in #farms5 years ago

The raising of ducks, is a livestock activity that could be compatible with traditional productions, or become a main item. Like other systems of poultry production, called alternative or non-traditional, the exploitation of the duck can be a valid option of traditional poultry production (chickens and layers), in addition, these species, due to their high rate of growth, the final weights they can reach and their ease of conversion, could become a productive activity of commercial relevance in the country.


Characteristics of the duck

The duck is a bird. An oviparous animal (which lays eggs) and are also polygamous, such as turkey or chicken. The scientific name of the duck is Anas platyrhynchos.

The song of the duck is very characteristic and unmistakable. It is a nasal sound made by short, dry cries.

The ducks change the plumage twice a year and the duck males show much more beautiful and lively colors than the females.

We have called this bird "palmípedas": let's see what that word means. You know how the legs of the birds are: they have fine, strong fingers, provided with nails and made to fit on the branches. Imagine that we take a normal bird and put it in the water: little or nothing will serve its legs.

Regarding the young of the duck, once the female has laid eggs, incubates them for a period of 4 weeks. The ducklings are very precious and they manage to fend for themselves very soon. On the first day of life they try to swim and procure food on their own.

To dive they need some supplementary exercises, and after about forty days they are ready to fly by themselves and autonomously.

Types of ducks

The domestic ducks come from a single wild progenitor: the mallard. The latter lives for most of the year in the Nordic regions, but in winter, when the water of the lakes and rivers is covered with ice and no food can be procured, the mallard migrates to the temperate climates of the south. It should also be said that the domestic duck can be raised as a pet.

Among other species of wild birds remember the spoon duck, so called because of its large spoon-shaped beak, with which he takes the water with care .---

1-The duck jar, quarrelsome and aggressive.
2-The freshwater diving duck, which dive and dive skillfully underwater to avoid dangers and find food in the background.
3-The sea diving duck, which includes 21 species and is also nourished by small animals that it traps skillfully under water.
4-Indian runner ducks, so called because of their speed on land, in which they move upright, with the neck stretched.
5-The Pekingese duck, plumage as indicated by its name has the merit of not producing sounds.

Care of the breeding of ducks

The breeding house

No special building is required. It should only provide climate protection and be reasonably well lit and ventilated. To breed in small quantities, a colony breeding house or a small building can be used. For the breeding of larger numbers, a larger poultry house or a common chicken house is recommended.

A floor made of wood, cement or earth is sufficient. Allow 0.09-0.14 m2 (1-1 / 2 ft2) of floor space per bird and cover it with about 10 cm (4 in) of absorbent bed. It is very good sawdust, wood shavings, ground corn husks (ground corn), cotton or peanut seed husk (peanuts) and peat. Moisture is more likely to be a problem with ducklings and geese than it typically is in raising chicks. It is recommended the elimination of humid zones and the frequent addition of clean and dry bed.


The geese and ducklings are ready for food and water as soon as they arrive. Use a chicken or turkey starter on crumbs during the first week to 10 days. Then at this time you can feed with a pelleted growth food plus corn, wheat, oats or any other broken grain. Keep the food in front of the birds all the time.

Also provide grit (ground calcareous stone) insoluble. Place the food on thick paper or plates for the first few days. Do not use the top of the chick boxes or any other smooth surface lid or paper as feeders. When using these materials with slippery surfaces can result in damage to the legs.

Make sure the food you are using contains approved additives for ducks and geese. Certain types of medications that are sometimes included in chick initiation and growth foods for the control of coccidiosis are harmful to ducklings. They can cause lameness or even death. Coccidiosis has not been presented as a problem in the production of these waterfowl.

Commercially produced ducklings are usually ready for the market for seven to eight weeks. Geese are usually marketed in the fall months at 24 to 30 weeks of age. Finishing foods should contain a protein similar to turkey finishing foods.


All the time there must be enough drinking water available. The goslings and ducklings consume enormous amounts due to their rapid growth. Use drinking troughs where birds can not enter and splash. This is important in the breeding house. Swimming water is not necessary, however, ponds provide an easy way to wet ducklings in pasture. Pig drinkers are a good drinking option for waterfowl.

Pasture for ducklings

Have pasture or grass clippings provided from the first week of age. When the weather is mild, the ducklings can be left outside and let them graze when they are only a few days old.

The grass is a natural food for ducklings. Large savings in food can be obtained by providing good pasture throughout the growing period. At five or six weeks of age they can subsist completely on good pasture, although some supplementary feeding is recommended until the birds are fully feathered.

Experience has shown that ladino clover is a good pasture for ducklings. Other types of white clovers are also very good, as are most varieties of grasses. In Missouri, the cañuela, the ball grass, the timothy and the bromo grass have also been used. Small grains such as barley, wheat and rye can be excellent during the fall. The geese or geese just touch the sweet clover, the lespedeza or the alfalfa.

Leave about half a hectare or less (one acre) of pasture for every 20 to 40 birds. The amount required depends on the size of the ducklings and the quality of the pasture. When it is bad, it is necessary to feed supplementary grains.

It is recommended to have a pasture rotation system. Protect the geese from rain or wet grass during the first few weeks, especially when the weather is cold. In warm weather shade must be provided.

Because ducks do not consume fodder as well as geese, it is recommended that the commercial producer raise them without access to pasture. However, the ducks are going to use some green food and eat insects. The small producer probably does not want to confine the flock. Make sure that the pasture and the green foods that you use do not have any chemical treatment that could damage the flock.

Use of fences


It is generally necessary to fence pastures or fields. Most wire fences are closed enough to confine birds 4 to 6 weeks or older. The two-inch net is commonly used for young birds. The fences do not need to be very high, beyond the normal height, as these birds rarely fly. A suitable height is 46 cm to 61 cm (18 in. To 2 ft.). Several producers have reported good success using electric fences.

Ducks are increasingly popular due to their versatility. They lay delicious eggs, they eat the leftovers from the kitchen, they end up with garden pests and they are generally good pets. They are, by nature, very resistant to diseases and do not require much care. Here is a list of things you should keep in mind when deciding if the ducks are for you.

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