by 16 weeks of age.Rouen ducks are good meat producers but take a long time to be butchered.The colored feather shafts will make it harder to clean the carcasses.The large size of the Aylesbury ducks makes them a good duck for meat production, but true Aylesburys are very rare and most are rather mixes of Aylesbury and Pekin.The white crested ducks are said to be a mix of two ducks.They aren’t great egg layers.

Step 4: Consider Khaki Campbell or Indian Runner ducks for egg production.

The production levels of egg-laying chicken breeds and ducks can sometimes surpass those of these breeds.Excellent foragers of the Khaki Campbell duck can produce over 300 eggs a year and do not require special care or lighting.They are the main breed used for commercial egg production.Their meat is not usually eaten.The Indian Runner ducks have a running motion.Over 300 blue-tinted eggs can be produced by some strains.They are small and hardy.The Welsh Harlequin duck is a good egg-layer as well as good meat bird and has a placid nature.

Step 5: If you want to biologically control pests, consider Indian Runner, Khaki Campbell, or ducks.

Some ducks are better foragers than others and can cover a large area.The ducks will clean the ponds.Indian Runner ducks are some of the best foragers and have been known to eat flies from the air.They can be used to control pests in fields.They have been used to control pests at an organic wine farm in South Africa.The Khaki Campbell ducks are good foragers.They can control pests on both land and water.Call ducks are smaller than other ducks and will eat smaller prey.

Step 6: Make sure your ducks have access to water.

Domestic ducks don’t need large ponds or lakes, they need a small pool to duck in.They rely on the water to wet and clean their eyes.A small kiddies pool can be used to hold water.The plastic tub will keep the water clean from mud and feathers.The grass will not turn to mud if the plastic tub is moved around.

Step 7: Feed ducks the right way.

The ducks will not grow well if they don’t get the right nutrition.This is true for ducks being used for production of meat or eggs.Some breeds are good at finding food, but still need more feed.The ducks should be fed duck pellets.If you feed chick crumbs they should not be treated.The ducks used for production will need more than one-fourth of their diet to be derived from oats.Egg layers need higher calcium content in their feed to be able to produce eggs.There is a clean source of drinking water close to the feeding areas.It’s better to raise this off the ground so it doesn’t get filled with mud.

Step 8: The ducks should be locked up at night.

At night, ducks should be locked up.The doorway should be wide enough to accommodate the whole flock going in together.This area needs to be well-ventilated.The house should be at least 3.5 feet tall and have four square feet of floor space per duck.If possible, face openings away from the moon or lights at night.If you want to herd ducks indoors at night, place the enclosure against a wall or fence.To keep it clean, use a layer of clean straw as bedding.You should provide nest boxes if you want to collect eggs.It’s easier to find the eggs with these.

Step 9: There are ducks in the garden.

It is important to protect ducks with a fence.The ducks should be kept out of the fence.The heavier meat-Producing ducks cannot jump very high but some of the lighter breeds can get up to 6 feet in the air.The same enclosure can be used for ducks and chickens.There are different breeds of duck that can be kept together, but be careful when keeping the smaller breeds with a male of a bigger breed because he can hurt the ducks.

Step 10: You should do research on your breed.

Different breeds have different sizes, conformations, egg production rates, fertility, hatchability, feed consumption and productive lifetimes.To find the expected characteristics of your ducks, research your breed.

Step 11: There is a system of identification for ducks.

Track your ducks with proper identification.Wing or leg bands can be used to mark individual ducks in a small group.

Step 12: Use traps to record when eggs are laid.

The trap nest is designed so that ducks can’t come out until they are released.You can record the duck’s identity and whether or not it laid an egg.

Step 13: There is a record of individual ducks.

Keep track of the number of eggs a duck lays, the amount of ducklings hatched by a particular duck, and the age of those ducklings when they reached suitable weight for slaughter.Selecting the most productive ducks to breed for production will be aided by this information.

Step 14: Choose ducks according to their breed.

They should have sound bones, straight toes, and well-fitting scales on their feet.There should be no crooked breast bones or split wings.

Step 15: Young and vigorous breeders should be chosen.

Younger ducks have bright colors on their legs and bills, as well as a soft and easily damaged windpipe.Older ducks have a hard breastbone and have dull legs.They should not have been treated for diseases.According to the breed, healthy breeders have thick sleek feathers, bright eyes, dry nostrils and plentiful tail furnishings.

Step 16: The breeders you choose should be based on their weight.

Weight is the main factor when selecting breeders.Do not allow ducks with defects to mate.The number of eggs laid and hatched should be taken into account after weight.

Step 17: The correct ratio of drakes to ducks is kept.

