Here is how to start a commercial duck farming business. Ducks are farmed for their delicious meat and eggs. The business is very lucrative and easy to accomplish. The meat, eggs are in high demand and appropriately priced.
There are many advantages to duck breeding and practicable large and small scale. The amount of investment depends on the size and scope of the enterprise and less expensive than poultry farming.
Housing is basic and the birds are hardy and require low management. The birds adapt easily to the environment, require less space for growing and have shorter brooding period.
The birds grow fast in housing environment especially when fed nutritious food. Other traits are resistance to diseases and they eat a variety of food. The birds live long and attract good prices for their meat and eggs.
How to Start a Commercial Duck Farming Business
Duckling mortality is 3% while adult duck mortality is 6%. They start laying eggs at 4 months, egg production is 300 a year. An adult duck weight about 1.5kg, average consumption 150g.
Hens start laying in 4 months and attain full maturity in 6 months. Breeding requirement is in a ratio of 1:10 (one male, ten female), eggs weigh about 55g.
Provide adequate space, avoid overcrowding and use locally material to build a simple shelter. Use security wire around perimeter fence and don’t forget to use deep litter in bird’s house.
1. Duckling mortality is 3%
- Adult duck mortality is 6%
- Lay eggs at 4 months
- Egg production is 300 a year
- Adult duck weight about 1.5 kg
- Average consumption 150 g
- Attain full maturity in 6 months
- Breeding ratio one male, ten female
- Eggs weigh about 55g
- Provide adequate space
- Avoid overcrowding
- Use locally material to build shelter
- Security wire around perimeter fence
- Use deep litter in bird’s house.
Domesticated ducks started from wild Mallards. Top duck breeds are the Black runner, Black Swedish, Buff and Blue Runner.
Others are the Chocolate runner, Cayuga, Jumbo Pekin and Fawn. We have the white runner, ground hybrid Pekin, Mallard and Pekin. Others include White layer, white Crested and Rouen.
- Wild Mallards
- Black runner
- Black Swedish
- Blue Runner
- Chocolate runner
- Jumbo Pekin
- White runner
- Ground hybrid Pekin
- White layer
- White Crested
Best Duck Breeds for Commercial Production
|Duck for Meat Production||Duck for Egg Production||Duck for Meat/Eggs|
|Perking||White Indian Runner||Khaki Cambell|
|Aylesbury||Gray Indian Runner|
Feeding the Ducts
The birds need highly nutritional food and prefer wet food. However they will eat dry food when presented. Wet food is ideal if you want fertilized eggs and run a breeding program. The eggs are also larger and heavier.
Some viable food sources are shrimps, shells, fish and clams. Others foods include ground corn, cassava and sweet potatoes. They eat fungi, earthworms, weeds, algae, insects, maggots and snails.
More are rice bran, seaweed, banana peelings. They will also eat chicken layer mash and provide the ducklings with starter feed. Provide 2.5 cm space per duck and use feeder troughs. Ducks can easily consume 90 grams of food
Food for Ducks
- Ground corn
- Sweet potatoes
- Fungi, earthworms
- Rice bran
- Banana peelings
The quality of feed will impact on the egg production. They feed composition depends on purpose meat/egg production, breed and age.
Duck Feed Composition
|Ingredient||30 days and Above|
|Magnesium sulphate||12 grams|
|Ground Oyster shell||1%|
|De-oiled Rice bran||7%|
Other ingredient in composition are vitamins A,BD,K,25g, DL methionine 50g, ground Jowar32%.
A quite environment is ideal for duck production because noise affects egg production and growth rate. This is because they are easily stressed and love to isolate themselves.
The land should have a clean natural environment ad pond. Include a perimeter fence to keep the birds in and predators out. Predators to watch out for are hawks, turtles, foxes, owls and dogs.
Despite their wobbly walk they can cover a surprising long distances. Adult ducks require about 8 to 10 feet space. The land should have lots of shaded plants or shaded barn.
The birds should be locked up at night or you will probably lose a few. Ducts can grow in open pasture or barn setting. The barn setting allows proper handling of the birds.
Buying the Ducks
Stock your farm with ducklings because they are easy to handle. Grownup ducks are feisty and aggressive to strangers. Ducks are social birds and thrive in groups. Therefore buy at least 4 ducks or more for starters. There is some breeds ideal for meat production while others are good for egg production.