You will need to research the breed of ducks.The Muscovy and other meat production breeds usually have a ratio of one drake to five ducks.The Khaki Campbell and Indian Runner have a maximum ratio of one drake to ten ducks.Keeping too many drakes with too few females can cause injury to the females.The size difference between the drake and ducks can cause injury if you attempt to cross breed.During the breeding season, if you have too many drakes, you can keep them in a separate pen.If you choose, you can mate ducks.There are too many drakes and not enough space for females.

Step 18: Time between generations should be minimized.

To achieve the greatest genetic progress, you should mate young animals.Drakes and ducks are best for breeding, but don’t mate birds younger than 6 months old.

Step 19: Know the season.

The typical breeding season for ducks is late winter through spring and early summer.The most likely time for your ducks to lay eggs is this time of year.Mating behavior will include head bobbing, neck biting, and mounting by the male.

Step 20: It’s a good idea to watch for mixing breeds.

Any other duck, including those of different breeds, will usually mate with a duck.If you want to create crosses that are different, you need to keep different breeds separate.If you don’t want your ducks mixing, then you should separate them during the breeding season.mule ducks will be produced by Muscovy ducks.Mule ducks can be good meat producers.Domestic ducks will not be sterile.

Step 21: The number of birds to be in a relationship.

The number of ducklings you want to produce will affect this.One duck can produce 100 ducklings per season for most breeds.When you have less birds being housed together, you will get better results.Mass mating is required for economic reasons.

Step 22: After two weeks, collect eggs for hatching.

This will allow the ducks time to mate and result in high fertility in the eggs.It gives the ducks and drakes time to find a mate.

Step 23: The eggs should be collected daily to make them as clean as possible.

Store eggs in a location that is not cold and turn them once a day to prevent the shell from sticking to it.They can be kept for 7 to 10 days.It is better to have all of them at the same time.

Step 24: An incubator is needed for fertilized eggs.

If you don’t have the instructions for your incubator, you might be able to find them online.The incubator should be set to 99.5 degrees with a humidity of 86%.Put the eggs inside the incubator for a day or two.It is important to check that it is keeping an even temperature.It is possible to maintain humidity by filling the water pans on the incubator.Every time you turn the eggs, you can spray them with water.Muscovy ducks are good brooders and mothers.They are easier to manage and breed.

Step 25: The eggs should be turned at least three times per day.

Eggs have to be turned.If you don’t turn them automatically, they will be turned on an odd number of times per day.During the first week, turning is the most critical.As often as you can, turn them.

Step 26: After a week, check for fertility.

If your eggs are fertile, use the candling technique to remove non-fertile eggs.Get a small flashlight to illuminate the room.Wrap your hand around the meeting place to keep the light out of your eyes.The egg is most likely alive if you see clear veins.Remove any eggs that are not alive if you candling once per week.

Step 27: For around 28 days, incubate.

Different breeds take different times to grow.The Mallards will take about 27 days, the Runners take 28.6 days and the Muscovies take 35 days.The other breeds will take around 28 days.

Step 28: Don’t get in the way of the hatching process.

The hatching process can take up to 3 days and the ducklings may stay in the shell for an extra day or two to absorb the yolk so be patient and do not worry.Call ducks don’t like cracking through their shells.If you think your duckling needs a little help, then you need to be very careful and use tweezers to create a small hole in the shell.Stop if you see any bleeding.

Step 29: The ducklings should be kept in the incubator for twelve hours after hatching.

This allows time for the other eggs to hatch undisturbed if they haven’t hatched yet.Newly hatched ducklings will be wobbly but this is normal.

Step 30: The ducklings should be moved to a brooder.

The plastic container has a small enclosure.For the first few weeks of a young bird’s life, a shielded 250 watt bulb should be used.They don’t need a heat lamp in week three.You should move the lamp closer if they arehuddling together under it.The lamp is too hot if they move away from it.It’s time to remove the lamp when they stop sleeping.

Step 31: For the first three days, leave the ducklings alone.

The ducklings should not follow anyone for the first three days.They can cause problems later if they imprint too much on you.

Step 32: Food and water should be provided.

It is important to provide a drinker that is deep enough for the duckling to submerge its nostrils to clean them but not so deep that it can drown.You can provide starter crumbs from your feed shop after the first 24 hours.Growers pellet after ten days on starter crumbs.If your duckling is weak, try giving it a little boiled yolk.It can help it start to eat.If you feed an adult, you can switch the ducklings to normal pellets after 16 weeks.If you want your ducklings to swim, you need to make sure they don’t drown.ducklings don’t yet produce the oil on their feathers that protects them from the cold so the water must be warm.Mother ducks would apply oil to their ducklings.

Step 33: Allow your ducks to be raised for their intended use.

You can continue to raise your ducks whether you are keeping them as pets, for meat production, egg production or as biological pest controllers.When they are around 6 weeks old, you can move them outside.Before they are moved outside, they should lose their feathers.When moving ducklings outside, be careful because they can easily be carried off by a predator.