Duck Housing and Management Guide
Small home-stock duck housing and management
Small home flocks require small space and basic equipment. They can keep them in the yard with perimeter fencing to avoid wandering. Household ducks are low cost, easy to manage, house, and feed.
Basic equipment are needed to build a simple structure to protect the flock. Types of structure to consider are inexpensive fencing, partially enclosed area or simple physical structure. Introduce a water trough, feed hopper.
The best location for duck farming is an area with well-drained sandy soil. Make sure the location is high ground, slightly elevated and dry. The sheltered area should have dry absorbent material, hay, stray or shavings.
The breed of duck would determine the height of the fencing. This is because some ducks have the ability to fly very high while others have limited height. If you have ducks that fly high house them in a large bird cage. Use low perimeter fencing for low flying birds.
Commercial Duck Production
Commercial duck production involves total confinement of the birds. Control the ventilation, air inlets and space requirement.
Use intensive feeding, temperature adjustment and housing management techniques. The type of poultry farming will determine the housing and management system put in place.
Types of Housing and Management Systems
Types of housing management systems are herding, commercial production. Other are open grazing, raising ducks on open ponds, shedding, and small home flock management.
- Commercial production
- Open grazing
- Raising ducks on open ponds
- Small stock management
Egg production in natural environment is seasonal or dependent on amount of daytime. Supplemental lighting increases laying period in duck production. Artificial lighting simulates day length thereby encouraging the ducks to lay more.
This strategy effectively increases the laying period to nine months. It is important to confine them to a shed at night to prevent predators and natural enemies attacking the birds. The usual practice is allowing them to venture out during the day and shedding them at night.
Within the shed at night provide artificial lightening to encourage egg laying. The lighting should be implemented just before sunrise. Put on the lights around 4 am just before sunrise. If the ducks are grow-out then provide low wattage light.
Modern commercial duck farming requires adequate ventilation. The housing enclosure should be well ventilated to avoid suffocation. Introduce ventilator fans, mechanized ventilation. Focus on duck house design to maximize the ventilation system.
Make sure the litter yard is kept dry inside the shelter area. Apply fresh bedding when appropriate and replace wet litter. It is important to place the Waterers outside the shed.
Then provide jar type Waterers, automatic trough cup, nipple. Provide 30 nipples for every 200 ducks while growing ducks require 25 nipples for 100 ducks. Use watering jars or cans for starter ducks. Make sure the watering trough are easily accessible to the birds.
Overcrowding is detrimental to duck health and development. It could cause serious fatalities and loss of stock. Appropriate space requirements for 1 day to 7 day old is 289 sq. cm to 2304 sq. cm. developing breeders require 2500 sq. cm while layers need 2809 sq. cm.
- 1 day to 7 day old is 289 sq. cm to 2304 sq. cm
- Developing breeders require 2500 sq. cm
- Layers need 2809 sq. cm.
Temperature for Ducks
The stages of development determines the temperature for developing, growing or breeding. One day ducks need 86F, seven day old 81F and 14 days 73 F. 21 day 66F, 28 days 59F, 35 days 55F. 42 days 55F and 49 days 55F. Developing breeders and laying breeders need 55F.
Appropriate Temperature for Ducks
- One day ducks need 86F
- seven day old 81F
- 14 days 73 F
- 21 day 66F
- 28 days 59F
- 35 days 55F
- 42 days 55F
- 49 days 55F
- Developing breeders 55F
- Laying breeders need 55F
Ducks are susceptible to many diseases like Aspergillosis, Botulism. Others are Avian cholera, duck hepatitis, pestiferous infection, castor bean poisoning.
- Avian cholera
- duck hepatitis
- pestiferous infection
- castor bean poisoning
Provide a warm dry hatching area for the ducks. Duck eggs can be hatched artificially in hatcheries. Provide chopped straw, wood shavings, dry litter to encourage egg laying and hatching.
Ducks generally attract a healthy price in the market. Sell the birds at meat markets, supermarkets and restaurants. Sell directly to neighbors, food canteens and fast food outlets. Print flyers, posters and signboard. You can take out a small advertisement in local daily.